Bloomberg Predicts Court Will Strip NY’s Right to Stop Constitution

Constitution PipelineWe have been making the point, loudly, for the past year, that IF New York State blocks the Constitution Pipeline, as they have now done, the state runs the very real risk of having the federal government strip away their right to make such decisions about any federally-approved pipeline project. We’ve previously warned that New York is in grave danger of losing their power by attempting to block the Constitution. We wrote the following in October 2015: When MDN editor Jim Willis attended the Shale Insight conference in Philadelphia in September, he listened to a panel discussion of midstream (pipeline) experts, including a former FERC commissioner. He got to ask a question and the question, roughly, was this: “The NY DEC is currently holding up the FERC-approved Constitution Pipeline. What if the DEC refuses to issue the necessary permits? What happens next?” The answer Jim got was, “It depends.” The bottom line seems to be that it’s likely FERC (and Williams) will need to take the DEC to court. The DEC frankly has no legal right to prevent a federally approved project from being built. That’s the bottom line. It may take a court to force the DEC (and Gov. Cuomo) to act, but in this matter the law is on our side. This is not a question of “if,” it is a question of “when” the pipeline will get built (see Time to Force NY DEC to Issue Permit for Constitution Pipeline). And now we get to brag about how prescient we were. Williams did indeed have to take New York to court, and now a Bloomberg analyst has written an article expressing essentially the same sentiment we expressed last year (see it below), saying Williams–the builder of the Constitution Pipeline–is “favored to prevail” in one (if not both) legal challenges they have filed. A victory by Williams will result in neutering New York’s authority to block this and other similar projects…
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Court Rejects Dela. Riverkeeper Case Against PA DEP Pipe Approval

happy dance - SnoopyTime to do a happy dance. THE (arrogant) Delaware Riverkeeper has lost yet another court case–one of many such cases they continuously file to stop any fossil fuel-related project in the northeast. In March MDN told you that THE Delaware Riverkeeper had sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, challenging their decision to approve the Williams Transco Pipeline’s Leidy Southeast Expansion from PA to New York City (see Dela. Riverkeeper Sues FERC Again – Over Leidy Pipeline Expansion). Riverkeeper wanted to hedge its bets–so at some point (not sure when) they also sued the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Riverkeeper’s philosophical clones at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation sued the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) claiming the agencies acted “arbitrarily or capriciously” in granting state permits for the Leidy Southeast Expansion project. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit this week slapped down Riverkeeper and their clones in NJ, saying the states were well within their rights to grant those permits, and they did nothing wrong…
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Judge Rules No Class Action Against Chesapeake in PA Royalty Case

go it aloneA landowner couple in Bradford County, PA, Edward and Kathleen Ostroski, filed a royalty lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy claiming Chesapeake was screwing them out of money by conducting “creative” accounting and deducting expenses that shouldn’t be deducted. Seems like there’s hardly a state where Chessy drills where someone has not filed a similar lawsuit against the company. However, in the Ostroski case, the couple claimed (or rather, their lawyers claimed) the case should be a class action. That there are in fact some 2,000 other landowners similarly affected by Chesapeake’s actions. A U.S. Middle District judge ruled on Monday that the Ostroskis may pursue their case–but only for themselves. There will be no class action. If other landowners feel cheated, they will have to bring their own lawsuits against the company…
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WellDog Launches Shale SweetSpotter After Successful Marcellus Test

welldogWellDog (what a great name!) announced on Monday the launch of a new service called Shale SweetSpotter (another great name!). Clever marketing folks at WellDog, we’ll grant them that. Shale SweetSpotter is “the first commercial reservoir-evaluation analysis technology specific to unconventional natural gas.” In English please! “We’ve just developed a way to tell drillers where oil and gas is locked away in shale layers in the acreage they’ve leased.” Apparently it’s pretty darned good. WellDog partnered up with Shell to test their service in the Marcellus and the field trials were declared “successful”…
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SailingStone Capital Buys 11% of Range Stock, Gets Board Seat

SailingStoneInvestment firm SailingStone Capital Partners recently purchased enough stock that the firm now owns 11% of Range Resources. That’s more than enough to exert great power and control. And so they have. That 11% stake in the company has “encouraged” (forced?) Range to grant SailingStone a seat on the board of directors. We were, at first, concerned. Is this yet another corporate raider out to force a company (Range) to layoff employees and sell assets in a bid to force the stock price higher so they can dump it and make a big profit? We don’t think so. We find no evidence that SailingStone is anything other than an investor with a lot of money who likes what they see in Range. Below is the official announcement, followed by commentary on SailingStone’s motivation for buying up Range stock…
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No Methane Migration in PA Water Wells from Shale Drilling in 2015

zeroLast week MDN highlighted and shared with you a top notch new report just issued by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection–the PA Oil and Gas Annual Report for 2015 (see PA Releases 2015 Oil & Gas Annual Report (Very Cool)). The report is full of charts and graphs and very interesting commentary. We love it! If you dig deep, you’ll find a startling statistic that anti-drilling zealots don’t want you know: Last year there were no (ZERO) cases of methane migration into water wells caused by oil and gas drilling in the Keystone State. You read that right. NONE. That’s something all sane people can celebrate. See how far we’ve come in just a few short years?…
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Bold Move – Williams Selling Canadian Assets for $1B

boldEarlier this week Williams announced a deal to sell its Canadian businesses and assets to Inter Pipeline for $1 billion. Williams is wasting no time following the aborted merger attempt by Energy Transfer Equity to buy Williams. Following that aborted attempt, nearly half of the Williams board quit because they couldn’t get their grubby hands on big piles of money (see Half of Williams Board, Including 2 Corporate Raiders, Quit). Good riddance. Williams CEO Alan Armstrong has been under extreme pressure to step down–which he has resisted. Armstrong is soldiering on and this is his first big, bold move since the palace coup failed. Armstrong says the Canadian asset sale will help fund major capital projects in the second half of 2016…
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Put-Up Job: Yale “Researchers” Meet with Locals in Belmont County

YaleIn June MDN told you about another sham “study” on the way from an anti-drilling “researcher” from Yale University, funded by Big Green groups (see Yale Arrives in Belmont County to Study the Evils of Fracking). Nicole Deziel arrived in Belmont and announced, in so many words, she would drag a $20 bill through a trailer park (literally willing to pay only $20) to “study” air and water samples from residents’ domiciles as part of a new research “project” with a predetermined outcome–that they’re being poisoned by fracking. Ms. Deziel wanted 100 participants and ended up with 66. After eight weeks of collecting samples and talking to people, Ms. Deziel held a wrap-up rally with area residents before departing town to discuss the “study”–saying she has no conclusions, yet. The reason we know this latest Yale study is a put-up job, and not real science, is because at the very same wrap-up meeting residents also heard from the radical anti-drilling group Ohio Environmental Council. That’s the tip-off that this was not real research but hucksterism with a predetermined outcome…
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OH Gov Kasich Issues Edict to Drillers on Emergency Notifications

edictOhio Gov. John “foreigner hunter” Kasich is finally getting back to work after it has sunk in he’s not going to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. One of the first things up on the agenda for Kasich: Issue executive orders. On August 9th Kasich issued Executive Order (i.e. Edict) 2016-04K which forces companies in the oil and gas industry to immediately report o&g emergencies to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. The ODNR will then figure out who else needs to get notified and who should respond. Kasich’s Edict will expire in four months and is a band aid solution until the ODNR can adopt a formal, final rule…
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Letter Proves NY AG, Others “Unlawfully” Ganged Up on ExxonMobil

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NY AG Eric Schneiderman – corrupt

Once again there is HUGE news that points to “unlawful” (i.e. illegal) actions on the part of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman–and mainstream media is ignoring it. Previously the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) released copies of communications between Schneiderman, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and other lefty Dems to engage in an unethical secrecy pact in their campaign to shake down Exxon Mobil by claiming the company “knew” man-made global warming exists and that burning the nasty fossil fuels the company produces contributes to it (see Smoking Gun: AGs Signed Pact to Keep Exxon Documents Secret). Now E&E Legal has released communications that show Schneiderman et al “unlawfully” colluded by forming an “informal coalition…to stem climate change and expand the availability and usage of renewable energy”. That is, they sought to attack a private company, Exxon, for not admitting mankind is causing a catastrophic toasting of Mom Earth. The AGs decided Obama’s Paris agreement needed some help–and they would do so by agreeing, and keeping secret their agreement, to target private companies like Exxon who won’t roll over and play dead on the issue of global warming. AG Schneiderman and the other lefty AGs have been caught corrupting our system of justice by forming a gang to bully companies and individuals into silence. Will we now see any justice against Schneiderman and the other law breakers? We’re not holding our breath…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Aug 11, 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: Utica rigs up by one; ODNR issues land unitization orders; OH Supreme Court considers 1989 DMA; Chesapeake Energy exiting the Barnett Shale; shale companies weathering the slide in crude prices; pump more sand says E&Ps; propane exports and ship cancellations; Texas looks to undo New York judge’s ruling related to canceling midstream contracts; China’s shale gas will never catch America’s; and more!
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