CELDF Ballot Measure Seeks to Ban Utica Shale in All of Ohio

The ultra-radical group from Pennsylvania called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is devoted to stirring up anarchy and lawlessness, not only in Pennsylvania but elsewhere, like Ohio. CELDF has launched a campaign to amend the Ohio State Constitution. Two CELDF ballot initiatives (full text below) would amend the Constitution to make it legal for local communities to usurp the state’s role in regulating oil and gas. We’ve written plenty about the CELDF, which is behind a number of bizarre lawsuits like the one claiming that an ecosystem is a “person” with rights (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). One of the CELDF Ohio ballot initiatives would give ecosystems standing as people. Yeah, out there. CELDF hasn’t been able to get these kinds of ballot measures passed in Youngstown. They’ve tried and failed six times (see Youngstown, OH Frack Ban Ballot Measure Defeated for 6th Time). If they can’t get it passed once in a single municipality, what makes them think it will pass statewide? Who knows?! They obviously have money to burn and will do so in an effort to pass these two horrible amendments to the State constitution. The net effect of passing them would be to shut down Utica Shale drilling in many locations, and block pipelines in most locations. Passing these initiatives would bring chaos and disaster to the state. We seriously doubt Ohio’s politicians will let it happen–but then we just suffered through eight years of Barack Hussein Obama and a Congress that refused to make him obey the law. So anything can happen, which is why we’re raising the alarm. The unfortunate news is that Ohio’s Attorney General, a RINO, has “certified” both ballot initiatives. What that means is that if the nutters from CELDF get at least 305,591 signatures, the two initiatives will go on the ballot next November. Are there at least 305,591 whack jobs in the Buckeye State? We’re about to find out…
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Rex Energy Once Again Threatened with NASDAQ De-listing

Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), has had its share of financial challenges. In the past it has swapped out old IOUs for new IOUs, converted debt (IOUs) into equity (shares of stock), sold off assets in other basins–a whole lotta stuff to keep on drilling (see our Rex Energy stories here). The company’s stock has taken a hit over the past five years. Rex’s stock (REXX) is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and last December Nasdaq threatened Rex with de-listing the stock (see Rex Energy Stock Threatened with De-Listing by Nasdaq). The company would remain listed if they could meet the minimum requirement of a per share price trading for at least $1/share for 10 consecutive trading days . Nasdaq gave Rex until June 17 of this year to comply, or get banished to the penny stock pink sheets. Rex pulled a rabbit out of the hat and avoided de-listing (see Rex Energy’s Stock Out of Woods, NASDAQ Won’t De-List). However, Rex is back in the woods again. Two weeks ago the company filed a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K alerting investors that Nasdaq has once again told the company they will get de-listed if they can’t turn things around by Jan. 2nd. However, the price per share is well above $1. The problem this time (the violation of listing standards) is that stockholder equity in the company is less than $2.5 million…
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Carrizo O&G Now Gone from Marcellus/Utica, Totally Focused on Texas

Carrizo Oil & Gas no longer owns any assets in either the Marcellus or Utica Shale. Carrizo, a Houston-based driller, actively drills in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Delaware Basin in West Texas, the D-J Basin in Colorado (more on that in a moment), and until mid-year in 2015, they had an active drilling program in the Ohio Utica and Pennsylvania Marcellus. We told you back in May that Carrizo was shopping its Marcellus/Utica assets (see Carrizo O&G Puts Up ‘For Sale’ Sign on Marcellus/Utica Assets). In September Carrizo announced a deal to sell their Utica acreage for $62 million (see Carrizo Sells 26K Prime Utica Acres for $62M), and in October they announced a deal to sell their Marcellus acreage for $84 million–their portion of a joint venture with India’s Reliance Industries Limited (see India’s RIL, Carrizo Sell NEPA Marcellus Assets for $210M). Yesterday Carrizo announced both deals have closed. Carrizo, along with Elvis, has left the building. They also announced a new deal to sell off all of their assets in the Colorado D-J Basin. Carrizo will totally focus on oil drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale (South Texas) and the Permian Basin (West Texas)…
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4-Wk FREE Training Program Helps Unemployed Get M-U Pipeline Jobs

If you are unemployed–particularly if you once worked in the coal industry–and you’re interested in getting your foot in the door of a rewarding job in the Marcellus/Utica industry, LISTEN UP! For those who live in southwestern PA and eastern OH, the Washington Greene County Job Training Agency and the Gas Technology Institute have teamed up to provide a FREE 4-week training program just for you (details here). Called “From Black to Blue,” the program includes classroom and hands-on training so you will understand how the natural gas industry works, with an emphasis on natgas utilities and the pipeline industry. Starting salaries for pipeline-related jobs often exceed $50,000 per year, and eventually you may make in excess of $100,000 per year. These are awesome jobs, and this is an awesome opportunity to get trained for it. The first round of classes start Nov. 30 and Jan. 8 in Freeport, PA. Training in Ohio begins Jan. 15 in St. Clairsville. Below are the details, along with an application for the program. DO NOT DELAY, fill it out today and send it in…
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Monroeville Seismic Testing Ordinance Court Case Settled

Monroeville, PA (Allegheny County, suburb of Pittsburgh) is hostile toward the shale industry. In September, Monroeville Council voted to enact a super-restrictive seismic testing ordinance (see Monroeville, PA Passes Restrictive Seismic Testing Ordinance). The ordinance is meant to hassle Huntley & Huntley (H&H), which wants to conduct seismic testing in two rural areas of the municipality. In October, the contractor hired to do the seismic work for H&H, Geokinetics, took Monroeville Council to court over their punitive seismic ordinance (see Monroeville Seismic Testing Ordinance Challenged in Court). In the complaint, Geokinetics said, “Monroeville’s intransigence is not motivated by any legitimate concerns for the health and safety of its citizens, but rather by its council’s concerns about November elections.” The elections have come and gone and the hostile-to-shale Monroeville Council has settled the court case with Geokinetics. And yes, seismic testing will now begin!…
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Ray of Hope in PA Severance Tax Debate: Lib Dems Attack M-U

MDN has closely followed the effort to pass a dreadful bill in Pennsylvania known as House Bill (HB) 1401, which would tack a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing ~5% impact tax (called a “fee”) already levied on Marcellus drillers, thereby effectively killing any new Marcellus drilling in the state. Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the House debated the bill for two days–then left town “abruptly” without taking any further action (see Update on PA Severance Tax Bill – More Progress, House Leaves Town). What happens now? Mainstream media is doing its best to put on a brave face that the bill is inevitable (see Final Push to Tax PA Drillers & Give Money to Philly Teachers). However, we’ve spotted more than one article in which the liberal Democrats who advocate for this bill are complaining about oil and gas “lobbying” being done in Harrisburg–blaming the big, bad Marcellus industry for continuing to block the bill. We take that as a very good sign–that the lib Dems are moaning and complaining. If they thought they had a prayer of a chance in passing 1401, they wouldn’t lash out in frustration as (for example) PA Rep. Vitali is now doing–lib Dem from the Philadelphia area. Nor would lib Dem newspapers like the Delaware County Daily Times run an “editorial” blaming Republicans playing politics for refusing to do what “everyone knows” should be done–pass a severance tax. These are a sure signs the lib Dems think they’ve lost and will not get the disastrous HB 1401 bill passed. Which makes us break out in a broad smile…
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PA Awards 5 “Alternative Fuel” Projects $1.1M – All Fossil Fuels

Yesterday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (liberal Democrat) issued a press release to take credit for/crow about handing out another $1 million of taxpayer money. This time the money is part of the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) program–a program aimed at replacing gasoline and diesel fuel. At least replacing a little bit of it–a token gesture. The state issued grants totaling more than $1.1 million in their effort to replace fossil fuels as the fuel that powers vehicles. And what “alternative” will replace those nasty fossil fuels? What clean-burning, good-for-the-environment option did PA deign to fund for over $1 million? Was the money used to purchase new electric charging stations for Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and Teslas? Nope. The superior option to replace those nasty fossil fuels is…other fossil fuels! The grants will buy buses that run on propane, and build compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations for vehicles that run on CNG. No electric outlets in sight. By using propane and CNG, Wolf says PA will replace “hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel” (meaning gasoline and diesel), making PA’s air cleaner. We think it’s kind of funny that Wolf’s enviro left hates natural gas, yet Wolf calls it clean and green and hands out money to make it more widely available…
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Status Report for 10 Vital Marcellus/Utica Pipeline Projects

There are a number of important pipeline projects, key to moving Marcellus/Utica gas either out of our region, or to places in our region that urgently need it. Some projects we’ve been writing about for years–like the stalled Constitution Pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA into New York State. Others are relatively recent, like the Valley Lateral Pipeline, a short pipeline to feed a power plant being built in Orange County, NY. Some projects like PennEast Pipeline are not yet fully approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and now face an uphill battle in New Jersey where an ultralib just got elected governor–saying he’ll do his best to hassle the project. What we need is a scorecard! What’s the status of all these important projects? Fortunately the sharp writers at E&E News (Energy & Environment Publishing) has just issued such a scorecard, chronicling 10 important, we’d call them vital, pipeline projects in the East: Constitution, Northern Access, Valley Lateral, PennEast, Atlantic Sunrise, NEXUS, Rover, Mountain Valley, Atlantic Coast, and Sabal Trail. Here’s a status report for each project…
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Michelle Hook: NatGas Missionary in Hostile Territory (New York)

We live in a different world here in New York State–MDN’s beloved, lifelong home state. We suppose it’s like living in East Germany just after The Wall was built. Our wall is not physical but political. Even so, it’s just as real. Our state has become something of a socialist/Communist dictatorship. Our Constitutional property rights have been stripped away. Some private companies are actively opposed and frustrated by our governor, who then turns around and doles out taxpayer money to other private companies who are his cronies. We have no shale drilling, and no prospect of it until Cuomo is voted out of office. He’s even taken to stopping pipelines. Fortunately some pipelines, like the Millennium, were built before Cuomo caught the green fever. However, if you try to expand existing pipelines, say by running a 7.8 mile spur to an electric power generating plant that’s almost built, Cuomo will try and stop you. He’s like a hostile war lord in a third-world country. A tinpot dictator. Operating a pipeline in such a climate is not easy. It brings to mind stories of missionaries who put their own lives at risk to travel to hostile lands to bring religion to the heathen–whoops, to the indigenous population. One such pipeline missionary operating in New York is Michelle Hook, director of public relations for the Millennium Pipeline Company. How does Michelle do it, without going crazy?…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Nov 28, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: How will Upstate NY survive Cuomo’s anti-gas corruption; Shell cracker plant impact on Erie, PA; Sandridge adopts poison pill after corp raider Icahn becomes largest shareholder; US shale renews challenge to OPEC; oil majors bet big on shale tech; Clean Energy combines compressor biz with Italian co; LNG exports will slow in 2018, says Rusty Braziel; Scott Pruitt changing the culture at EPA; McIntyre & Glick to take FERC seats this week; and more!
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