Smoking Gun: Copy of the Email that Got John Quigley Fired

smoking-gun.jpgIn the end, it was John Quigley’s own hubris that resulted in his demise as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection. As we reported yesterday, last Friday Sec. Quigley suddenly resigned his position (see PA DEP Sec. John Quigley Resigns Over Email Collusion Scandal). Most media reports blame an email scandal as the primary reason for his dismissal. As one MDN reader wrote to us, how could Quigley be so stupid as to commit his remarks to an email? Why didn’t he just pick up the phone and call his buddies at Big Green radical groups to collude with them? Indeed. If he had, he might still have a job. Below we have a copy of the infamous email Quigley sent to PennFuture, PennEnvironment, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. In the email he drops the “f” bomb first thing–essentially a verbal slap across the faces of his Big Green buddies. He “encourages” them, like a Mafioso don, to extract payment for enviro “apostacy” from Democrats who dare to disagree with him and his radical enviro policies–and to “shame” Republicans. When you read it, you’ll know exactly why Quigley was FIRED by Gov. Wolf…
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Thai Company Buys Out Range Resources’ JV in NEPA for $112M

Banpu5/25/16 NOTE: Our thanks to a sharp MDN reader (Chris H.) for pointing out we had this story slightly wrong. Banpu is not entering a JV with Range, they are, instead, buying Range’s portion of an existing JV. That is, Range is exiting the JV by selling its share to Banpu. Range was not the operator in the JV acreage–they only owned a piece of the action. Talisman is the operator of the wells and the company that does the drilling.

Range Resources, the company that just committed to buying another driller based in Louisiana for $4.4 billion (see Range Resources Buys Louisiana Driller in Deal Worth $4.4B), has just gotten itself a joint venture partner/investor in its own Marcellus operations just sold its portion of a joint venture in northeast Pennsylvania. Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, yesterday invested $112 million in some of to purchase Range’s Marcellus non-operated JV operations in Bradford County, PA. The “Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement” will give Banpu an ownership share in 62 producing wells and another 14 wells waiting on completion, and a share in 170+ more drilling locations. The wells currently produce an average 21 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natgas…
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EIA: US Still #1 World Producer of Petroleum & Natural Gas

EIAThe United States remained the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2015, according to our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. petroleum and natural gas production first surpassed Russia in 2012. The U.S. has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2011 and the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013. We’re not only the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, we’re the Saudi Arabia of oil too! We love gloating about the fact that we’re #1 in the world! Energy = freedom. Fossil fuels = energy. Therefore, fossil fuels = freedom. If there’s a single word that still (for now) describes the good old U.S. of A.–it’s freedom. Tell the anti-American, anti-drillers to put that in their bongs and smoke it! Here’s the great news from EIA that we’re still the one…
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WVU Researcher Says Marcellus/Utica Needs an Ethane Storage Hub

WVU logoForget about a cracker plant in West Virginia. Well, not really–just put it on the back burner for the moment. A researcher from West Virginia University says what the Mountain State and indeed all of Appalachia really needs is ethane storage. Specifically, an ethane storage hub. According to Brian Anderson, director of West Virginia University’s Energy Institute, without ethane storage (and pipelines) the Marcellus/Utica region risks seeing its abundant ethane leave the area, mostly heading to the Gulf Coast. Why is that bad? Because if we can keep ethane in the area, we will attract manufacturers to the region who want to use the results of that ethane–ethylene, the raw material in plastics. Our region can realize a bonanza in manufacturing jobs and investments–if we can store and use the ethane here, at home
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OH Fractivists Want BLM to Extend Comment Period for Wayne NF

Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest – 60% of the mineral rights are privately owned

The anti-drilling loons of Athens County, OH are at it again. ACFAN (The Athens County Fracking Action Network) along with other radicals like the Ohio Sierra Club, want the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to extend a comment period on drilling operations that are due to begin in Wayne National Forest (WNF). We’ve previously written plenty about WNF, including the fact that 60% of the forest is privately owned and that the federal government has blocked those private citizens from accessing the oil and gas under their land going on 10 years now (see our WNF stories here). ACFAN also wants another freak show, er, a, public hearing–so they can parade themselves before the cameras one more time. Thing is, the BLM has already held public hearings. The BLM has accepted public comments–for YEARS. It’s time to end this nonsense and to allow fracking to begin on PEOPLE’S PRIVATE PROPERTY. Enough of these delay tactics by groups like ACFAN…
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Pipes Stacked & Ready to Go in Lebanon, PA for Atlantic Sunrise

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map
Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map – click for larger version

Anti-drillers in Lebanon County, PA–virulently opposed to any new pipeline construction in the county–have their noses bent out of joint. Williams and their Transco pipeline have had the temerity to stack a bunch of pipe they intend to use when construction begins. This can’t stand!! It means (gasp) construction will soon begin. The pretend bubble these kooks live in has just been burst and they frankly don’t know how to handle it. They are “surprised and dismayed” by seeing the stacked pipes. It’s kind of amusing…
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Tenaska NatGas Power Plant in Westmoreland, PA Advances

Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station
Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station

In April MDN reported that a long-delayed $780 million natural gas-fueled power plant in South Huntingdon (Westmoreland County), PA has received a go-ahead and will be built by energy giant Tenaska (see Construction Begins on $780M SWPA NatGas-Fired Power Plant). The project was first proposed in 2009. It has all the necessary permits and now has the necessary funding. Marcellus/Utica natural gas will feed the plant. Black & Veatch is doing the engineering work and acting as the contractor for the project. However, E3 Consulting, another engineering firm, was hired by investors in the project to check out the plans–before the backhoes start digging. The good news is that E3 has looked close and given the project its seal of approval…
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Short Line Railroad Leases Tracks from Norfolk Southern in OH, WV

Watco Companies - trainWe love it when we spot a company adopting a contrarian strategy. Received wisdom and prevailing thought says that the oil and gas industry–especially in the Marcellus/Utica–is contracting. Drillers aren’t drilling, and that affects the supply chain (those companies supplying goods and services to the industry) in a big and negative way. Yep–true enough. But the received wisdom also says companies should diversity–look for business outside of the oil and gas industry. What’s contrary is to take advantage of this downturn to expand capacity–to get ready for when the downturn turns again into an upturn. That’s just what Watco Transportation Services is doing with their Kanawha River Railroad short line subsidiary. Kanawha River Railroad has just cut a deal to lease 309 miles of rail lines from Norfolk Southern in Ohio and West Virginia. One of the customers on these short haul lines will be, yep, Marcellus and Utica drillers and sand suppliers and chemical suppliers and equipment suppliers. Nope, there’s not all that much shipping right now, which makes this a step of faith. But the company believes that the future will be here soon and things will turn and the Kanawha River Railroad will be ready to take full advantage of it. We love a railroad story, and we love a contrarian story. This is both…
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Big Green Groups Attack Rhode Island Gov re Clean NatGas

RI Gov. Gina Raimondo
RI Gov. Gina Raimondo

Over a dozen Big Green groups–radicals opposed to clean-burning natural gas simply because it has the word “fossil” in front of the name “fuel”–are pressuring someone who they consider to be an easy target–the governor of the socialist state of Rhode Island. RI Gov. Gina Raimondo is supporting a critically-needed electric generating plant that will be powered by clean-burning natural gas–to be built by Invenergy. The reason Big Green opposes it? Because methane is “a potent greenhouse gas contributing to the climate crises.” First, there is no climate crises. Doesn’t exist. Second, these kooks not only claim the stuff you breathe out with every breath–carbon dioxide–is leading to man-made global warming, they now insist the smelly farts you emit (i.e. methane) are contributing to global warming too. Why does nobody point out the utter asininity of what they say? Why does anyone take them seriously? Here’s the latest diatribe from the usual sources, primarily the odious and misnamed Food & Water Watch…
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Fitch: Drillers Continue to Default on Bonds – It Ain’t Over Yet

Fitch RatingsIn the past 12 months, some 27% of all E&Ps (exploration and production companies, what we call “drillers”) have defaulted on some of their bonds–the debt they owe. That’s huge. According to Fitch Ratings, before we turn the corner, they expect that number to grow to 30-35% of E&Ps. Defaulting on bonds doesn’t necessarily mean a company has filed for bankruptcy, but a plethora of bankruptcies have, according to Fitch, driven the bond default number way up. Here’s the latest on bond defaults and the sentiment that “it’s going to get worse before it gets better” from Fitch…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, May 24, 2016

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: NY trains to respond to oil fires; OH pipeline manufacturer loses $326M 1Q16; Range invested outside PA because of PA’s poor business climate; no contamination from Spectra pipeline blast; Shell cracker equals lots of PA jobs; Chesapeake settles royalty case in TX; US rig count hits new record low; and more!
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