Va. Supreme Court Rules Against Granny in Pipeline Survey Case

Granny Clampett

Last September MDN told you about an 83-year old granny who didn’t want surveyors working for Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline to enter her property to conduct a survey for a possible pipeline route (see A Supreme Court to Hear Atlantic Coast Pipe Survey Case). The Virginia Supreme Court accepted the case and as we said at the time, it is “high stakes,” because a 2004 Virginia law specifically allows surveyors to enter a property WITHOUT landowner permission, as long as the surveyors provide ample, advance notice of when they are coming. Some landowners use that advance notice to set up illegal blockades and to call in the police–an abuse of police authority (see Va. Landowners Illegally Block MVP Survey Crew on Bent Mountain). Hazel Palmer, an 83-year old widow (i.e. granny) chose to litigate rather than protest. She took her case all the way to the Supremes, and last week the Supremes ruled against her. However, Dominion also got a slap on the wrist. The justices said notifications sent for when surveyors will arrive can no longer say the surveyors will arrive “on or after,” because “after” can mean years later. Instead, Dominion will have to give several potential, specific dates when surveyors will visit a property…
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Second NY NatGas-Fired Elec Plant Breaks Ground in Hudson Valley

Cricket Valley Energy – artists rendering (click for larger version)

In January MDN told you about a second new natural gas-fired electric plant project in the Hudson Valley–in Dutchess County–an 1,100 megawatt plant to be built by Advance Power (see Japanese Company Building NatGas Power Plant in (Yes) New York). As we pointed out at the time, the Cricket Valley Energy project is 44% owned by JERA Co., Inc., a Japanese company. The power generating plant, if it gets built, will be fed by the Iroquois pipeline–which flows (yes) fracked Marcellus gas from Pennsylvania. The astonishing news is that on June 28th, Cricket Valley Energy broke ground and began construction. In corrupt New York!…
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Sunoco Stops ME2 Drilling in Chester County Following Water Issue

The on-again, off-again, on-again construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Chester County, PA (near Philly)…is now off again. At least in West Whiteland Township. Sunoco Logistics Partners was using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install pipeline through an area where digging a trench would not work. The HDD work hit a water aquifer that feeds private water wells for homes in the area. Drilling mud used during the work leaked into the aquifer and resulted in cloudy water for some 15 households. MDN previously reported that Sunoco quickly addressed the issue and committed to paying for a municipal water line in the area (see Sunoco Extending Public Water to Homes Affected by ME2 Drilling). Last week Sunoco had resumed work in the area. But work is once again stopped, and will remain stopped “until further notice” according to local officials–until “the water situation is addressed.” We thought it had been addressed, but apparently not. Here’s the latest…
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Battle Heats Up for NJ-NY Raritan Bay NatGas Pipeline

Click for larger version

In March of this year, Williams filed a full, official application for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project (see Williams Files with FERC to Expand Transco Pipeline to NYC, NE). The new project is meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. In particular, Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. The gas flowing through the new pipeline will power an additional 2.3 million homes in the NYC area. Pre-filing for the project was done in May 2016, and the official application, as we said, was filed in March 2017. However, anti-fossil fuel fanatics (like the Sierra Club) have just woken up and are now protesting against the project–because the pipeline will run through the bay…
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H&H: Seismic Testing Coming to Monroeville, Not to Oakmont

In June MDN brought you news about a move by the Borough of Oakmont (suburb close to Pittsburgh, northeast side of the city) to regulate seismic testing in the Borough, essentially to prevent it from happening by Huntley & Huntley (see Pittsburgh Suburb Moves to Regulate Seismic Testing by H&H). Not long after that story ran, MDN was contacted by H&H CEO Keith Mangini to set the record straight. H&H never intended to do any seismic testing in Oakmont. According to Mangini, Oakmont “is just too congested and one could not possibly have ever designed a seismic program as such.” H&H’s land agents were making the rounds, and Oakmont was on the list (for full transparency). But the company never had plans to test there. So we found it curious to run across an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stating that Oakmont has adopted seismic testing restrictions, and because of it, H&H has now “dropped its plans” for testing in Oakmont. The Post-Gazette gets it wrong again. There never were plans to test there! However, H&H is beginning to run seismic tests in the nearby town of Monroeville…
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Broome “Titanic” County Desperately Needs NGA Virtual Pipeline

Recently Broome County (NY) Executive Jason Garner sounded the alarm about county finances. He compared Broome County’s economic situation to the Titanic. The New York State Comptroller’s office issued a report in September 2016 that said Broome County has been in fiscal stress over the past three years. Thank you Gov. Cuomo for banning fracking–the one thing that could have pulled us out of the hole. With all of the bad news, you would think Broome County would be a cheerleader for a proposed “virtual pipeline” project from NG Advantage, planned for the Town of Fenton in a Binghamton suburb. In fact, Fenton approved the project (after a detailed review), and construction began in June (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipe “Done Deal” in Broome County, Antis Stymied). However, when the county weighed in on the NG Advantage project, back in May, it recommended against building the project (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline May be Coming to MDN’s Backyard). Isn’t that just like Broome County? We’re sinking (yes, MDN editor Jim Willis lives and writes MDN from Broome County), the County Executive sounds the alarm, yet the county wants to deny a project that will bring 150 full-time jobs and millions in tax revenue to county coffers. The irony was not wasted on NG Advantage, which issued this statement following Garner’s economic pronouncement that we’re sitting on the Titanic here in Broome County…
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Pres. Trump Finally Nominates Kevin McIntyre to FERC, as Chairman

Kevin McIntyre

Last week the White House made official what has been rumored for months: President Trump will nominate Kevin McIntyre, co-leader of the global Energy Practice at the Jones Day law firm, as the fifth (and final) FERC commissioner. He will also make McIntyre chairman of the commission, transferring that role from placeholder Cheryl LaFleur. Trump has nominated three other people to FERC so far–Neil Chatterjee, Robert Powelson and Richard Glick. Chatterjee and Powelson are Republicans, Glick is a Chuck Schumer Democrat pick. It is the Democrats–specifically Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who are blocking a final Senate vote so that FERC once again has a quorum. Typical swamp politics from the usual swamp dwellers. As we pointed out last week, energy companies and those who invest in them are sounding the alarm that unless at least two of the four are voted on quickly, to restore a quorum, tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars will disappear (see Lack of FERC Confirmations Now Critical – $25B & 75K Jobs at Risk). Dems don’t care. It’s politics as usual in Swampville. At any rate, here’s the deets on the final Trump nominee for a currently-hobbled FERC…
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Paradise Comes to Kentucky: TVA NatGas Elec Plant Fires Up

Last week the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) held a dedication ceremony for the Paradise Combined Cycle Gas Plant in Drakesboro, Kentucky. The Paradise plant is a natural gas-fired plant that replaces two now-closed coal plants at the site. The new plant is capable of producing 1,100 megawatts of electricity (really big plant). The cool part, for us, is that Marcellus/Utica gas is either already feeding the plant, or soon will. The plant is fed by a 20-mile pipeline connecting to the Texas Eastern pipeline system (Tetco). We don’t know for sure whether Tetco is now carrying Marcellus/Utica gas south, but we do know that last December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued certificates for three Spectra Energy projects to expand Tetco to carry Marcellus/Utica gas to Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi (see FERC Issues Certificates for 3 Spectra Energy Pipe Projects in M-U). So either Paradise is getting gas from our region, or it soon will. Either way, hey, it’s Paradise for Marcellus drillers!…
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Trump Forces G20 to Acknowledge Role of Fossil Fuels Worldwide

At the G20 summit of industrialized nations in Germany last week, something pretty incredible happened. All of the European nations part of the G20 are attempting to bully the United States into dumping fossil fuels. Donald Trump stood up to them last week and got them to add language to the official communique that Washington will “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently.” Folks, this is major! Europe backed down. Trump stood firm and he stood tall. Europe has been in this fugue of denial, claiming the world will just be able to flip and switch and convert to so-called renewable energy–any year now. Trump got them to admit that false pretense is not reality. He got them to admit that fossil fuels are and will be a part of the world’s energy mix for the foreseeable future (generations, with an “s”). No doubt the Europeans didn’t like being shamed into admitting the renewable emperor has no clothes. Here’s an even bigger surprise. The lib editors at the Detroit News think Trump did the right thing–and say fossil fuels are here to stay for a long time…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jul 17, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Marcellus gas production to increase 45% by 2022; US natgas growth tied to Marcellus; DRBC invests in–oil & gas?!; public hearing for PA natgas-fired power plant; PA PUC Commissioner Coleman reappointed; WV residents express concerns about pipeline; US on track to be world’s #2 LNG exporter by 2022; oil to stay around $50/barrel; and more!
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