Shell Leases More PA Properties to Build Ethane Pipeline

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Nearly a year ago, in February 2016, MDN brought you exclusive news that Shell had begun approaching landowners in Beaver County to get them to sign easements for two ethane pipelines to feed the mighty cracker plant they plan to build in the county (see Exclusive: Shell Leasing Land for 2 Pipelines to PA Cracker Plant). At that time Shell had still not fully committed to building the cracker–something they finally did in June (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go!). In August, MDN brought you more details, that Shell is indeed working on a 94-mile ethane “pipeline system” with two “legs” to feed the cracker, confirming the tip we received in February. The new ethane pipeline system has a name: the Falcon Ethane Pipeline System (see Shell Working on 94-Mile Ethane Pipeline to Feed PA Cracker). Last October Shell formally launched an open season to sign up shippers for the Falcon Pipeline (see Shell Launches Open Season for PA-WV-OH Falcon Ethane Pipeline). Some new news to share. Last September and October Shell signed up six more property easements, in Beaver County, for the Falcon Pipeline. How much Shell will pay the landowners is still being negotiated and will not be made public (unfortunately). However, we can tell you who leased, along with the piddly amount of taxes Shell will pay to the state and local towns…
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Obama EPA Signs One Final “Sue and Settle” Case Against O&G

January 20th, when Donald Trump is inaugurated and decomposing swamps like the EPA get drained, can’t happen soon enough. However, before that date, the Obamadroids are doing everything they can to get their last digs in. One of them is the rogue, out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency, which will soon be swept clean by Scott Pruitt (delicious justice if ever there were some). We’ve written about the sleazy practice of “sue and settle” in the past–a practice whereby government agencies like the EPA get their friends in the radical environmental movement to sue them, then they quickly settle the case and say “See, we HAVE to do this because the court is making us do it.” Scott Pruitt knows all about that practice and it will stop on Jan. 20. But until then, the EPA continues to engage in it. The latest case they’ve just settled was brought by the odious National Resources Defense Council, Earthworks and a mishmash of other radical groups in May 2016 regarding an attempt to ban injection wells and stop landfills from accepting drill cuttings (see Enviro Nazis File Lawsuit to “Force” EPA to End Injection Wells). The EPA wants to once again eat away at the sovereignty of the states by regulating oil and gas drilling “wastes” using federal law (illegal under the U.S. Constitution). When was the last time you heard of a big lawsuit like this being settled in a matter of a few months? Yeah, never…
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Obama EPA Files to List NatGas Plants as “Toxic” Polluters

In January 2015 a gang of nine far-left anti-drilling “environmental” organizations sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claiming the agency doesn’t require the oil and gas industry to spend big bucks to fill out reams of paperwork to prove it’s not polluting Precious Mother Earth with nasty chemicals (see 9 Anti-Drilling Groups Sue EPA Hoping to Damage the O&G Industry). The lawsuit was filed by the Environmental Integrity Project (better called the Environmental Dishonesty Project), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Effective Government, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), the Clean Air Council, THE Delaware Riverkeeper Network (i.e. Maya van Rossum), the Responsible Drilling Alliance, and Texas Campaign for the Environment. The lawsuit by the litigious gang of nine, as we said at the time, will provide cover and an excuse for the EPA. This is all scripted out and done in collusion with the Obama EPA. In October last year, the EPA announced that natural gas plants do qualify to be included in their so-called Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a system that will require processing plants to fill out several trees’ worth of paperwork on an annual basis. The EPA decision made the antis orgasmic with delight (see PA Big Green Groups Elated: Latest EPA Sue-and-Settle Scam Worked). The Obama EPA, in a parting shot at the natural gas industry, just filed the official proposed rule (last Friday, copy below) that will make it happen. Fortunately the rule won’t go into effect until March 7, giving incoming EPA chief Scott Pruitt the opportunity to stop this nonsense…
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VA County Approves Compressor Stn for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

As MDN reported last week, area residents packed a small meeting hall in Buckingham County, VA for a five-hour marathon session to express their concerns about building a new compressor station in the county for the upcoming Atlantic Coast Pipeline (see Residents Pack County Bd Mtg re Atlantic Coast Compressor Stn). A number of those residents, working from misinformation, are opposed to the pipeline. Fortunately the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, who have been researching the compressor station project for the past two years, saw through the misinformation and vitriol and voted to approve the project after the marathon session. That vote “incensed” some of the antis…
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More Background on Investors Encouraging EQT to Sell Itself

W Barnes Hauptfuhrer

Last week MDN told you about a kerfuffle that erupted yesterday when Chapter IV Investors, a Charlotte, NC-based investment firm with investments in EQT, Range Resources and Antero Resources, announced it had sent a letter to EQT urging the company to consider merging with either Range Resources or Antero Resources (see EQT Urged by Major Investor to Merge with Either Range or Antero). As we told you, Chapter IV is essentially two investors, W. Barnes Hauptfuhrer, Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager, and Ryan J. Jack, Partner. We said at the time, “we don’t detect any kind of bullying on the part of Chapter IV, like that of a raider Carl Icahn (successful takeover of Chesapeake Energy & Cheniere Energy) or Keith “Mini-Me” Meister (unsuccessful attempt to takeover Williams). Rather, it appears to be a couple of investors who believe there is an honest and good case for a combination of EQT with another company.” We now have more evidence that our gut instinct was right–from an article Bloomberg published…
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Towns Near Philly Collude with CAC to Block Mariner East 2 Pipe?

Several townships in the Philadelphia orbit appear to be colluding with each other and with the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council in passing nearly identical resolutions opposing the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline. Eight townships or boroughs along or “close to” (meaning not along) the route in Delaware and Chester counties have published resolutions or proclamations badmouthing the project. The municipalities include: Edgmont, West Goshen, Thornbury, Middletown, Westtown, Rose Valley, Swarthmore and Media. Some of the self-incriminating evidence for collusion comes from an admission by one of them: “The community statements are similar to each other because of consultation between their leaders.” And this, from the odious Clean Air Council: “Alex Bomstein, a lawyer with the environmental group Clean Air Council, said that while there are other local campaign such as those in Lebanon and Huntingdon Counties, the efforts in Delaware and Chester Counties are more ‘developed’ in the Philadelphia suburbs. ‘There are more people organizing than elsewhere,’ he said, probably because of a greater population density closer to Philadelphia.” Why would the StateImpact Pennsylvania propagandist quote the CAC in the same article as the colluding towns, unless they were somehow tied together?…
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Nature Nuts Object to Appalachian Pipes Because of Visual Pollution

La La Land

Here’s a new one you probably haven’t heard before. Self-righteous and self-appointed people who claim to protect the Appalachian National Scenic Trail object to much-needed pipeline projects like EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA–because of “viewshed impairment,” or what the hoi polloi would call visual pollution. Yes, there’s a spot along the trail where if you look in a certain direction you will (if the pipeline gets built) see a path where the trees are cleared for the pipeline, and that just won’t do. It will rob the viewer of the pristine beauty they are used to seeing along that particular section of the trail. Of course, the fact that fires regularly destroy sections of the forest and destroy far more of the beauty along the trail is of no consequence. And the fact that entire cities are visible from the trail means nothing. It is that razor thin, narrow section where the pipeline will go that’s offensive to nature nuts…
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Exterran Completes “Financial Restatement” – Releases Financials for 1Q-3Q

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Exterran Corporation (with 5,400 employees) specializes in natural gas compression production equipment and processing facilities. They design, build and operate compressor stations and natural gas processing plants. In 2012 MDN reported on a contract Exterran won to build three natural gas processing plants in West Virginia (see Exterran Wins Contract to Build 3 WV NatGas Processing Plants). The company is also active in other Marcellus/Utica states, including Ohio. In 2013 the company opened a plant to build compressor stations in an industrial park near Youngstown, OH. The state gave the company a $300,000 grant in return for promises to create 103 jobs over a seven year period. Exterran came close for the first couple of years, but then the crash in prices hit and along with it, work dried up. The plant closed in March, and as we recently reported, Ohio now wants “all or part of” the $300,000 grant back (see Ohio Wants to “Clawback” $300K Grant to TX-based Exterran Energy). The company, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has just issued what is called a “financial restatement”–which means they get to revise their previous quarterly financial statements. The do-over shows less bleeding in 3Q16 than earlier in the year. Exterran lost $93 million in 1Q16, they lost $96 million in 2Q16, and just $13 million in 3Q16. Here is the financial restatement issued by Exterran last week…
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Radical Democrat PA House Member Tossed to Curb by his Own Party

Rep Greg Vitali

Sometimes crazy, wacko environmentalist Democrats in the Pennsylvania legislature are so far left, so crazy, so wacko, it’s even too much for the PA Democrat party. Such is the case with “outspoken” (we’d say loud-mouthed) Rep. Greg Vitali, from the Philadelphia area. We’ve written a number of articles prominently mentioning Rep. Vitali, who wants PA residents to use less natural gas (see PA Rep. Vitali Wants to Force Residents to Use LESS Natgas). However, the wacko Vitali has burned bridges in Harrisburg. He has aggressively crossed swords with PA’s Dem Governor, Tom Wolf, after Wolf understandably fired John Quigley as Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection when Quigley was caught using a private email account to collude with his buddies in the Big Green movement (see Smoking Gun: Copy of the Email that Got John Quigley Fired). Vitali savaged Wolf for not supporting Quigley (see PA Dems Eating Their Own – Turn on Gov. Wolf over Quigley Firing). Since last June, Vitali has continued his infighting and it’s now caught up with him. He arrived in his office in Harrisburg one day to find a computer, and the person who operates it, being reassigned to the the new chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy committee–a committee Vitali used to chair. It was the first he’d heard of being tossed to the curb…
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Court Denies PA Senators Right to Join Lawsuit Against DRBC

Last May MDN told you about a group of brave landowners in Wayne County, PA who have had their property rights stolen by the Delaware River Basin Commission (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). They filed a lawsuit against the DRBC asking a judge to declare the DRBC does not have jurisdiction to prevent construction of a natural gas well. Several northeastern PA counties (unfortunately) are located in the Delaware River Basin and the DRBC has steadfastly refused to allow them to drill any shale wells, citing concerns that the Delaware River supplies fresh water to millions downstream–even though they can’t explain how that water might get contaminated. A few months later, the DRBC’s best friend and patron, THE Delaware Riverkeeper, sued to join the lawsuit to help defend the inept DRBC (see Delaware Riverkeeper “Intervenes” to Protect its Patsy – the DRBC). In November, three PA senators filed to join the lawsuit on behalf of the landowners that they represent (see PA Senators File to Join Case Against DRBC Fracking Moratorium). Predictably, THE Delaware Riverkeeper sought to prevent the senators from joining the lawsuit. You see, it’s OK for Riverkeeper to participate as an outsider, but not OK for the Senators to participate to ensure the people they represent get represented in the lawsuit. That’s how it works in the world of enviro radicalism. Unfortunately, the court where the case is being heard sided with the radicals and has ruled the Senators have no right to represent the people they were elected to represent when it comes to a court case…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jan 9, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Rice Energy one of top gas picks for 2017; OH anti group quietly disbands after funding studies that prove fracking is safe; rig count shows PA drilling back on the upswing; DOE cuts off funds for NJ off-shore wind farm; natgas storage would not benefit Maine consumers, says study; US natgas production will increase in 2017; and more!
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