Atlantic Coast Pipeline Begins Cutting Trees in WV & VA (Not NC)

In December MDN told you that Dominion’s $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project had asked permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin clearing trees along the path of the pipeline in all three states where the pipeline will run: West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina (see Atlantic Coast Pipe Asks FERC to Begin Tree Cutting in WV, VA, NC). FERC approved the project last October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). However, two of the three states–Virginia and North Carolina–have not yet given final water crossing permits for the project (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline Delayed in Virginia by Water Board Vote and NC Plays “Death by a Thousand Questions” with Atlantic Coast Pipe). Lack of water crossing permits isn’t stopping ACP, nor FERC. Last Friday FERC granted ACP permission to begin felling trees, and the chainsaws have been busy over the weekend–at least in WV and VA (not yet in NC). The clock is ticking. Because of cockamamie Obama regulations, clearcutting of trees along the path for a pipeline (or roadway, or whatever) is banned from April 1st through October 31st, in an effort to protect the “endangered” northern long-eared bat (see Marcellus/Utica Drillers Ask for Special Permit to Kill Some Bats). ACP will be busy between now and March 31st cutting down trees to prepare for laying pipe…
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Flaring Marcellus Wells in SWPA Light Up Night Sky, 911 Called

Residents in western Lawrence County, PA had a bit of a scare when they noticed a red glow in the sky Saturday night. They took to social media to speculate what it might be. Some called 911 to report what may be a big fire. Turns out it was flaring from a couple of Hilcorp Energy Marcellus Shale wells. The wells are already drilled and producing, so why did they flare? Flaring–or burning of natural gas at the wellhead, is a safety precaution to prevent explosions from too much pressure in the well. A Hilcorp rep said what likely happened is that compressors that compress and send the gas down the pipeline sometimes get moisture in them, and with the freezing cold temperatures, that moisture can freeze and lock up the compressors. Instead of gas building up to dangerous pressures because it can’t flow on down the pipe, the automatic flaring mechanism kicked in to burn off some of the gas–creating the red glow in the night sky. It’s good to see technology–especially safety technology–working as designed…
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WV Co-Tenancy Bill Picks Up Support from Landowner Group

It’s looking more and more like co-tenancy legislation will pass this year in West Virginia (see Co-Tenancy Front and Center for WV Legislature as Session Nears). What is co-tenancy? It is legislation that will give a majority of rights owners of a property the authority to sign a lease on behalf of all the rights owners. It corrects a situation in which multiple rights owners are listed for a property–sometimes 200 or more rights owners for a single piece of property! It is often difficult, if not impossible, to track them all down and get them to sign on the dotted line. Co-tenancy corrects that situation, opening up more Marcellus and Utica acreage that can be drilled. The main oil and gas associations in WV are pushing hard for it. Very importantly, the West Virginia Royalty Owners Association is giving its guarded blessing to the effort. About the only group still outright opposing it is the West Virginia Surface Owners Organization. They risk not having a seat at the table to influence the final version of the bill by their ongoing opposition. The co-tenancy train has already left the station and is picking up steam. The time is now to weigh in if you want to have a say in the bill that (we predict) WILL get passed–as long as legislators keep it “clean” and don’t lard it up with other stuff, like “joint development”…
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Website Connects Lenders/Borrows for Combined Heat & Power Projects

Increasingly, large industrial plants, commercial operations and institutions like hospitals are putting their chips on CHP technology–combined heat and power. CHP, also known as cogeneration, is the concurrent production of electricity and useful thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single source of energy. It is a small power plant that can both generate electricity and generate heat (or cooling) at the same time. Nothing gets wasted. The heat that comes from generating electricity is reused. Very efficient. CHP is not a particularly “new” technology. What is new is that more and more facilities are beginning to use it, because of the abundance of cheap, clean-burning natural gas. We wrote about CHP in November when we pointed out a new CHP installation at Lancaster General Hospital (see Lancaster Hospital Produces Its Own Electricity Using Marcellus Gas). There are a dozen other hospitals across PA that also use CHP. The cool thing? Much (most?) of the time the primary fuel used in CHP installations is natural gas. We spotted an article on MDN’s sister site Natural Gas Now about a new website called CHP-Funder (www.CHP-Funder.com). The site matches those who want to build CHP plants with those willing to fund them. How neat is that?! Here’s the story of CHP-Funder and how it’s helping to clean the air and make energy cheaper…
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PA DEP Issues 4th Draft Wastewater Permit for York Electric Plant

The Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, but straddles Lancaster County. It is a huge 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February 2017, MDN told you that the new owners of the plant are investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). The plant was issued a draft permit by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in April allowing the plant to discharge pollutants (into the atmosphere) and heated water into the Susquehanna River. It was the third such draft permit issued since 2011 when the last official permit expired. The DEP held a public hearing on the draft permit in July (see York, PA Elec Plant Dropping Coal for Now, Burning Marcellus Gas). At that time Talen Energy (the new owner) said it “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.’” Meaning almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant is Marcellus Shale gas. Which is why we’re interested in the plant and what happens to it. Last Friday the DEP announced it has updated and issued a fourth draft permit and is accepting comments through February 20th. The DEP hopes the fourth time is the charm…
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Marcellus/Utica – The World’s Most Innovative Gas Field

A graduate student from New York University, majoring in energy policy, as done us all a favor. He has done a deep dive into the world’s biggest and best onshore natural gas field: the Marcellus/Utica (i.e. Appalachia) to plumb the reasons for its incredible success. Did you know that Marcellus/Utica production has grown a massive 85% since 2014? Or that our region produces more natural gas than all other regions in the U.S.–combined?! Our grad student said, “It is worthwhile to have another look into why Appalachia matters today more than ever to the United States energy economy.” And so he did (below). The secret of Marcellus/Utica’s success? It is “the world’s most innovative gas field.” Let’s find out how and why…
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EIA: NatGas to Remain Primary Fuel for Electricity This Yr & Next

Natural gas has replaced King Coal as the #1 fuel source to generate electricity. According to our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2018 natural gas will generate 33% of all electricity generated in the U.S. In 2019 it goes up to 34%. Coal, on the other hand, will generate 30% of all electricity in 2018 (as it did in 2017), and go down to 28% in 2019. Power plant operators will bring 20 gigawatts (GW) of new natural-gas-fired generating capacity online in 2018. That’s the largest increase in natural gas capacity since 2004. Almost 6 GW of this new capacity (30%) will be added in one state: Pennsylvania! That’s another 6 GW powered by Marcellus Shale gas–an important new market for our gas. Here’s the EIA forecast that natgas will remain our primary source of electricity generation for at least the foreseeable future…
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New “Marcellus Workers Cause STDs” So-Called Research Study

Those evil, nasty frackers just LOVE having sex. Sex, sex, sex, all the time. Everybody knows it. When shale workers arrive in town, the incidence of gonorrhea (i.e. “the clap”) goes up. So says a laughable, totally made up “research study” recently published in the so-called Journal of Public Health Policy. This is not the first time we’ve heard this particular anti-fossil fuel argument–that shale causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). We’ve highlighted this anti lie a number of times over the years (see our stories here). Just like all lies pedaled by antis, they recycle this one again and again–it comes around every year or two. If you tell a lie often enough… This most recent permutation uses, in the exact words of the authors themselves, “a quasi-natural experiment within the Marcellus shale region plus panel data estimation techniques to quantify the impact of fracking activity on local gonorrhea incidences.” In other words, they just made it up. Spit-balled. Guessed. Lied. There is no real science here…
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A Sad Milestone: 10 Years Today Since NY First Banned Fracking

My heart breaks for my fellow New Yorkers. Who could possibly have thought 10 years ago that a decade later there would still be no shale drilling in New York State? MDN’s “right hand man,” Chris Acker, was awake at the stroke of midnight last night and snapped the screenshot below, marking the exact 10-year anniversary for NY’s frack ban. The ban first started as a “temporary” moratorium–as these things always do. “Just give us a little more time to get the regulations right.” The “little more time” turned from months into years, and years have accumulated into (now) decades. It’s the standard liberal/anti playbook: Delay, Deny, and then Defend the indefensible actions taken. Our beloved state is rife with corruption–at the highest levels. Everyone knows our governor, Andrew Cuomo, is corrupt. A number of the people around him, some of his closest confidants, are either in jail or on trial. But somehow he escapes the long arm of the law. Cuomo has caved to pressure from his extreme left in directing the Dept. of Environmental Conservation to not only ban fracking, but also block and obstruct pipelines. It is sick and disgusting. Cuomo has stripped Constitutional property rights away from thousands of New Yorkers–and nobody says or does anything. This is how tyranny takes root and grows. NY is a case study. Look at the country of Venezuela today–that’s what NY will be in 30 years. Come back and read it here on MDN 30 years from now (when we’re dead and gone) to see that we were right. At any rate, as long as we have breath, we will continue to fight the good fight against the forces of evil and darkness here in NY…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jan 23, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye over the break that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Eclipse closes on Utica acreage in PA; WV business jazzed about Chinese investment; WV college invests $4.7M in program for shale industry; DRBC frack ban hearings (i.e. circus freak shows) begin this week; NFG being hassled by corporate raider; 5 missing, 12 injured in big gas well explosion in Oklahoma; frackers could make more money than ever in 2018; evolution of the midstream sector; China now world’s #2 LNG importer; Saudis cozying up to the Russians; and more!
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