Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being installed under the Potomac River (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). They are trying to pressure the pusillanimous RINO governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, to block the project–a project from Columbia Gas Transmission (now part of TransCanada). Don’t tell the antis, but the pipeline system Columbia’s proposed 3.5-mile pipeline will feed is now under construction in West Virginia, just on the other side of the Potomac. In 2017, Mountaineer Gas launched the Eastern Panhandle Expansion pipeline project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Mountaineer’s pipeline expansion will be fed by the 3.5-mile Columbia Gas pipeline under the Potomac. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town; and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection approved the Eastern Panhandle Expansion in February (see WV DEP Issues Permit for Mountaineer Gas Pipeline in Eastern WV). As of last week, work on Phase One has begun, on both ends of the 22.5-mile pipeline…
Continue reading

Whoops! Stolen Seismic Testing Nodes in SWPA have Tracking Devices

Click for larger version

To the person or people who recently stole nine seismic testing nodes in Westmoreland County, PA, know this: You have until March 26 to return the devices (worth $1,500 each). After that, you will be tracked down and prosecuted for the multiple felonies you’ve committed. Yes, each stolen seismic device has a tracker embedded in it, and you WILL be found (loser!). The seismic testing devices were legally placed in various locations by Geokinetics, hired by Huntley & Huntley to map what’s below the surface in preparation for drilling shale wells. Are anti-drilling wackos responsible for stealing the devices as a way to prevent H&H from drilling shale wells? It’s certainly possible and fits the pattern of previous actions by some of the more insane among the movement. However, we’ll reserve judgment. The thefts could have been your garden variety dopers who steal to get money to buy drugs. Either way, the loser or losers who have stolen the equipment will be found out–unless they decide to do the right thing and return the equipment. The clock is ticking, loser(s)…
Continue reading

PA Senator from Philly Slanders Marcellus, Accepts $635K in Union $

PA State Senator Vincent Hughes

Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes from Philadelphia is smug, arrogant, and completely wrong about the Marcellus industry–and he enjoys being wrong. Maybe because he’s being paid to be wrong. At a recent PA Department of Revenue Senate Appropriations Hearing (watch it below), Hughes attacked the Marcellus industry with slanders, slurs and outright lies in an attempt to paint the industry as greedy because they have resisted a severance tax on top of an impact tax. Hughes’ testimony was so full of lies, so egregiously wrong, the Marcellus Shale Coalition felt compelled to respond with a document to correct the whoppers the arrogant Hughes pedaled at the hearing (see it below). Why does Hughes attack the industry? We think we know. The Commonwealth Foundation recently published the Top 10 recipients of funds received from public sector unions (including Philly teacher’s unions). Senator Hughes received the second largest amount since 2010–topping $635,000. Yeah, Hughes is BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by Philly teacher’s unions–the same unions Gov. Wolf has promised, repeatedly, that he would shower with money from a Marcellus Shale severance tax…
Continue reading

How to Remove Law-Breaking MVP Tree Sitters without Hurting Them?

Last week MDN told you about two radical anti-fossil fuel activists who built tree houses in the Jefferson National Forest and are living in them (for now) in an attempt to prevent the trees and the trees around them from being cut to make way for the legally permitted Mountain Valley Pipeline (see Radicals Go Up a Tree in Quest to Illegally Block MVP Construction). Their strategy is to stay up a tree until March 31, when the trees can no longer be cut due to bat season–a prohibition on tree clearing to prevent killing a threatened species of bats that may roost in those trees (season lasts until October). MVP needs those trees to come down now, before the end of the month, or the pipeline won’t get built this year. On Tuesday a judge agreed, granting an injunction that says the tree sitters have to come down. Just one problem–when MVP reps tried to serve the tree sitters with a summons, the radicals refused to identify themselves or “hear” the summons, hiding out in their magic tree houses so they couldn’t be served. What can MVP (and the Forest Service) do now to get them out of the trees?…
Continue reading

Ohio’s Fairmount Santrol 2017 Proppant Sales Up 44%

Fairmount Santrol, an Ohio-based sand producer that sells sand as a proppant for use in Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling, recently released its fourth quarter and full year 2017 update. Sand is good in Buckeye State. Fairmount reports the company sold 43.8% more sand in 2017 than in 2016–a sure sign that drilling in the Marcellus/Utica spiked up in 2017. Fairmount made $53.6 million in 2017, versus loosing $140.2 million in 2016, which is another positive sign. According to CEO Jennifer Deckard, “Proppant demand remained robust during the fourth quarter.” This may be the last quarterly update we bring you from Fairmount. As you may recall, late last year the company announced it is selling itself to Unimin, a subsidiary of Belgium-based SCR-Sibelco (see OH Sand Producer Fairmount Santrol Merging w/Unimin in $170M Deal). The sale/merger with Unimin has not yet happened but will this year…
Continue reading

NC Republicans Slam Democrat Gov. for Approving Atlantic Coast Pipe

We’re not quite sure what to make of this story. North Carolina has been, as we’ve long pointed out, nitpicking in an attempt to slow down (or stop) the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from traversing the state (see NC Plays “Death by a Thousand Questions” with Atlantic Coast Pipe). Dominion Energy and Duke Energy are building the $5-$6.5 billion, 594-mile ACP–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina–reaching almost to the border with South Carolina. NC has a Democrat governor, Roy Cooper, whose administration has been hassling ACP for months. But then, all of a sudden, the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality issued permits approving the pipeline–which happened at the same time Dominion and Duke set up a $58 million fund “to protect the environment” in those counties where the pipeline will run. Sure sounds like a $58 million bribe to us, but hey, what do we know? If it gets the job done, it’s a cost of doing business, right? So now NC Republicans, who would normally be in favor of a project like ACP, are crying foul and launching an investigation into NC Gov. Roy Cooper’s $58 million “slush fund,” threatening to hold up work on ACP…
Continue reading

EPA Throws Bankrupt Philly Refinery a Lifeline

In January MDN brought you the sad news that the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), which operates the East Coast’s largest refinery on the banks of the Delaware River, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (see Philadelphia Refinery Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). PES’ stated reason for bankruptcy is due to an onerous EPA requirement that refiners must blend in biofuel with gasoline and diesel, or purchase very expensive credits. PES can’t blend, so they must buy the credits, and buying the credits put them under water financially. Sadly, the Trump administration caved to the Midwest corn growers lobby and decided to uphold the Obama EPA’s onerous requirement to buy credits. But what’s this? Following withering criticism of the EPA, and visits to PES from luminaries like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the EPA has had a change of heart. The EPA has asked the bankruptcy court judge to waive $350 million PES owes for the credits (about half of the total bill). Will it be enough to save PES?…
Continue reading

Other Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Mar 15, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: OH residents to get chance to comment PTT cracker air emissions; power gen drivers of East Coast gas demand; OOGA gets a new leader; TransCanada starts up Cameron LNG feeder pipe; Texas drillers expand 14th month in a row; US exported more energy to Mexico than imported – for 3rd year in a row; will Trump’s steel tarrifs threaten US natgas industry?; Staoil changes name; Arctic freeze makes Europe nervous re Russian gas supplies; and more!
Continue reading