SC Issues Water Permits for Transco to Charleston Pipeline Project

Transco to Charleston Project – click for larger version

In March 2016, Dominion filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a 55-mile pipeline project called the Transco to Charleston Project (see Dominion Files Application to Move Marcellus Gas to Charleston, SC). As the name implies, it will be a short pipeline to connect the Transco pipeline, which is in the process of reversing flows to bring Marcellus and Utica Shale gas south. This new pipeline will grab Transco’s Marcellus/Utica gas and send it to the Charleston, SC area. In February the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project (see FERC Approves SC Pipeline to Flow Marcellus Gas to Charleston). So in March, a group of radical anti-fossil fuelers filed a lawsuit to try and stop the project (see SC Antis File FERC Challenge to Stop Marcellus Pipe to Charleston). Hey, whatever floats your boat. Meanwhile, yesterday the State of South Carolina granted the project its stamp of approval by approving stream crossing permits. Once again, the antis have their knickers in a twist…
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Dominion Cove Point to Begin LNG Exports to India in Jan 2018

Since early 2013 all of the LNG export capacity at the coming Cove Point LNG facility (on the shore of Maryland) has been spoken for–by India and Japan (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). Cove Point is scheduled to go online late this year, with shipments heading to India beginning in January 2018. GAIL India, the state-owned entity contracted with Dominion/Cove Point for LNG from the plant, has known about the coming date for the past four years. They will need numerous ships to ferry Cove Point LNG to India. So GAIL put out the word several years ago for companies to build nine ships total–to handle LNG exports from both Cove Point and Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass facility, along the Gulf Coast. One of the requirements for the project is that three of the nine has to be built in India–“Made in India”. They got no takers, and so now GAIL is scrambling to try and lease ships for the “short term” (3-4 years) so they can begin shipping on time…
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Battle Lines Drawn in PA to Prevent Nuke Energy Special Treatment

As MDN pointed out in a post on Monday, the uncompetitive nuclear power generating industry is trying to protect its business by asking for special protections and a “bailout” from ratepayers in state after state (see Expensive Nuke Plants in OH, PA Launch Attack on Cheaper NatGas). Such a strategy has worked in corrupt states like New York and Illinois. But now the nuke industry is turning its focus on Ohio and Pennsylvania. The nuclear industry is asking state legislatures to vote for higher electric rates in order to pass the money along to companies running the nuke plants. Corporate welfare. Picking energy winners and losers by fiat. It would result in rate hikes on people who would otherwise be experiencing lower rates thanks to the use of cheaper sources–like natural gas. Lest you think the natural gas industry (and solar and wind) are taking this battle lying down, think again. The battle lines are drawn. Some 17 organizations and companies, including the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, and the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, have formed a confederation called “Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts” to fight the effort by the nukes for special, expensive, preferential treatment…
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Sierra Club Sues NJ to Stop 22-Mile Pipeline Thru Scrub Pines

In January 2014 MDN brought you the story that due to incessant nagging from the NJ Sierra Club and the NJ League of [Liberal Democrat] Women Voters the Pinelands Commission, which oversees a stand of scrub pines in South Jersey, nixed a plan for a new natural gas pipeline to bring cheap, clean, abundant Marcellus Shale natural gas to South Jersey for use by residents and to feed an electric plant a local utility wants to convert from burning coal to natgas (see Sierra Club, LWV Chooses Coal over NatGas in South Jersey). Without recounting the entire history of this issue (see our previous stories), suffice it to say the Commission eventually saw the light and in February approved the short, 22-mile pipeline (see NJ Pinelands Commission Approves 22-Mile Pipe Thru Scrub Pines). It took them two months, but the litigious (and radical) Sierra Club, along with their radical blood brothers at Environment New Jersey, this week sued to stop the project. The NJ Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel says the Pinelands Commission has “sold out the Pinelands” and so the Clubbers must now shoulder the burden of protecting scrub pines from an evil fossil fuel pipeline…
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The Folly of Betting the Company on Fugitive Methane Regulations

Excuse us if we don’t shed any tears for companies dumb enough to found, base or refocus their entire strategy on the shifting sands foundation of ever-changing federal regulations–like the idiotic, hyper-restrictive regulations that every last molecule of methane must be sniffed out and stopped before it “escapes” (like a fugitive) into the atmosphere. Basing your business model on government regulations may work for a while, under tyrannical regimes that of B.H. Obama, but it doesn’t work under free market, sensible administrations like the Trump Administration. You bet an entire company’s future on a federal policy (fugitive methane) that was instigated by an executive branch agency, and then you wake up after election day to find out the policy has been changed. Whoops…
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Pipeline Industry Walks Tightrope re Made in America Pipes

Soon after President Trump was inaugurated, some of the first Executive Orders he signed dealt with the Dakota Access Pipeline (now completed, thank God), and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Trump also signed a “Presidential Memorandum”–similar to, but not the same as, an Executive Order. On Jan. 24, President Trump signed the “Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines,” which instructs the Dept. of Commerce to ensure the pipelines used for new projects, and for major repairs, are Made in America–from the smelting stage through the final fabrication stage. That order has had the midstream industry squirming, quite frankly. Why? Because so much of the pipelines we now use are foreign made. While the goal of 100% American made pipeline is laudable (and something we support), the fact is, our domestic industries are not currently set up to produce all of the pipeline we need. So until our own domestic industries are capable, the midstream sector will have to continue relying on “global sourcing” for at least some pipeline materials. That was the message conveyed by five trade associations representing the industry in comments jointly filed with the Dept. of Commerce last Friday. The industry is walking a tightrope. On one hand they want to support Trump’s efforts to use American manufacturing of pipes, on the other, they want to be able to finish projects under way or planned to begin soon…
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Marcellus Industry Injected $9B+ in Pittsburgh Region in 2016

The Pittsburgh, PA region has been truly blessed by the Marcellus Shale industry. Largely because of the Marcellus, last year (2016) saw the biggest year ever for capital investment in the 10-county Pittsburgh region–a mind-blowing $10.2 billion of investment! It is the highest capital investment in a single year ever. Now mind you, not all of that money actually got invested last year. Some of it will come in dribs and drabs over the next several years. But all of that $10.2 billion was committed to in 2016. Last week the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) issued its annual Business Investment Scorecard. The report (read it below) finds that more than half of last year’s capital investments pledged to Pittsburgh region came from a single project–the $6 billion Shell ethane cracker. The report also found another $3.11 billion worth of investment related to shale gas (processing plants, gas-fired power plants, etc.). Add it all together, and over $9 billion of the $10.2 billion committed last year is due to the Marcellus industry. To which we say, Pittsburgh should bow down and kiss some shale rock…
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Federal-State Showdown Coming in NY re DEC’s Pipeline Bans

We’ve now written two posts addressing the jaw-dropping audacity of the corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation in their refusal to grant water crossing permits to a second major pipeline project (see Cuomo’s Corrupt NY DEC Blocks NFG Northern Access Pipeline Permit and NFG Calls Cuomo DEC Denial of Northern Access Pipe “Troubling”). The first project the DEC arbitrarily refused (due to political pressure from Cuomo) was the Constitution, one year ago (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Williams, builder of the Constitution, filed a lawsuit. As we pointed out last month, a decision in that case is expected soon (see Constitution Pipeline Still Waiting on “Biggie” Court Decision). If the decision goes against the DEC with respect to the Constitution lawsuit, it has the power to reshape the relationship New York State has with federally approved pipeline projects and will likely bleed over to the NFG pipeline as well. Increasingly we are seeing chatter that New York has picked a fight with the wrong party–the federal government. Some are saying that a state-federal showdown is coming, and coming soon…
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10 Finalists Chosen for 2017 Marcellus Shale Gas Innovation Award

Each year the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (SGICC) conducts a contest to locate companies with the best shale energy-oriented innovations, new product ideas, or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched. The Shale Gas Innovation Contest awards a $20,000 prize to three companies–$60,000 purse. Ten finalists have been chosen for this year’s contest. Exciting! We have the announcement, along with a description of each company and their truly innovative products and services, below. If you’re anywhere near the orbit of Pittsburgh, there will be a ceremony for the winners with a free reception on May 9th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Apr 12, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Dominion begins $2.65M pipe replacement in Massillon, OH; Ohio DNR continues to investigate low-level earthquake, link to fracking; PA DEP fines Delco refinery for air pollution violations; Cabot O&G – oil is secondary; antis try to shut down Alaska offshore drilling after 3 gallon spill; EIA says average Henry Hub price in 2017 will be $3.10; number of wells drilled/completed soars 35% in Q1; energy policy under the Trumpster, uncertain & risky; and more!
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