Cosmetics Firm, Church Fund Anti “Camps” Against Atlantic Sunrise

Ding dong–Lush is calling. A British cosmetics company (think UK version of Avon), looking to get bought-and-paid-for publicity here in the states, has donated $22,000 to the anti-Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline group, Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP). Anti-drilling losers like those in LAP would flare out if not for the backing of companies and Big Green groups with deep pockets. Which cosmetics company did the donating? The name is Lush. You’ve never heard of them and almost certainly have never purchased any of their forgettable products–which is why they donate money to groups like LAP, to get far more exposure than advertising can buy. There’s enough nutjobs out there that will buy products from companies like Lush to make “donating” money for “causes” to these groups a profitable venture. Another funder of LAP? The Universal Unitarian Church in Lancaster, which forked over $5,000 of parishioner contributions to LAP. Hello IRS! Will you please investigate the non-profit Universal Unitarian Church for giving money to an overtly political cause? Who else is donating money to the small group of LAP rabble-rousers?…
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WV Hare Krishnas Settle with Rover Pipeline, Crossing Commune

Here’s an interesting story. A religious commune of Hare Krishnas in Marshall County, WV steadfastly refused to sign an easement with Rover Pipeline to allow the pipeline across ~3,000 feet of commune-owned property. Rover had offered the Krishnas $7,000 for the easement, but no dice. You may recall that the Krishnas have no problem accepting oil and gas money, and have done so by leasing their land for shale drilling–even though the official view of the Krishnas is that “gas drilling is exploitative, that it is unsustainable and ‘contributes to the culture of death and toxicity’” (see WV Hare Krishnas “Purify” Gas Money to Benefit Commune). Apparently when there’s enough money involved, official Krishna doctrine changes. Back to Rover. On Tuesday, the Krishnas filed a lawsuit in federal court to block Rover from using eminent domain to enter the property to cut trees–a lawsuit based on religious grounds. A hearing was held on Thursday in federal court in Wheeling. The Krishnas loaded a bunch of followers into a fossil fuel-belching van to cart them to the court house to protest and make a scene. Lots of publicity. The judge granted a brief recess to allow the two sides to talk, and following the recess the Krishnas and Rover announced they had signed a deal. The official line is that Rover is changing the route of the pipeline to avoid certain holy places on Krishna property. The pipeline will now traverse MORE Krishna property–nearly twice as much more (5,300 feet). So much for objecting to the pipeline based on “religious” grounds, right? What is not mentioned, conspicuously so, is how much more money the Krishnas were able to get out of Rover, so Rover could make the bad publicity go away…
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PA DEP Holds Public Hearing on PennEast Compressor Station

PennEast Pipeline is a $1 billion, 118-mile pipeline from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. Along the entire length of the pipeline, there will only be one compressor station–located in Carbon County, PA. This past Wednesday the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted a public hearing on the compressor station plan. Nominally the hearing is to elicit feedback from the public. However, as is so often the case, these are not really hearings but theatrical performances where anti-drilling kooks put on the equivalent of a circus act. But antis weren’t the only ones who showed up for the hearing. Plenty of supporters were there too…
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THE Delaware Riverkeeper Plans to Pack DRBC Hearing to Oppose PennEast

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), charged with overseeing potential impacts on the Delaware River and the various tributaries that feed it, has stepped outside of its legal bounds with plans to review the PennEast Pipeline, part of which will run through the Delaware River Basin area. In 2014 the DRBC tried to tell PennEast and its sponsors that the pipeline will need their approval before it can be built (see DRBC Tells PennEast They Need DRBC (Not Just FERC) Approval). There’s just one teeny tiny problem with the DRBC’s plan. It’s called the U.S. Constitution. PennEast is permitted solely by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), not any other agency including the quasi-governmental DRBC. PennEast told DRBC as much (see PennEast Tells DRBC Not So Fast, FERC has Final Say on Pipeline). But silly little things like laws don’t stop power-mad liberals like those at the DRBC. FERC, in a bid to be gracious to the libs at DRBC, agreed to hold one joint hearing on the PennEast with the DRBC (see Anti Drillers Demand DRBC Hold 7 Meetings on PennEast Pipeline). But then the DRBC has decided it will take its marbles and go home–telling FERC to blank-off, that DRBC will hold their own hearings (plural) on the PennEast (see DRBC’s Lawless Action to Review PennEast Pipeline Apart from FERC). The time has come. On March 15 the DRBC will proceed with its lawless action in holding a hearing, and DRBC friend and confidant, Maya van Rossum (THE Delaware Riverkeeper) has issued an email to her legion of mind-numbed robots to hound the DRBC about speaking slots at the hearing, so they can create the illusion that most folks are against the project. She’s also planning to pack the meeting room with hippies and ne’er–do–wells in “stop penneast” t-shirts, holding up signs…
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Big News from the O&G Awards Northeast Industry Summit

Yesterday MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of attending, and moderating two panel sessions, at the Oil & Gas Awards 2017 Northeast Industry Summit in Pittsburgh. (Jim is back in Binghamton today, very tired!) When the sessions are made available via video, Jim will post them here on MDN. In the meantime a few words about the sessions and presenters, and about what we consider some pretty big news coming out of yesterday’s meeting. The day began with MDN friend George Stark, Director of External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas, making an impassioned plea for everyone in the industry to get involved with telling the great story of our beloved industry. Don’t think it’s someone else’s role–it’s the role of every single person in the industry, from janitor to secretary to CEO. George gave a rousing, opening address. George was followed by a panel discussion led by MDN friend Charlie Schliebs, Managing Director of Stone Pier Capital. Charlie’s panel tackled some interesting topics about mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies, and where they see the price of natural gas going over the next several years. After Charlies panel was a panel discussing pipeline projects. The moderator was Fred Lowther, a partner at powerhouse energy law firm Blank Rome. Fred, who once worked on the Iroquois Gas Transmission Pipeline project when it was being built, said over the years since that pipeline was built he’s often joked they failed to do a “celebrity impact statement” when building it. Liked that line! After Fred’s panel was a talk given by Michael Krancer, also with Blank Rome (and former Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection). Mike is always a take-no-prisoners presenter. We’ve always loved the way he thinks and expresses himself. Yesterday was no different. It was during Mike’s talk that we found what we believe was the most important thing said yesterday. It has to do with PA’s proposed General Permit 5A. Mike said if GP-5A is enacted as written, it will result in a 12-18 month moratorium on production in Pennsylvania…
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Ohio Dormant Minerals Act – Rights Do Not Automatically Transer

MDN has highlighted the importance of the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision with regard to the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). In September the OH Supreme Court ruled in three DMA cases, saying all of the other cases come under those three (see Important: OH Supreme Court Finally Rules on Dormant Mineral Act). Following that ruling, we brought you insights on what it means from international law firm Jones Day (see One More Look at Important OH Supreme Court DMA Decision). We later ran a copy of an analysis done by attorney David Wigham, who commented that title and ownership to mineral interests in Ohio has “significantly changed” (see Expert Says OH DMA Decision “Significantly Changed” Mineral Rights). Below we have yet another analysis. This one does a great job of summarizing the three cases and what they mean. The bottom line takeaway: the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act does not automatically transfer oil and gas mineral rights to surface owners…
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Could Challenge to Colo. Frack Ban Affect NY’s Moratorium?

We spotted an article on the Hot Air website about a court challenge in Colorado that may (or may not) have implications for shale drilling in places like New York State. Several years ago the ultra-liberal Boulder County, CO banned fracking. Landowners in the county are unconstitutionally denied the right to use their land as they see fit. So Colorado’s Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, has just sued Boulder County to have the frack ban declared illegal. IF the case were to get appealed to a federal court and IF the case decided that Boulder County does not have the right to ban fracking, might that not serve as a precedence for New York and a statewide ban? We know, we know. It’s a stretch and a lot of IFs. But it is an intriguing idea–and a case worth watching…
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EPA Axes Obama Reg Requiring O&G Methane Emission Reporting

Last year the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Barack Hussein Obama once again far exceeded its constitutional limits by enacting a new methane regulation that requires oil and gas operators to install all sorts of expensive equipment in a vain attempt to sniff out so-called fugitive methane (see EPA Does it Again: Tries to Destroy O&G with New Methane Rule). The erroneous thinking goes like this: even a little bit of methane leaking into the atmosphere is far worse than just about all carbon dioxide create when it comes to global warming, so we have to stop it. And the way to stop it is by forcing oil and gas companies (drillers, pipeliners, etc.) to ensure not one stray CH4 molecule ever escapes into the atmosphere. The EPA totally ignores the FACT that burping and farting cows put far more methane into the atmosphere than the oil and gas industry. But we digress. Not long after the EPA tried this latest heavy-handed approach with the o&g industry, 15 states sued to stop it, including Scott Pruitt as Attorney General from Oklahoma (see 15 States File Lawsuits to Block EPA O&G Methane Rule). It must have given Scott, now EPA Administrator, enormous satisfaction to issue the order yesterday that withdraws the methane rule “immediately”…
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Steve Schlotterbeck Becomes CEO of EQT

Steve Schlotterbeck

As MDN reported back in October, EQT CEO David Porges said he would retire in early 2017 (see EQT CEO David Porges Retiring Early 2017, Schlotterbeck New CEO). Porges will stick around as Chairman of the Board. Steve Schlotterbeck, president of EQT, will step up to become the new CEO. That day has come. Beginning Wednesday, March 1, Steve took over from Dave and is now the top dog at EQT. Congratulations to Steve! Along with Steve ascending to the throne, there have a few other changes in the senior management team…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Mar 3, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Hundreds rally against fracking in Maryland; no new Utica wells in OH for Hess in 2017; phones “ringing off the hook” with biz opportunities in OH, thx to fracking; Utica Shale Academy students get certs; Marcellus Shale exports from Philly jump in 2016; Exxon now spends 50% of drilling budget on shale; US shale pokes OPEC in the eye; no peak oil for America, or the world; OPEC fails to deliver on promised target cuts in production; and more!
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