CONSOL Energy’s Split into 2 Companies Nearly Complete, New Name?

CONSOL Energy, headquartered in Pittsburgh, began life as a coal company some 150 years ago. For the past half dozen years MDN has reported on CONSOL’s transformation from coal company to natural gas company. That transformation is now nearly complete. Yesterday CONSOL filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission that lays out a plan for the final split. CONSOL the coal company will retain the CONSOL name and get various coal mines and other coal-related assets. The CEO of the coal company will be Jimmy Brock. Meanwhile, CONSOL the natural gas driller will get a new name and retain the other assets. Nick DeIuliis will remain president and CEO of the natgas company. Current CONSOL shareholders will get shares in the separated coal company, as well as retain their shares in the gas company. While no specific date is given for the final split, the announcement says the company remains committed to getting it done sometime by the end of this year. The big question is, what will be the name of the new gas-focused company? We have a suggestion…
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Sunoco Extending Public Water to Homes Affected by ME2 Drilling

MDN previously reported about problems experienced last week in Chester County, PA (suburb of Philadelphia) with underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) by Sunoco Logistics Partners for its Mariner East 2 Pipeline project (see ME2 Pipe Work in Chester County Creates Water Well Issue for Some). Sunoco is accepting the blame for fouling a dozen private water wells in West Whiteland Township with drilling mud. The short-term fix was to provide hotel rooms from some of the families most affected–and to provide bottled water for all of them. Sunoco isn’t wasting any time with a long-term fix. The long-term fix is going to cost plenty. Sunoco is working on a deal to extend a municipal water pipeline to some 30 homes in the area. The devil is, of course, in the details. Timing for the water main extension, along with whether or not Sunoco will be on the hook for the long term to help pay for the water service are being worked out now…
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West Goshen Pulls Legal Stunt in Attempt to Stop ME2 Pipeline

Last March MDN told you about the desperate last stand taken by liberal anti-pipeliners in West Goshen Township, in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester County (see West Goshen’s Last Stand to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipeline). West Goshen signaled it would deny Sunoco a zoning permit for a valve on the pipeline. Sunoco politely, but firmly, told West Goshen the pipeline doesn’t need a permit from the town to install a valve because it’s a state-permitted project. In other words, go pound sand. Sunoco said it would move forward at the appropriate time with a valve installation. Sunoco requested assurances from West Goshen that the town would not send in a local cop to stop them. West Goshen hasn’t sent a cop (yet), but they did file a 135-page petition (full copy below) with the state Public Utility Commission on Monday, asking the PUC for an emergency order to stop construction of the new valve station that Sunoco is set to begin work on any time…
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Ohio Steals $15M from O&G Severance Tax Fund for Non-O&G Purpose

The Ohio Controlling Board, part of the Office of Budget and Management, has raided (i.e. stolen) $15 million from Ohio’s severance tax fund to use in settling a lawsuit from the late 1990s–a lawsuit that has nothing whatsoever to do with oil and gas. According to the American Petroleum Institute Ohio, the misappropriation of the money is likely illegal. The Controlling Board was set up by the Ohio legislature to handle “necessary adjustments to the state budget.” In other words, it was set up to pick one pocket and put the money in a different pocket. In 1997 Ohio widened a dam spillway in the western part of the state, and the result flooded the property of some unfortunate landowners, who sued. The lawsuit has languished for years, and it’s now time to pay up. The Controlling Board decided to raid/steal the money from the severance tax fund–a fund that’s supposed to be used for things like plugging abandoned orphan o&g wells. Most drilling in Ohio happens on the eastern side of the state. The flooded property in 1997 happened on the western side of the state. Anyone else see a disconnect and sleazy politics going on here? The severance tax fund has become the personal piggy bank for certain Columbus politicians…
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Williams Hillabee Project Goes Online, NatGas Flowing to Florida

We have a correction to a previous story. In June MDN brought you the news that the Sabal Trail Transmission pipeline, a $3.2 billion, 515-mile interstate natural gas pipeline in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, had been placed into service, flowing natural gas to Florida electric generating plants (see Marcellus Gas Hitches a Ride to Florida Power Plant). We indicated in that story that Marcellus and Utica Shale gas, via Williams’ related Hillabee Expansion Project, was flowing to Florida. Not quite yet. In an announcement issued yesterday, Williams said yes indeed, the Hillabee project is now up and running–but for now, it’s flowing gas from the Haynesville Shale and the Midcontinent region. The announcement said that Marcellus/Utica gas would “soon” flow through the Hillabee expansion–just as soon as the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline gets built in Pennsylvania, which will flow Marcellus gas into a reversed portion of the Transco Pipeline…
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Va. Landowners Illegally Block MVP Survey Crew on Bent Mountain

In May, MDN noted a disturbing trend in the Commonwealth of Virginia of entangling law enforcement in the non-criminal issue of surveying for a federally-authorized pipeline project (see VA Landowner Uses State Police to Eject Pipeline Surveyors). A small minority of landowners continue to use (abuse) local law enforcement in their zeal to oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. Under Virginia State law, surveyors may enter a property without the property owner’s express 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. Some landowners, knowing the surveyors are coming, call in the cops to pressure the surveyors to leave. And the cops play along. Not a good situation. What typically happens is that the surveyors will leave and subsequently file for a court order of eminent domain, forcing the property owner to later allow the surveyors on their property. It happened again last month when a landowner in Franklin County called in the county Sheriff (see Franklin County, VA Landowners Use Sheriff to Eject MVP Surveyors). It’s now happened again–this time in Roanoke County…
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Lack of FERC Confirmations Now Critical – $25B & 75K Jobs at Risk

The lack of a quorum (enough voting members) for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is has gone beyond amusing and angering–it’s now critical. Early in the new Trump presidency we noted the curious behavior of liberal Democrats, who are also virulent anti-drillers, in their hammering of Trump over lack of nominating people to FERC (see Anti-Drilling Democrats Ask Pres. Trump to Fill Up FERC and Senate Democrats Send Letter to Trump Requesting New FERC Members). We said at the time it doesn’t make sense. If FERC is out of action and can’t approve new pipeline projects, that’s a good thing, for lib Dems who hate fossil fuels. So why would they want FERC back up and running? We finally figured it out. They simply wanted nominees so they could grandstand and try to stop the nominees they demanded in the first place from actually getting confirmed (see Now We Know: Lib Dems Wanted FERC Nominees for Grandstanding). After the nominees came through and were approved by the appropriate Senate Committee, Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck “the schmuck” Schumer pledged to hold up a final Senate vote. And since that time, he has. Energy company CEOs are now warning if FERC commissioners are not confirmed by the August break, it will jeopardize up to $25 billion in investments, and 75,000 jobs. The money is going to disappear, and along with it, many vitally important pipeline projects waiting for approval. It’s time to tell the Dems to allow the vote to proceed, or find a way around their sleazy blockade…
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Climate Lawsuit by Brainwashed Children Gets Court Date – Feb 2018

In August 2015, MDN told you about a lawsuit brought by a group of left coast radicalized children who want to force the federal government to become communist and “force action” on mythical climate change (see Group of Kids Sues U.S. Govt to Force Action on “Climate Change”). In January 2016 we brought you an update, telling you that radicalized, fringe Catholic groups had joined the cause with the ignorant children (see Climate Change Lawsuit by Radicalized Children Gets Interestin). In November 2016, a lefty judge cleared the lawsuit to move to trial. And in January 2017, the radicalized kiddies (actually, the laywers abusing them) got to depose the incoming Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson (see Radicalized Kids Suing Over Global Warming to Depose Tillerson). The Trump administration is not amused by the antics of these children and the adults manipulating them. In March, the Trump Administration filed a motion to overturn the November ruling that allows the lawsuit to go to trial (see Trump Spanks Radicalized Kids re “Climate Change” Lawsuit). However, the lefty/liberal judge didn’t back down. Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin ordered that the trial begin Feb. 5, 2018…
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Fracking Makes More Babies…Who Knew?

We’re not quite sure how to present this news. In some respects, we want to roll around on the ground laughing. In other respects, we’re angry at the semi “racist” overtones of a new “research” paper. We’ll report, you decide. A couple of researchers from the University of Maryland’s Dept. of Economics have published a so-called “working paper” via the National Bureau of Economic Research that finds a link between fracking and more babies. The paper, titled “Male Earnings, Marriageable Men, And Nonmarital Fertility: Evidence From The Fracking Boom,” says for every extra $1,000 of money earned by those working in the fracking industry, the pregnancy rate goes up by 6 births per 1,000 women. However, marriage rates don’t go up. The researchers say that people in rural pockets of Texas, Oklahoma, California and Pennsylvania who are connected to the fracking industry are “reproducing at a rate that far exceeds the national average.” In other words, those ignorant rednecks can’t get enough sex–IF they have lots of money coming in. However, those same rednecks feel no need to marry the women they knock up. Rednecks find it perfectly acceptable to shack up. That’s the MDN summarized version of the research…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Jul 12, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: PA PUC’s Coleman gets reappointed for another 5-year term; US largest clean coal plant turns to natgas; Halliburton hiring 100 per month in Texas; states & cities can’t uphold Paris climate agreement on their own–it’s illegal; US natgas exports to quadruple this year; coal will retake crown as main US powergen source this year; 800-900 rigs running in NA is “sustainable”; shale oil investment surges 50% in 2017; former FERC Commissioner Honorable lands at Reed Smith law firm; Volvo electric car announcement a nonevent; and more!
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