FERC Humiliates NY DEC, Millennium Can Begin Construction on Pipe

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just escalated a much-needed war with the CORRUPT, Andrew Cuomo-directed Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in New York. We won’t recount the entire history, but the DEC had arbitrarily, after more than one year of review, ruled against issuing a federal water crossing permit for a tiny 7.8 mile pipeline Millennium needs to build from its main pipeline to an electric generating plant under construction in Orange County. The power plant is due to be completed in early 2018–and needs a fuel supply. In a monumental decision, FERC overruled NY DEC in September (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). The DEC, in a snit fit, demanded FERC not OK the beginning of construction until an army of DEC lawyers figures out a way to appeal, delay, obstruct and otherwise stop the project anyway (see NY DEC Appeals FERC Override of Millennium Pipe Decision). On Oct. 20th, Millennium asked FERC for permission to begin building the pipeline and NOT wait while the DEC tries to obstruct the project (see Millennium Raises Stakes Against NY, Asks FERC to Begin Pipe Work). Last Friday FERC said yes to Millennium, granting them permission to begin construction. Finally! Someone with enough guts to stand up to the corrupt Cuomo machine! But don’t count the DEC out just yet. Yesterday the DEC filed a lawsuit in the liberal 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan, hoping they can get a lib Dem judge (someone in Cuomo’s pocket) to sign an order stopping construction…
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Radical Groups Ask PA Hearing Bd Judge to Revoke ME2 Water Permits

A cabal of three, rabid, radical so-called environmental groups are once again trying to obstruct the legally-permitted Mariner East 2 (ME2) natural gas liquids pipeline project in Pennsylvania. Clean Air Council, THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Mountain Watershed Association filed a motion with the PA Environmental Hearing Board, a special court set up to hear appeals of decisions made by the Dept. of Environmental Protection, to revoke permits previously issued by the DEP for the ME2 project–WITHOUT holding a trial. The groups are attempting to rush through a decision to block work on the pipeline by claiming there are “facts” in the case “not in dispute” and that the judge can simply take the reigns of justice into his own hands and rule by fiat. The heart of their case is that DEP granted federal water crossing permits for ME2 for “exceptional value” swamps, er, a, wetlands–and ya know, that just ain’t right. Even the attorney for the odious (and odoriferous) Clean Air Council says the judge won’t rule on the motion for at least two months–which is about the time the pipeline will be done anyway. So we’re not quite sure what these rabid groups hope to accomplish with their latest stunt. Perhaps it’s yet another fundraiser? The holidays are fast approaching…
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Dominion 3Q17: Cove Point LNG Coming Online, ACP Permits in Dec

Yesterday midstream and utility giant Dominion Energy issued their third quarter 2017 update. During an analyst phone call, Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell shared some great news regarding both the Cove Point LNG export facility and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Farrell said Cove Point will “begin generating LNG” in November, “conclude commissioning” in December and be fully operational by the end of this year. Fantastic! In response to a question by an analyst about Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Farrell said he expects water permits from West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia will all be issued by the middle of December. Again, fantastic! These two projects are HUGE with respect to the future of the Marcellus/Utica region. Christmas has come early this year. 🙂 Below is yesterday’s 3Q17 update for Dominion, along with the latest slide deck and select comments pulled from the analyst phone call…
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Need for SWPA Construction Workers: Shell Cracker, Other Projects

An extensive article in the Pittsburgh Business Times calls attention to the developing shortage of qualified construction workers in southwest Pennsylvania. So far the need for workers has been met, but it’s not hard to predict that as Shell ramps up its “vertical construction” (building the buildings to house the cracker) this fall, that shortages will happen–not only for Shell’s project, but for other expansion projects in the area as well. Shell is the anchor. There are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of other businesses that will launch, relocate or expand to take advantage of Shell’s forthcoming supply of cheap plastics. All of those projects will create thousands of jobs in the construction industry. Various colleges and unions have launched training programs to meet the need for electricians, carpenters, iron workers, steamfitters, insulators and sheet metal workers. Question is, will it be enough?…
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Flow Data Shows Marcellus/Utica Production Breaking New Records

Natural gas production in 2017 has taken off like a rocket ship. We began the year producing 71 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natgas in the Lower 48 states. Today? We’re producing almost 76 Bcf/d! While there are several factors in why there is so much new production this year, there is clearly one main factor: the Marcellus/Utica. The ace analysts at RBN Energy have just posted an insightful look into where and how this extra gas is being produced–by using pipeline flow data. RBN concludes there is about 2 Bcf/d of extra gas in the northeast–over and above demand for the gas. That extra gas either has to find a storage facility, or find a way to a new market. Thing is, we’re not done growing production here in Appalachia. Below is an in-depth look at Marcellus/Utica natural gas production, production that’s breaking records…
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Marcellus Shale’s “Decade of Disruption” in Regional Energy Market

Last week an exclusive (invitation-only) event was held in Hershey, PA. It was the second annual Executive Energy Seminar: Regional Energy Markets 10 Years After Marcellus Shale event. This year’s theme (or the name for this year’s event), was “Decade of Disruption: Marcellus Shale and Regional Energy Markets.” The event was organized by John Hanger, a former Pennsylvania state utility regulator and former Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection under Ed “Fast Eddie” Rendell. Hanger also previously served as Secretary of Policy and Planning under current Gov. Tom Wolf. Hanger assembled an impressive group, including FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson, FERC Chairwoman Gladys Brown, current Secretary of PA DEP Pat McDonnell, and PJM Interconnection president Andrew Ott (among many others). RTO Insider scored an invite and reported on what was said. Below we have a few select portions of their coverage, of interest to the MDN audience…
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Sierra Club Files 2nd Lawsuit Against Pipeline Thru NJ Scrub Pines

In September, members of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission voted to approve a $130 million, 28-mile natural gas pipeline proposed by New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) to connect NJNG’s distribution system serving customers in Ocean, Burlington and Monmouth counties (in NJ) and the interstate pipeline system adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike (see Pinelands Commission Approves Pipeline Thru NJ Scrub Pines). Antis at the September meeting, many of them members of the far-left Sierra Club, behaved like spoiled rotten children–using “whistles, cowbells and shouts,” and holding “Pinocchio noses to their faces” to try and bully commissioners into voting “no” on the plan. Unfortunately the spoiled rotten children, via the Sierra Club, have lots of money to litigate. They did it before, forcing a full vote by the Pinelands Commission (see Court Setback for NJ Pipeline Slated to Run Through Scrub Pines). They’re doing it again. On Friday the Sierra Club filed a second challenge against the pipeline plan. This time the lawsuit was filed with the NJ state appeals court, seeking to overturn the vote in September to approve the project…
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Natural Gas Power to Replace Nuclear Plant in New York

On Monday, experts said that closing the Indian Point nuclear plant on the Hudson River in New York will cause a loss of power to the local electric grid feeding New York City. However, they also said natural gas electric generation will fill the void left by the old and uneconomic nuke plant. That is, Marcellus Shale gas will save the day–yaaah! Entergy, the plant owner, is not all that thrilled that natural gas has won this round. An Entergy spokesman at the event could barely conceal his venom, warning gas is an “intermittent facility” with “consequences.” Oooooo. We’re scared. Of course it was nothing more than sour grapes that nukes can’t compete without massive increases for ratepayers to pay the owners of the nuke plants. We live in the U.S., not the U.S.S.R. We have free enterprise, capitalism, freedom and liberty–not a command-and-control economy. Entergy wasn’t the only one spouting nightmare scenarios when (not if) natural gas takes over. Antis don’t want low carbon, low cost natural gas either–because it’s an evil fossil fuel. Antis are looking for a solution, any solution, other than gas-fired power generation, to fill the void that will be left by Indian Point when it closes. Antis have even gotten behind a plan to dig up 333 miles of precious Mom Earth to lay a power cable from Canada through NY. To which we ask: What’s the difference in digging up the ground to lay a power cable or digging up the ground to lay a gas pipeline? Answer: None. Which points out antis’ rank hypocrisy on the issue of pipelines…
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Former NY AG Accuses Current AG of Corruption re Exxon Witch Hunt

It seems like forever we’ve been telling MDN readers that the Attorney General in the State of New York, Eric Schneiderman, is corrupt. We’ve written dozens of stories about Schneiderman (see them here). Schneiderman has targeted shale companies, pipeline companies, and his biggest gambit to date: ExxonMobil. Schniederman, in collusion with Big Green groups and several other far-left Democrat AGs, launched an investigation into Exxon last year, claiming Exxon “knew” that mythical man-made global warming is real and that their products (oil and gas) contribute to said global warming and that they (Exxon) have hidden their “research” from investors for years. Schneiderman has changed his story several times about why he launched the investigation–and what he’s looking for. He has demanded all sorts of internal documents from Exxon. In return, Exxon has demanded emails and documents from Schneiderman–to expose his collusion with Big Green. Schneiderman has refused such court orders. The man is an out-of-control menace. But it’s one thing for MDN to say it. “There goes Jim again, harping on an issue like Schneiderman, you know how Jim tends to exaggerate.” So if you don’t believe us when we say Schneiderman is corrupt, perhaps you’ll believe a former Attorney General of New York, Dennis Vacco, when he says Schneiderman is corrupt…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Oct 31, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Plastic dreams becoming real in Appalachia; former CPV exec trial in NY gets under way; proxy firms tell investors to vote “yes” on EQT/Rice merger; anti groups say Virginia Water Control Bod must deny water permits for pipeline projects; natgas industry seeks more pipelines in New England; more on #ExxonKnew; OPEC who?; rig counts decline; and more!
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