FANG Protesters Strike RI Compressor Station Again, 8 Arrested

FANG logoJust like a bad case of gout that keeps returning, or perhaps more relevantly like a flareup of herpes, radical protesters keep using illegal actions to oppose the expansion of a compressor station in Rhode Island–Spectra Energy’s Burrillville, RI compressor station. They used illegal actions in August (see FANG Protesters Chain Themselves to RI Compressor Station Gate). They did it again in September (see FANG Protesters Strike RI Compressor Station Again, 3 Arrested). And they did it yet again this past weekend. This time eight protesters were arrested, including a nun who has forsaken her first love, Jesus, and replaced Him with worship of Mother Earth. The protesters illegally trespassed on Spectra’s property and were arrested and removed. Once again, the protest was organized by the threatening-sounding group that calls itself FANG (yes, that is their logo, not something we made up)…
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Golden Parachutes Pop Open for MarkWest Top Management/Board

Last week MarkWest Energy Partners ceased to exist as an independent company (see MarkWest Energy Investors/Unitholders Approve Merger with Marathon). MarkWest “units” (equivalent to shares of stock) stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. The company became part of Marathon Petroleum. And when it did, high level executives at MarkWest, at least some of them, got new positions with Marathon. That is, according to the prediction of former MarkWest CEO and co-founder John Fox, MarkWest’s upper management and board members got golden parachutes (i.e. they personally benefited) from the sale of MarkWest. Here’s how they did…
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The Honeymoon is Over for Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler

It seems that Doug Lawler, the embattled CEO of Chesapeake Energy, just can’t catch a break. We frequently bust on Lawler for his mass-firings when he took the helm at the company–at the prompting of his overlords, the corporate raider brothers Mason Hawkins and Carl Icahn, Chessy’s two largest stockholders. In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Lawler blames his predecessor, Aubrey McClendon, for his inability to dig Cheapeake out of the hole it’s in (see WSJ: Chesapeake’s Boss Faces Tall Order). Never a good sign when you start blaming the person who held the job before you–a sign of weakness and a character flaw if you ask us. Although Lawler enjoyed a honeymoon with the financial press and with analysts, that period is now officially over. Some analysts are turning against Lawler and his lackluster performance at the helm of Chesapeake. Chesapeake’s stock (i.e. equity) has plunged 77% this year alone. On Friday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Chesapeake’s bonds and notes (i.e. debt) to junk bond status. Just to add insult to injury, one analyst writing for The Motley Fool nominated Doug Lawler for “Worst CEO in the Energy Sector” for 2015. If old Doug isn’t careful, the ax he likes to swing may boomerang back…
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Jefferson Hills, PA Antis Oppose EQT Well Near Future School Site

A battle is heating up in Jefferson Hills (Allegheny County), PA where EQT has (so far) applied to drill a single shale well, near where a new school will be built. Because notifications of the neighbors requires EQT to list the maximum number of wells that may eventually get drilled at the well pad site, EQT has said that eventually that pad may support 20 wells. Note they are not planning on drilling 20 wells at the site. Further note: we’ve never even heard of 20-well site drilled anywhere in the state! Facts don’t matter in this debate. Anti-drilling radicals have latched on to the 20-well number and are raising a fuss, attempting to stop EQT from drilling even a single well. The primary objection seems to be because it will be near a school–a school not yet built…
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Anti-Fracking Jackets for Sale at Local Craft Fair in Pittsburgh

Ever been to a local craft fair? They’re fun. You usually find everything on display and for sale from potholders to original paintings to wooden toys to kettle corn. It’s always eclectic–you never know what you’re going to find at such a show. The one thing we’ve never seen (or heard of), until now, is anti-fracking items for sale. Such a booth turned up at a recent craft fair held in Pittsburgh. It’s just, well, unseemly. Out of place. Kind of like a drunken relative who shows up for a family gathering–someone whom no one wants to be there…
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EXCO Resources Director Continues Stock Buying Spree

Last month MDN told you about EXCO Resource board member John Wilder and his stock buying bender–snapping up large amounts of EXCO stock, which is very cheap right now at $1.08 per share (see EXCO Board Member Goes on Company Stock Buying Bender). A sharp MDN reader pointed out that Wilder, who is Executive Chairman of Bluescape Resources, which essentially runs EXCO, is contractually obligated to buy $40 million worth of EXCO stock within a year after the deal they closed with EXCO. So it’s no surprise that Wilder continues to buy EXCO stock at a brisk pace. The latest round came last week when he grabbed another 540,000 shares for $685,800…
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MarkWest Energy/Marathon Petroleum Exchanging Notes

do you like me noteRemember exchanging notes in grade school? “Do you like me? [ ] Yes [ ] No” Exchanging notes in the corporate world is a little more complex than that–but it seems to us like it’s not far removed from exchanging notes in grade school. In the case of high finance and the MarkWest Energy/Marathon Petroleum merger deal, the notes getting exchanged have (big) financial value and implications. MarkWest/Marathon are exchanging old MarkWest IOUs (notes) for new Marathon notes. If it doesn’t get delayed, the exchange will happen on Dec. 18–just in time for Christmas. Will it be a Merry Christmas for existing MarkWest note holders? If you can figure it out, please let us know…
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Binghamton Newspaper Extreme Anti-Drilling Bias on Display

This is what passes for “journalism” at the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (P&SB), MDN’s hometown newspaper. Once upon a time the P&SB had a lefty reporter working for them, Tom Wilber. We’ve highlighted Tom’s anti-fracking articles in the past. Tom is a good writer, and fancied himself an Author, so he left the P&SB to write a book on fracking, “Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale.” Perhaps Tom thought he could retire in style after attacking shale energy. The book bombed. Tom had to get a day job again and ended up working for the P&SB (surprise!). He recently penned a rehashed diatribe against shale drilling in a series on shale energy appearing in the pages of the P&SB. We found it, quite frankly, boring. If we’re bored, you will be too–which is why we didn’t bother to comment on the series. Fortunately, MDN friends Tom Shepstone and others “took one for the team” and analyzed Tom’s latest anti-drilling diatribe (see NGN: Is That All There Is, Tom Wilber?). Tom (Shepstone) deserves hazard pay for reading it all. Our point: Tom Wilber is what the P&SB considers to be a fair, impartial journalist. Well, no they don’t, not really. They know he’s as biased and unfair as the editors at the P&SB, which is why they run his articles. They present his work as impartial journalism. To further highlight just how unfair and biased the P&SB is, we spotted two opinion pieces in the Sunday edition (yesterday). You know how newspapers run side-by-side “for and against” op-ed pieces? This time it was “against and against”–both op-eds were against fracking and shale energy. That’s what passes for “fair” in the P&SB…
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North America’s Largest Private CNG Facility Opens in Detroit

TruStar Energy, one of the biggest Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station operators, over the weekend announced it has completed construction of the largest private CNG fueling station in North America. The facility was built in Detroit for FCA US and will fuel 179 FCA tractor trucks that haul parts and materials to plants located in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada. The press release does not say where the natural gas comes from that gets compressed and used, but we have to believe at least some of that gas is coming from the Utica/Marcellus, which makes this a story of interest for MDN…
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Wyoming Senator Exposes Obama Paris Climate Tax Plan

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (Republican from Wyoming) is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy. Sen. Barrasso has done the country a huge favor by writing and releasing a new report titled: “Senate Outlook on United States International Strategy on Climate Change in Paris 2015” (full copy below). If we can sum up the report, it perfectly details how President Obama is attempting to hoodwink U.S. taxpayers into transferring their hard-earned money to foreign countries under the guise of global warming flummery. That is, according to Sen. Barrasso, President Obama intends to force American taxpayers to pay for past economic success through his contributions to the Green Climate Fund. It is an outrage and must opposed at every turn…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Dec 7, 2015

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Cuomo’s new (arrogant) energy mandates; Halcon note exchange successful; PA DEP still playing catch-up in regulating shale; Harrisburg finally has a budget deal (again); nutjobs press for Penn State for more action on so-called climate change; WV’s high natgas reserves; Mass. AG in bed with corrupt journalism; fracking in Florida; OPEC’s price war on gas & oil not over; and more!
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