FERC Denies NY DEC Request for Pipeline Rehearing, Heads to Court

It’s “game on” between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 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 historic 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. A week later, FERC said “yes” to Millennium (see FERC Humiliates NY DEC, Millennium Can Begin Construction on Pipe). Here’s the new news: On Wednesday, FERC issued an order denying the DEC’s request for a stay and rehearing on the beginning of construction. But that’s not the end of it. Earlier this month NY’s egomaniac (and corrupt) Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, filed an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (in NY) to block construction. The court granted his request and construction can’t begin. On Wednesday Millennium filed its own emergency request to dissolve the block in place from Schneiderman’s request, because Millennium has an immovable deadline. Grab the popcorn–this one is getting good…
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Out with the Old – Part 2: EQT Sign Replaces Rice at HQ Building

On Monday, Rice Energy was merged into EQT, creating the largest onshore natural gas producing company in these United States (see Out with the Old: Rice Energy Sign Comes Down Day of EQT Merger). In that post we shared with you a short video taken by an MDN friend that showed a pair of cranes taking down the Rice Energy name from Rice’s (now former) headquarters building in Canonsburg, PA (just outside Pittsburgh). Another MDN friend sent us a pair of pictures (below), taken the following day, which show an EQT sign now fixed over top of where the Rice Energy sign once stood. Our second MDN friend also told us that all the parking lot signs at the facility have EQT stickers on them, covering over the Rice Energy name. As we said in our Tuesday post, EQT isn’t wasting any time making a statement: Out with the old, in with the new. EQT is firmly large and in charge. A few days after the merger and Rice is already a memory, starting to fade away…
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FERC Issues Favorable EA for Power Plant Pipeline Near Philly

In October the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection held a hearing on a proposed 488-megawatt natural gas-fired electric plant in Birdsboro, in Berks County, near Philadelphia (see PA DEP Public Hearing on Japanese Gas-Fired Elec Plant in SEPA). The project, first proposed in 2015 by Canadian-based EmberClear Corp., is making progress, as evidenced by the DEP hearing. In April of this year, two different Japanese companies, Sojitz Corporation and Tokyo Gas, each purchased a one-third share ownership of the project (see Japanese Now Own 2/3 of Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant in SEPA). You can’t have a Marcellus-fired electric plant without a pipeline to feed it. On May 1st of this year, DTE Midstream filed plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build 13.2-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline from the Texas Eastern Transmission Company (TETCO) pipeline in Berks County to the Birdsboro site. On Wednesday, FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA)–telegraphing that a final approval for the pipeline project is on the way soon…
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Penn State MCOR Says Drilling, Jobs on an Uptick in PA Marcellus

There’s no doubt about it, there is more drilling in the Marcellus/Utica today than there was just one year ago. Just look at the rig counts then and now. However, the recovery has been slow in coming, and even though more people are back at work and more work is getting done, activity is still not at the level of a few years ago, before the price crash and downturn. Pennsylvania Business Central recently interviewed Tom Murphy, co-director of the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research at Penn State University, to ask him about the current uptick in Marcellus activity. Where are the rigs operating now? What about workers who were laid off–are they now back at work? And what role does price play in driving the uptick? Murphy gives some enlightening answers to those important questions…
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Riverkeeper Campaign Pressures Towns to Support DRBC Frack Ban

THE Delaware Riverkeeper is a far-left, radical environmental group that is the self-appointed “caretaker” of the entire Delaware River Basin. It’s run by Maya van Rossum and gets its funding from a variety of foundations, mainly the William Penn Foundation. Riverkeeper’s cause célèbre is a complete, and permanent, ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. They’d actually like a permanent ban throughout Pennsylvania (and every other state in the Union), but they’ll take a ban in the River Basin as a first step. Unfortunately Riverkeeper has the ear of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and has pressured the DRBC for years to institute a total ban on fracking. The DRBC finally took a step in that direction in September (see Governors from PA-NY-DE Vote to Ban Fracking in Dela. River Basin). There has been no fracking in the River Basin for 10+ years. So why the urgency for the board to pass a ban now? Because a Wayne County, PA landowner has taken the DRBC to court, challenging their right to impose such a ban. After all, the adjacent Susquehanna River Basin (overseen by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission) is loaded with fracking–with NO harmful effects on water supplies. Earlier this month oral arguments were heard in federal court on the case. The attorney for the DRBC fainted under heaving questioning (see DRBC Attorney Faints in Federal Court During Questioning). The case was postponed to an as-yet-unscheduled future date. Neat trick–faint and the case is postponed another few months. In the meantime, Riverkeeper is obviously not convinced the DRBC will follow through with their threat to pass a permanent ban–or perhaps they want to give the DRBC more ammunition to do so. Riverkeeper is hosting a webinar next Monday–to stoke their crazy groupies. Mamma Maya’s sidekick Tracy Carluccio (Riverkeeper Deputy Director) will give the faithful instructions for how to harass local town boards to the point they’ll sign a petition to support a permanent ban. MDN has a mole on Riverkeeper’s email list and we have their invite below…
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Marcellus Landfill in Washington Co. Seeks to Expand, Add TENORM

MAX Environmental has operated the Bulger hazardous waste landfill in Smith Township (Washington County), PA since 1958. One of the primary customers for the landfill over the past 10 years has been the Marcellus industry–dumping drill cuttings (leftover dirt and rock from drilling) at the landfill. Earlier this year, MAX sold itself to Altus Capital Partners–a private equity investment firm–for an undisclosed amount (see Pittsburgh-based MAX Environmental Purchased by Investment Firm). With the closing of the deal, MAX’s CEO/owner, William Spencer, rode off into the sunset and Bob Shawver was brought in as the new CEO. At first Shawver signaled the operation would move away from focusing on Marcellus customers. Then reality set in and plans changed (see MAX Enviro Not Walking Away from M-U, Wants to Expand PA Landfill). MAX intends to ask the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection for a permit to expand the Bulger facility by 21 acres. They also want to begin accepting technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials, or TENORM, from shale drillers. The first stop is, however, is to get local officials on board with their plans. Smith Township has held several hearings about the proposal and last night met to talk about it again. Smith’s attorney prepared a motion for town supervisors that includes 32 conditions before they town will grant an OK to MAX to expand the Bulger facility…
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Corp Raider Slinks Away After Losing EQT Fight; Selling Stock

On Monday, Rice Energy was merged into EQT, creating the largest onshore natural gas producing company these United States (see Out with the Old: Rice Energy Sign Comes Down Day of EQT Merger). The $8.2 billion deal was first announced back in June (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). There was plenty of drama along the way to the deal getting done–primarily opposition by evil corporate raider Jana Partners, in collusion with Atlas Energy (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). Jana was fresh off from helping Amazon take over the Whole Foods grocery store chain. Yet somehow EQT was able to vanquish Jana’s efforts to stop the merger. How did EQT do it? We went behind the curtain yesterday to share EQT’s winning strategy in defeating Jana (see EQT’s 4-Pronged Strategy for Defeating Corp Raider Jana in Rice Deal). They way corporate raiders work, as we’ve explained many times before, is to buy enough stock in a company to get a board seat, then agitate in the board room, forcing the company to layoff people and sell assets–all in a bid to make the stock price pop so the raider can sell their shares at a handsome profit and move on to the next victim. Disgusting organizations. Since Jana lost face and reputation by not stopping the EQT/Rice merger, they’ve decided to slink away, back into the darkness. We spotted a story that says Jana has already sold a portion of their EQT stock–and they continue shop more of it. They’ve thrown in the towel on EQT and will now go pick on someone else to destroy…
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4 Months After Buying Baker Hughes, GE Wants to Sell It

Industrial giant GE (General Electric) wooed and won the hand of Baker Hughes (BH)–the third largest oilfield services company in the world–buying/merging in Baker Hughes with GE’s Oil and Gas division just four months ago (see Baker Hughes and GE Complete Merger, World’s 1st Fullstream Co.). It didn’t take much for BH to say “yes” to GE’s proposal for marriage, coming off a botched attempt at marriage with Halliburton–a deal that the Obama DOJ destroyed (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). But now, four months into wedded bliss, GE has a new CEO and he wants out of the marriage. CEO John Flannery is looking to sell all of, or part of, GE’s majority stake in what is now called “Baker Hughes, a GE Company.” GE wants the nameplate on the door to just say “Baker Hughes, a Company.” Man oh man–four months and he already wants out of the marriage. What does that do to the self-esteem of the BH bride? Maybe GE can get an annulment? After all, it’s only been four months…
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IEA World Energy Outlook 2017 – U.S. Becoming Energy Dominant

Each year the International Energy Agency (IEA) issues a special World Energy Outlook report. The 2017 edition was recently published. This latest edition of the Outlook says the global energy market will be completely reshaped over the next 25 years by four main forces: (1) the U.S. (because of shale) will become THE global oil and gas leader; (2) the cost of renewables will fall, meaning we’ll see more renewable energy; (3) electricity’s share of the energy mix will grow; and (4) China is going greener. We don’t know about that last one. Ever visited Beijing? Don’t go outside without a gas mask–the pollution is so heavy you literally can’t breathe. Anywho…Perhaps the biggest force is the first one. In addition to leading the world in oil and gas production, the U.S. will become the world’s largest LNG exporter in the next few years–by the mid-2020s according to IEA. That changes everything. Even with the rise of natgas (via LNG) and renewables over the next few decades, IEA says it’s still too soon to hold a funeral for oil. Global oil demand will continue to grow year in and year out through the forecast period (all the way to 2040). Tell us again, green Nazis, how renewables will take over the world within a generation. (We just picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard.) Oil and natural gas are the primary sources of energy for the world, and they will be after everyone reading this is long dead…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Nov 17, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Keystone Pipeline spills 210K gallons in South Dakota; majors head to New Mexico Permian; Alaska’s oil and gas fortunes are rapidly reviving; US shale to beat Saudi production growth; backlog from FERC quorumless days gone; and more!
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