VA Landowner Uses State Police to Eject Pipeline Surveyors

Increasingly landowners (and anti-fossil fuelers, sometimes one and the same) are attempting to employ the use of local law enforcement to prohibit pipeline companies from surveying their land–especially in Virginia. Survey crews for the 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, have the right under Virginia State law to enter a property without the property owner’s permission to survey–as long as they have sent a prior notice to the landowner with target dates of when they will be on location. However, some landowners (very small percentage) don’t want the pipeline and don’t want surveyors on their property–and have had their lawyers tell them so. When surveyors recently turned up on one property, the landowners called the State Police. The State Police (as well as local police) have a stated policy that they do not interfere with non-criminal matters. And surveying a property legally is not a criminal matter. However, the troopers came out and had a quick talk with the surveyors. The troopers did not eject the surveyors per se, but soon after the troopers left the surveyors did too. This is troublesome and problematic. Did the troopers put undue pressure on the surveyors to leave? Should the troopers have come to the property at all? Does the landowner have culpability in calling the cops for a non-criminal matter, wasting the troopers’ time?…Continue reading

Why Rover Pipe is a Big Deal & How it Affects Natl NatGas Prices

As MDN began reporting last week, Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline, a $4 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada, has quickly become a soap opera. MDN brought you the news that Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline project has been fined by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) for $431,000 for “18 incidents involving mud spills from drilling, stormwater pollution and open burning at Rover pipeline construction sites have been reported between late March and Monday” (see Ohio EPA Slaps Rover Pipe with $431K Fine for Spills, Other Issues). Based on OEPA’s report to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC then told Rover to stop any new horizontal drilling underground (see FERC Slaps Rover Pipeline with Stop Drilling Order). And last Friday, we told you that Energy Transfer is claiming they’ve not been fined by the OEPA (see ET Disputes Ohio EPA Action on Rover, Says there Is No $431K Fine). Oy vey! Gas traders have taken notice of this unfolding drama, and the news surrounding Rover has actually moved the price of gas up. Which seems somewhat incredulous. You mean, a single pipeline has the power to make the national price of natural gas go up or down? How can that be?! Here’s a statistic you don’t often read: Rover Pipeline, when it’s fully functional, will move 14% of all the gas produced in the Marcellus/Utica (using today’s production numbers). That is an incredible statistic–and it has the power to move the price of natural gas–up or down…Continue reading

CORNballs Strike Again, File Lawsuit to Stop NEXUS Pipeline

A group of landowners in Ohio calling themselves the Coalition to Reroute Nexus (CORN), whom we affectionately call CORNballs, have filed a lawsuit in court against the NEXUS pipeline project. Not to actually reroute NEXUS, but to kill it. To stop it. The landowners are asking a federal court to block the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from allowing the project to proceed–which of course is not going to happen–and to legally bar the NEXUS Gas Transmission project from building the pipeline. Which has been the aim of the CORNballs from the beginning–contrary to the party line that they just want it rerouted around them. The CORNballs seem to be in league with antis in the City of Green, OH, who recently voted to give $100,000 of taxpayer money to high-priced Cleveland lawyers to try and stop NEXUS (see Green, OH Paying Lawyers $100K to Fund Stop NEXUS Crusade). Green also gave CORN $10,000, which no doubt is helping fund CORN’s legal effort to stop NEXUS…Continue reading

PA State Senator Introducing Law to Send Protesters Cleanup Bill

Here’s a story we LOVE! As we previously reported, anti-fossil fuel “protesters” (i.e. paid thugs) in North Dakota, there to try and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed (which didn’t work), left a major mess behind when they finally moved on (see Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Turn Violent; Coming Here Next?). The protesters, supposedly there to protect Mom Earth, left behind massive piles of garbage which, with the spring floods, threatened the local environment they were supposedly there to protect. State and local governments ended up paying millions of dollars to clean up the filth left behind to avoid an environmental catastrophe. As we’ve also reported, a number of times, anti-fossil fuel zealots from Lancaster County, PA are attempting to lure the same group of paid rabble-rousers to peaceful Lancaster County to reenact the same destruction–in a bid to stop the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see PA Anti Hopes to Bring Standing Rock Disaster to Lancaster County). Earlier this month a local state senator from Lancaster, Scott Martin, convened a closed-door meeting to help local law enforcement and first responders prepare for the coming lawlessness of the protesters (see Lancaster Forum to Focus on Handling Anarchists in Pipeline Protest). Now Sen. Martin is set to introduce legislation that will give the bill for any cleanup of a large protest camp–to the protesters! That’s right, if they want to “assemble peaceably” and speak their minds–go right ahead. But if you create a massive dump like you created in North Dakota, this time you (the nutty protesters) are going to pay to clean it up. LOVE IT!…Continue reading

Slight Delay: New Date for FERC Approval of Atlantic Coast Pipe

There has been a slight delay from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the approval process for Dominion’s $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. On Friday, FERC issued an official update to Dominion to say that instead of issuing a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on June 30, 2017, as previously promised, the agency will now provide the final EIS on July 21, 2017–three weeks later. The final EIS is an important step in the process–perhaps THE most important step. When/if FERC issues a positive EIS that finds a project will not cause undue environmental harm, it’s usually all over. Yes, other steps are involved, but a final approval is then a foregone conclusion. So IF the final EIS is delivered on July 21, a 90-day clock begins ticking. FERC will then have until Oct. 19 to deliver their final final final approval of the project…
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Delmarva Pipeline Expansion Gets Positive FERC Enviro Review

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In July 2016 MDN told you about a smallish, but important pipeline project in the Delmarva Peninsula area, which includes most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia. Eastern Shore Natural Gas’ 2017 System Expansion project will bring new sources of natgas from an interconnection Eastern Shore has with the mighty TETCo (Texas Eastern Company) pipeline near Philadelphia (see PA/MD/DE Pipeline Project Heats Up with Open House Mtgs This Week). Although Eastern Shore, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, ran a non-binding open season in 2015, and although they pre-filed for the expansion project in May 2016, they didn’t file a full, official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) until January of this year (see Eastern Shore Files with FERC to Expand Delmarva Pipeline). The project includes 22.7 miles of new looping pipeline (laid next to existing pipeline) in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware; a 16.9-mile extension to a pipeline in Sussex County, DE; and upgrades to compressor and valve stations. Chesapeake Utilities, the parent company, calls the project the single largest such expansion in Eastern Shore’s history, a project that will bump up gas delivery volumes by 25%. Good news: FERC has just released the initial Environmental Assessment (EA). View the full 295-page document below. Interested parties now have until June 12 to comment on the EA, after which FERC will evaluate those comments and issue a final EA…
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Downtown Cleveland Now Heated with 100% Utica/Marcellus Gas

Sometimes mainstream media gives the Marcellus/Utica industry a gift–and doesn’t even realize it. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a story in today’s edition about the change in fuel source for downtown Cleveland. Cleveland Thermal began supplying steam to heat buildings in downtown Cleveland in 1894. The first fuel they burned? Wood. Later came coal. And today? The point of the story is that Cleveland Thermal is now using a new plant that is 100% natural gas-fired to create the steam used to heat 94 downtown Cleveland buildings. We haven’t been to Cleveland in a long time, but we have to guess 94 buildings in downtown is likely most of downtown. And it’s all being heated with Utica/Marcellus shale gas. Here’s a truly fascinating factoid: Cleveland Thermal (now owned by Corix Group) estimates it will take around 1.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas per year to produce the steam that heats those 94 buildings. We ran a story in March 2016 about the amount of natural gas Cabot Oil & Gas is getting from their average Marcellus Shale well (see Go Big or Go Home: Cabot O&G Wells Average EUR of 27 Bcf). Be prepared to have your mind blown. When Cabot drills a new well, on average, over the life of that well (perhaps 20 years), Cabot will get 27 Bcf. So one, single well drilled by Cabot in Susquehanna County, PA could supply ALL of the heat for ALL of downtown Cleveland for 20 years. Behold the power of shale gas…Continue reading

81% of 2016 Ohio Valley Investment Came from One Natgas Project

Artist’s rendering of Lordstown Energy Center – click for larger version

We spotted a story that seemed to us like the Ohio Valley was doing some justified bragging about investment in the region during 2016. Recently, the “Youngstown/Warren, Ohio Economic Development 2016 Report Card” was released. The Report Card was a joint effort of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, OhioMeans-Jobs, the cities of Warren and Youngstown, the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University. The Report Card found that 111 projects led to a whopping investment of $1.1 billion–in 2016! Or at least you can say, that much money was committed in 2016. Some of the actual spending was made last year, some this year, likely some over the next several years. But hey, let’s not split hairs. This is an achievement to crow about. But when you look at the project list, one project accounts for 81% of the total–the Lordstown Energy Center. The $890 million Lordstown Energy Center is an electric generation plant planned for Lordstown (Trumbull County), OH that will be powered with Utica Shale gas. The project won village approval in the summer of 2015 (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets Village Approval). It then won state approval in the fall of 2015 (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets OH State Approval). The project broke ground in June 2016 (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Our point: Without deregulated electric markets in Ohio, and without the Utica and Marcellus Shale, the Ohio Valley investment last year would have been, at best, $220 million, not $1.1 billion…Continue reading

High Elec Rates Coming in CT After Natgas Electric Plant Rejected

“Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forrest Gump. New England needs more natural gas. Why? Because they heat with it, but more importantly, because the produce electricity with it. New England has the highest electric rates in the country–up to four times higher than other regions. These are indisputable facts. In early 2014 all of the six New England state governors sent a letter supporting new pipeline infrastructure to bring cheap, abundant, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas to New England (see Blue State Blues: 6 New England States Want New Natgas Pipeline). One of those governors was/is Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy–a liberal Democrat. Wonders never cease. But opposition to pipelines–and now (incredibly) to the very plants that produce electricity, has metastasized–such is the power of anti-fossil fuel lunacy. The Connecticut Siting Council has rejected a plan to build a new, $537 million natgas-fired electric plant in Killingly. When Connecticut residents begin to experience not only insanely high prices for electricity, but the fact they can’t even get electricity at any cost (i.e. rolling blackouts), don’t say we didn’t warn them…Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, May 15, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Marcellus/Utica takeaway capacity to the East; Antero donates money to Monroe County, OH EMA; fracking topic of May 16 forum in Cleveland; Scranton rail trail closed while pipeline gets installed; conventional o&g production bigger than you may think; Range Resources hits 10 year mark in Southpointe, PA; America’s natgas export machine cranks up; Trump strikes deal to export more natgas to China; Cheniere in talks to ship more LNG to China; ex-CIA guy says we need to “wean” Europe off Russian natgas; OPEC begs U.S. shale to stop pumping so much oil; and more!Continue reading