THE Delaware Riverkeeper Sues FERC, Tries to Close it Down

Maya van Rossum - THE Delaware Riverkeeper
Maya van Rossum – THE Delaware Riverkeeper

We thought radical leftists, like Maya van Rossum aka THE Delaware Riverkeeper, loved the heavy hand of Big Government. It appears she and her ilk only love CERTAIN Big Government agencies, like the federal EPA–those they can influence toward their radical anti-fossil fuel agenda. THE Delaware Riverkeeper is attacking a government agency–the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission–the agency charged with reviewing and approving (or not approving) interstate pipeline projects. Maya and company sued FERC on Wednesday with the sole purpose of shutting down the entire agency by defunding it. Delaware Riverkeeper filed their lawsuit against FERC in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia–one of the most liberal jurisdictions across the country. The lawsuit claims FERC can’t objectively make decisions about projects like the Penn East Pipeline (running from the Wilkes-Barre area to New Jersey) because FERC derives some of its operating revenue from the projects it either approves or does not approve. That’s its rationale for attempting to shut down an entire agency of the federal government. This is Riverkeeper’s last ditch “Hail Mary” effort to stop the Penn East Pipeline project…
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More Info Comes to Light About McClendon’s Last Days/Last Moments

We’ve spotted several new (to us) bits of information about Aubrey McClendon that may have bearing on his state of mind prior to the fiery crash that took his life on Wednesday. We now know who the likely second party was in the Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) indictment of Aubrey on a single count of conspiracy. As we’ve pointed out from the beginning of the DOJ’s indictment, by definition you can’t have a conspiracy with just one person. You need at least two people. The problem was/is, the DOJ hasn’t indicted anyone else–which made this a witch hunt, not justice. You don’t get to say just one person is guilty in a conspiracy. We also have information about the state of Aubrey’s new business venture–American Energy Partners. It seems he was losing control of all the subsidiary companies spun off from AEP, and that his biggest backer, Energy & Minerals Group, was about to hang Aubrey out to dry. It may have seemed like with the indictment and his new venture slipping away and with old friends turning on him, that Aubrey’s world was closing in. First up, let’s begin our coverage with eyewitness accounts of the crash…
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Stirring Tributes Pour in After Aubrey McClendon’s Untimely Death

Right after news of Aubrey McClendon’s death, a number of people offered up their reaction, comments and condolences. We brought you some of the early/initial reaction yesterday (see Stunned: Former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon Dies in Car Crash). Since then, many more have poured in, from people like his former business partner and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, Tom Ward; the president of Duke University (Aubrey’s alma mater), Richard Brodhead; CEO of Continental Resources, Harold Hamm (a fellow giant in the fracking industry); and Jim Cramer, celebrity investor and host of CNBC’s Mad Money. Among the outpouring of glowing comments was one from corporate raider Carl Icahn–the man who fired McClendon from Chesapeake. When we read Ichan’s words, we puked…
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Dimock Trial Update: Parents Use Their Kids to Rescue Case…Fail

If you want to be a blithering idiot and spout your anti-fossil fuel garbage–do it all you want. But don’t abuse your own children by making them do it too. And if you want to try to shake down a company with deep pockets to line your own pocket–same thing. Go for it. It’s sleazy and slimy–but don’t involve your kids in your unethical schemes. That’s just what the Elys have done. In a bid to try and rescue a trial that in all likelihood is about to be dismissed for lack of evidence, plantiffs Scott and Monica Ely had their lawyer put their own children, ages 10-13, on the witness stand. Who would do that to their own children? Even when the plantiffs’ lawyer, the inept Leslie Lewis, asked leading questions in an attempt to tug at the jury’s heartstrings, the entire effort was a bust. The Elys and Huberts, suing Cabot Oil & Gas for allegedly contaminating their water in Dimock, PA, are about out of options. After resting their case, the judge told the plantiffs he has “grave concerns” about the case and lack of evidence. The judge is seriously considering dismissing the case before it reaches the jury…
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Patterson-UTI Average Rig Count Falls to 74 in February

As we do every month, MDN tracks how many rigs oilfield services company Patterson-UTI Energy reports operating–as a proxy for when/if the drop in rig counts for the Marcellus/Utica will turn around. Patterson operates a number of rigs in the northeast, as well as other areas of the continental United States (and Canada). Previously Patterson’s January rig count number went down by 5%–from 82 in December to 78 in December. The month before that it was down 10%–from from 91 in November to 82 in December. What about February? Down another 4 rigs to a new low of 74 operating in the U.S. That’s a decrease of another 5%. Will the bleeding never end?…
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PA DEP On Course to Jam New Regulations Down Drillers’ Throats

In January, MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally pushed out new drilling regulations, required under the 2012 Act 13 law (see PA DEP Issues “Final” New Drilling Regulations; Industry Pushback). The new regulations were already done and ready to be adopted–and then radical leftist Tom Wolf took office and decided to put his own environmentalist fingerprints all over the regulations–ruining them. The industry is pushing back. Not at stricter controls here and there, but against superfluous and stupid requirements that cost a lot of money but don’t make the environment (or people) safer. Last month we told you that the DEP continue to keep secret some of the parts of the new regulations (see PA DEP Sec. Quigley Keeps Secret Key Part of New Drilling Regs). That’s shifty. Sneaky. Sleazy. So what’s the status? During an education presentation last week in Murrysville (Westmoreland County), PA, DEP deputy secretary for oil and gas management, Scott Perry, said the DEP will push through the new regulations as written. In other words, open wide drillers, here it comes…
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Dominion’s Quest to Buy Questar for $4.4B Advances

In February MDN told you that midstream and local utility Dominion, with a major presence in the Marcellus/Utica region, has floated a takover offer to Questar Corporation, offering to buy the company for $4.4 billion (see Dominion Resources Makes Play for Western NatGas Company Questar). Questar is a Rockies-based integrated natural gas company operating through three subsidiaries: Questar Gas provides retail natural gas distribution in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho; Wexpro develops and produces natural gas on behalf of Questar Gas; and Questar Pipeline operates interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in the Western U.S. The deal is an attempt by Dominion to diversify out of the northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. There are lots of good reasons for Dominion to buy Questar. We wonder if Dominion has any plans to flow cheap northeast gas West. That’s why we keep an eye on this story. Since our initial story, the Dominion/Questar deal has progressed. The Federal Trade Commission didn’t object to the deal–which means they approve of it; and Dominion has filed paperwork in Utah and Wyoming to combine the two businesses…
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Cove Point LNG Export Plant Now 24% Complete, Rapid Progress

Dominion is making excellent progress with the Cove Point LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility. Despite the fact that shrill anti-fossil fuelers are trying to stop the facility in court (see Radical Enviro Groups Continue Lawsuit Against Cove Point LNG), fully 24% of the new plant is already done. And Dominion continues to make progress. Here’s an update on the LNG plant the antis couldn’t stop…
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East Coast LNG Export Updates – Bear Head & Downeast

LNG is increasingly seen as vitally important to America’s natural gas industry. LNG, by which we mean liquefied natural gas (it gets liquefied by a process known as liquefaction), can be exported to other countries, providing an important new market for American natural gas. The way it gets shipped abroad is through an LNG export facility. In February the very first LNG export cargo left from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass facility in southwest Louisiana (see Cheniere Finally Ships First Sabine Pass LNG Export – to Brazil). Some of the gas could have been (and likely will be in the future) from the Marcellus/Utica–piped to the Gulf Coast. But what about closer to home? The Cove Point LNG export facility is now 24% complete (see today’s companion story). However, there are other plants north of the Marcellus/Utica that can play a role. Some five LNG plants are planned for Canada’s East Coast area. There’s also a new project planned for the state of Maine. We have quick updates for one of the Canadian projects, and the project in Maine…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Mar 4, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Antero Resources workers donate $13K to OH food banks; REX pipeline running again in OH; new CNG station in NJ; natgas faces death-defying choices; Barclays says natgas prices won’t go up until 2017; last chance to sell Chesapeake Energy stock; Harvard economist says natgas is “good for the world”; and more!
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