DRBC Secretly Working on Permanent Delaware Basin Frack Ban

It was just yesterday that MDN highlighted a story written by friend Tom Shepstone on his Natural Gas Now website theorizing that the Delaware River Basin Commission, long influenced by big money coming from the Haas family via the William Penn Foundation and their surrogates, is planning to implement a full ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin (see Tom’s story: Is the William Penn Foundation Planning a DRBC Ban?). Looks like Tom is a soothsayer. Elements of the William Penn cabal are leaking, like a sieve, news that the DRBC is about to introduce a permanent frack ban, which includes a ban in Wayne and Pike counties in Pennsylvania. The proposed ban may be introduced as early as today. We suppose the news shouldn’t surprise us, given that in July anti groups, including the William Penn lobbying arm Delaware Riverkeeper, hit the panic button (because of a lawsuit) and ramped up an effort to push a permanent ban (see Anti Groups Panic, Demand Govs Ban Fracking in Dela. River Basin). The big question is what will the prevaricating PA Gov. Tom Wolf do? He has mouthed support for a moratorium, but so far has not signed on for a permanent ban. Will he sell out all the way and now support a ban–screwing thousands of his own constituents? Who knows. Here’s the breaking news…
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M-U Pipeline Co. Eureka Midstream Expands Line of Credit to $400M

Eureka Midstream, which was once called Eureka Hunter (a subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources) has popped back up on the radar screen. Eureka, which operates exclusively in the Marcellus/Utica with ~200 miles of local gathering pipelines, announced yesterday it has expanded its line of credit from $225 million to $400 million, with an “accordion” option to further expand it to $500 million. Last time we wrote about Eureka (in December 2015), parent Magnum Hunter was looking to sell it off (see Magnum Hunter De-Listed from NYSE; Still Shopping Eureka Hunter). A lot has happened since that time. Magnum Hunter filed for and later emerged from bankruptcy, minus its colorful CEO Gary Evans (see Magnum Hunter Emerges from Bankruptcy with CEO Gary Evans Gone). During the bankruptcy process, Eureka was not sold but instead spun off into its own standalone company. Magnum Hunter, later renaming itself to Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, has remained a major customer for Eureka. Eureka says it will use the $400-$500M line of credit for “capital expenditures, financing permitted acquisitions, funding working capital, and general corporate purposes.” Here’s an update on Eureka, which has successfully charted a course away from former parent Magnum Hunter…
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WB XPress Pipeline Gets Important USDA Approval for Natl Forest

TransCanada’s WP XPress pipeline project has just scored an important permit from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service that allows the project to move forward in the Monongahela National Forest. In Jan. 2016, Columbia Pipeline Group (now owned by TransCanada) filed a full, official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval of the $850 million WB XPress Project (see Columbia Pipeline Files to Build $850M WB XPress Project in WV/VA). WB XPress consists of two new compressor stations, 26 miles of pipeline replacement located along existing corridors (11.6 miles of it in Monongahela National Forest), and 2.9 miles of new pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia. The WB XPress Project will expand capacity of the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline system in the region by 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), linking Marcellus gas supplies to new markets. FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment for the project in March of this year (see FERC Gives Columbia WB XPress Enviro Thumbs Up). While the Forest Service has given its blessing, the project still needs a final approval from FERC before it can begin construction–something TransCanada asked for just last week. Here’s where things stand with the WP XPress project…
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Philly RINO Proposes High-Tax PA Budget, Incl. a 3% Severance Tax

We’ve written plenty about Philadelphia-area RINO (Republican In Name Only) State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo. In May DiGirolamo introduced yet another severance tax bill (see Tiresome: Philly RINO Rep Gene DiGirolamo Intros Severance Tax Again). Like a bad penny, Gene keeps turning up. Yesterday, without consulting Republican leadership (because, he said, they would have tried to talk him out of it), DiGirolamo introduced his own version of a plan to supply the missing funds to balance the state budget. Like all good Democrats, DiGirolamo’s plan is packed with tax increases, including (yes) a severance tax. Oh wait! He’s a Republican, not a Democrat. Or is he? In addition to slapping a 3% severance tax ON TOP OF the impact fee, DiGirolamo wants to raise the state income tax from 3.07% to 3.32%–a hefty 8.1% increase. Pennsylvanian’s won’t miss it, right? And besides, the teachers unions in Philly really want that money, bad…
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Radical CCAN to Protest VA DEQ Against Marcellus/Utica Pipelines

Radicals from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) say they will stage massive protests at several Virginia Department of Environmental Quality offices next week to protest against two Marcellus/Utica pipeline projects: the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline and $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline. Both projects have large segments crossing Virginia. CCAN says up to 1,000 people (mostly brainwashed college kids) will turn up to behave badly at DEQ office sites–using sit-ins, “prayer circles” (although Whom they pray to is unspecified) and sidewalk “rallies.” The DEQ is getting ready for the miscreants. The aim of the protests is to convince the DEQ to deny water crossing permits for the two pipeline projects. The DEQ has decided to let the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers handle the stream crossing evaluation, which doesn’t sit well with the radicals. They’re demanding the DEQ reassert authority in issuing the permits. Of course, the only outcome the radicals will accept is if the DEQ decides NOT to issue the permits. Is mob rule coming to the Old Dominion?…
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Mahoning County Bans Frack Ban Measure from Nov Ballot in Youngstown

In July MDN told you that puppets of the PA-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) have once again gotten enough signatures to put a so-called Community Bill of Rights (i.e. frack ban) ballot measure on the ballot this November in Youngstown, Ohio–for the 7th time (see Youngstown Frack Ban Vote on November Ballot – for 7th Time). The same people have tried six times before–and the ballot measure failed every single time. However, as we pointed out, this time is different. In addition to the usual no fracking, no pipelines pablum, this 7th petition has language that makes it legal to break the law. You read that right. If the ballot measure were to pass, and if an anti got it into her head to sit in front of a bulldozer that was about to clear ground for a wellpad, or dig a trench for a pipeline, the police would not be able to arrest and remove the anti. It would be within her rights to sit there and block legal, legitimate activity–all in the name of saving the planet. It would, in essence, legalize mob rule. The good news is that the Mahoning County Board of Elections has had enough of this nonsense. The Board voted to NOT allow measure on the ballot in November. The antis (with the help of Big Green money) are firing up lawsuits…
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PA State Sen. Intros Meaningless Resolution Urging Natgas Exports

In our daily trawl of the news, we came across the text of a resolution by Pennsylvania State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf. Sen. Greenleaf is looking for co-sponsors of the resolution, which urges PA natural gas producers to export natural gas to European countries in order to curtail a Russian natgas monopoly. Greenleaf said, “Copies of this resolution will be transmitted to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the President of the United States, the presiding officers of each house of Congress and to each member of Congress from Pennsylvania.” We thought: Nice sentiment…raise the natgas flag…rah rah and all that jazz. But at the end of the day, a resolution is meaningless. It has no force of law. It does nothing. It’s purely public relations bupkis. We wondered, why would Sen. Greenleaf, from Montgomery County (near Philadelphia) introduce this now? We revisited the list of traitorous Republican Senators who voted for the state budget that includes a severance tax (see Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill). And yes, we discovered Sen. Greenleaf is one of the traitorous Republicans who voted for the horrible severance tax (and horrible gross receipts tax on natural gas, phones and electricity). The light went on. Greenleaf is using this resolution as a sleazy political ploy to try and curry favor with the natural gas industry–after he stabbed it in the back…
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Dear FERC: Please Approve AC Pipeline in Sept; Love, Dominion+Duke

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy hopes lightening will strike twice. In August, DTE Energy and Spectra Energy (now part of Enbridge), sent a letter to the new FERC quorum urging fast action to approve NEXUS Pipeline, a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada (see NEXUS Pipeline to FERC: Please Approve Project – NOW). A few weeks later, FERC approved it (see New FERC Quorum Votes Final Approval for NEXUS Pipeline). Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, joint owners of the $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina–yesterday sent a similar letter to FERC, requesting speedy action to approve their project. Hey, if it worked for NEXUS…
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Yale U Launches Another Sham Fracking Study, Predetermined Outcome

In June 2016 MDN told you about a sham “study” on the way from an anti-drilling “researcher” from Yale University, funded by Big Green groups (see Yale Arrives in Belmont County to Study the Evils of Fracking). “Researcher” Nicole Deziel arrived in Belmont County and announced, in so many words, she would drag a $20 bill through a trailer park (literally willing to pay only $20) to “study” air and water samples from residents’ domiciles as part of a new research “project” with a predetermined outcome–that they’re being poisoned by fracking. Ms. Deziel wanted 100 participants and ended up with 66. After eight weeks of collecting samples and talking to people, Ms. Deziel held a wrap-up rally with area residents before departing town to discuss the “study”–saying she has no conclusions, yet. The reason we knew the Yale “study” is a put-up job, and not real science, is because at the very same wrap-up meeting residents also heard from the radical anti-drilling group Ohio Environmental Council. That was the tip-off that this was not real research but hucksterism with a predetermined outcome (see Put-Up Job: Yale “Researchers” Meet with Locals in Belmont County). Ms. Deziel and a cabal of Yale “researchers” are back to “launch a new study on the health effects of hydraulic fracturing.” This time Deziel and company have hit big money–the “study” is being funded with $2 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. Antis doing “research” have fleeced the EPA into backing them for another study with a predetermined outcome. A true waste of taxpayer’s money. But hey, it’s made millionaires out the researchers!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Sep 8, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Eclipse Resources’ Utica super laterals drive drilling costs down; Constitution Pipeline partners want federal ruling reversed; CONSOL begins $200M stock buyback; WV welcomes US Methanol; MVP withdraws request to use storage yard; Illinois discriminates against natural gas as power source; Virginia natgas plant pumps out electricity 24/7; EPA employment shrinks under Trump; and more!
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