Aubrey McClendon Leases 21.5 MILLION Acres…in Australia?!

g'day mateIt’s not often that MDN writes about natural gas drilling in Australia. This time there’s a tie-in with the Utica/Marcellus. Aubrey McClendon, former CEO of Chesapeake Energy ejected from the company he-cofounded by an evil corporate raider (Carl Icahn); Aubrey McClendon, founder of American Energy Partners and subsidiary American Energy Appalachia Holdings that has since fled and become its own company called Ascent Resources; Aubrey McClendon, who could charm a billion dollars from Satan himself and leave old Lucifer smiling at being shafted; that Aubrey McClendon has just signed a deal with an Australian company to secure the rights to drill on 21.5 MILLION acres Down Under (in Australia). This is Aubrey’s first foray outside of the United States–and boy what a splash he’s making! Never mind McClendon’s Ascent Resources is saddled with so much debt it can’t repay that Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the company to its lowest rating level, meaning “Substantial risks – In default” (see Has Aubrey McClendon Finally Hung Himself with High Debt?). Apparently McClendon’s recent track record here at home doesn’t bother the Aussies. They’ve just leased to a bona fide celebrity!…
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Human Skulls & Bones Found at Shell PA Ethane Cracker Site

Yes, despite oil prices in the basement and despite Shell’s announcement they are laying off 6,500 people worldwide and reducing spending by $7 billion *this year* (see Shell Lays Off 6,500 Worldwide – But Where?), despite all of that, Shell continues to work to prepare the future site of an ethane cracker plant in Monaca (Beaver County), PA. How do we know? In their digging at the site, workers for Shell have unearthed human skulls and other bones, likely from an old family cemetery that somebody long forgot about…
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PBS/Riverkeeper Pressure Philly re Oil Trains During Papal Visit

Anti-fossil fuelers, including anti-fossil fuel reporters, will go to any lengths to try and impugn fossil fuels and implant the concept in the public consciousness that hauling crude oil on a train is the equivalent of an atom bomb rumbling down the tracks–just waiting to go off. The creative “reporters” in Philadelphia, including PBS StateImpact reporters, yesterday did their best to take another swipe at Bakken crude oil trains that pass through Philadelphia on their way to a Philly refinery. Here’s their latest attempt at smearing fossil fuels: There is an upcoming visit from Pope Francis to Philadelphia in late September. A huge “festival of families” will be held on Saturday night in Philly with hundreds of thousands of people, and on Sunday, the Pope will hold a public mass expected to attract more than a million people. So the “reporters” want to know–will the oil trains stop running while the Pope is in town because, you know, if an Arab terrorist blows one up (wink wink nod nod, pay attention you terrorist nutjobs) it would forever stain Philly’s reputation, and oh, it might kill some people too…
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Drug Dealer’s Defense Lawyer Says Marcellus Workers are Druggies

Here’s a novel defense from a Wheeling, WV defense lawyer whose client was caught selling crack cocaine: blame the Marcellus/Utica drilling industry. Smear the industry by stating workers in the industry are druggies. Why blame the drilling industry? Because someone who works in the industry was used as a “confidential informant” (i.e. a snitch) to expose his client as a drug dealer. The defense lawyer says the only people who work as snitches were caught buying drugs themselves and cut a deal to become a snitch in return for a clean record. Consequently, the lawyer paints the industry with a very broad brush and implies it’s full of drug users…
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PA Landowners File Countersuit Against Mariner East 2 Pipeline

MDN told you last week that unfortunately Sunoco Logistics was forced to file eminent domain cases against several landowners in Washington and Huntingdon counties in Pennsylvania to gain access to survey those properties as a future possible site where the Mariner East 2 NGL pipeline will run (see Sunoco Files Eminent Domain Cases in PA Courts for Mariner East 2). Four landowners in Washington County have hired Hershey-based attorney Michael Faherty to represent them in an attempt to stop Sunoco’s efforts–in essence either reroute the pipeline (starting things all over again) or shut it down permanently. Faherty successfully won a case against Sunoco Logistics in York County last year and “feels confident” that efforts to stop Sunoco will “be successful.” His legal argument is an interesting one…
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OH Anti Groups File Lawsuit in Supreme Court re Home Rule Ballots

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Example: Ohio anti-fossil fuelers repeatedly suing to achieve the right to ban drilling and pipelines in local municipalities. Earlier this year the Ohio Supreme Court struck down so-called home rule laws in the state (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). Anti-drillers, being manipulated by the out-of-state Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) attempted to get the very same measures on the November ballot in three counties, but those efforts were correctly struck down last week by Ohio’s Secretary of State John Husted as a waste of taxpayer time and money, because if they passed, they would be illegal (see OH Anti-Drilling November Ballot Measures Tossed in 3 Counties). What do the anti-drillers do? They file a lawsuit against Husted’s decision–in Ohio Supreme Court. The very same court that previously struck down “home rule” in February of this year. Yes, they ARE insane!…
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Moundsville (WV) Electric Plant on Schedule for 2018 Opening

Since April of 2014, MDN has written about and monitored a new project to build a $615 million electrical generating plant in Marshall County, WV that will burn Marcellus Shale gas (see MDN stories about it here). Called Moundsville Power, the project received a final green light in February 2015. We also discovered the plant will burn not only methane, but ethane as well (see WV Moundsville Electric Generating Plant to Burn Methane + Ethane!). Moundsville Power continues to make progress. Project developer Andrew Dorn says they expect to break ground in early 2016 and have the new electric plant operating by June 2018…
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Star Trek Actor with Upstate NY Home Speaks Against Power Plant

James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane
James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane

Oh darnit…Don’t tell us Zefram Cochrane is against a new clean-burning natural gas electric plant too! Who’s Zefram Cochrane? He’s the fictional creator of the warp drive that powers star ships like the Enterprise in the Star Trek pantheon of television and movie series. Actor James Cromwell played Cochrane in the 1996 movie Star Trek: First Contact. (Yes, we’re big-time Trekkies!) Cromwell, also known for his role as Farmer Arthur Hoggett in the 1995 movie Babe (he was nominated for an Academy Award), was born and raised in Manhattan and maintains a summer home in upstate New York in Orange County, near Middletown. Cromwell is a big-time liberal–someone who thinks upstate should be the personal playground for rich, New York City libs, kept pristine from any kind of development. In other words–keep the poor folk poor in upstate so the rich folk from the city can enjoy their weekends unmolested by the noise of trucks and bulldozers. And therein lies our distress. We like Cromwell’s acting, but not his acting when he attended a court hearing in Orange County last week to lend his voice and his fame to an effort to stop a proposed Marcellus gas-fired electric plant planned for the Town of Wawayanda, near Cromwell’s summer home…
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LNG Importer Publishes Sham Report Slamming New England Pipelines

For more than a year the owner of an LNG import terminal located off the coast of Massachusetts, GDF Suez, has been lobbying hard against any new pipelines that would bring abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas to New England (see Guess Why GDF Suez Doesn’t Want Marcellus Pipeline to New England). Why is GDF Suez opposed? Because their business, importing natural gas from other countries, is threatened. Something called self-interest. So GDF trots around attempting to make the case natural gas isn’t really needed in New England–not beyond what GDF Suez can provide anyway. The latest salvo in a disgusting display of self-interest is a so-called report bought and paid for by GDF that supposedly makes the case that proposed pipelines are too expensive because some of the cost will be passed on to electric rate payers who will experience greatly reduced electric rates once the pipelines are flowing gas to New England. GDF used what appears to be its own in-house analysts from a company called Energyzt to write a biased report that is being reported by mainstream media as some sort of independent report–which it definitely is not…
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New OPEN Compressor Station in Belmont County Under Construction

A new compressor station is being built in Colerain Township (Belmont County), OH as part of the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN) pipeline project. Last month we told you that the OPEN project, 76 miles of new pipeline running through Belmont, Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson and Monroe counties that will connect to the Texas Eastern Pipeline, and then reverses the flow on the Texas Eastern to carry Marcellus and Utica Shale gas from eastern Ohio to the Gulf Coast, is on track to be done this year (see Spectra’s OPEN Ohio Pipeline on Track to be Done by End of 2015). One of the remaining, important pieces of the puzzle is to build a large compressor station to help flow the gas. Here’s an update on that part of the project…
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The Useful Idiots, and Evil Puppet Masters, Behind Radical FANG

Last week MDN told you about a couple of protesters who chained themselves to a fence at a compressor station in Rhode Island, requiring authorities (who arrested them) to cut the fence and haul the entire mess to the local ER to get it all untangled (see FANG Protesters Chain Themselves to RI Compressor Station Gate). The two protesters belong to a radical “environmental” group called FANG–Fighting Against Natural Gas. FANG has now set their sites on a natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Jessup (northeastern PA, see Invenergy Buys Land in NEPA for Natgas Electric Generating Plant). MDN friend Tom Shepstone, who writes and edits the marvelous Natural Gas Now blog site, has done an investigation into just who the radicals are behind the group FANG. Tom finds there are puppets (i.e. dupes or “useful idiots”) and puppet masters pulling the strings at FANG. Which is which? Tom’s report spells it out. We’re happy to bring you a full copy it here on MDN…
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