Criminal Antis Vandalize Sunoco ME2 Pipe Construction Equipment

It’s OK to be a blithering idiot and oppose important pipeline infrastructure projects like the Mariner East 2 Pipeline because you believe in the fairy tale of man-made global warming. It’s OK to march and protest and write and name-call, and yes, it’s even OK to launch frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. Knock yourselves out. It’s your right as a citizen in the greatest country on Mom Earth, a country we call America. What is NOT OK is to vandalize construction equipment used to build the pipeline, causing thousands of dollars in damage, simply because you’re demented and delude yourself that you are somehow saving “the environment” with your criminal action. That is precisely what Sunoco is alleging after someone(s) damaged the engines, fuel systems and hydraulic lines of two pieces of heavy equipment on April 2 & 3 in Chester County, PA (near Philadelphia). Sunoco is offering $10,000 for information leading to an arrest. We certainly hope that happens…
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PA House Bill Would Neuter SRBC, DRBC Regulation of Ground Water

Here’s one we didn’t see coming–a potential way to fix the ongoing disaster that is the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and their illegal attempt to regulate hydraulic fracturing within the Delaware River Basin under the claim they have the right to regulate anything that impacts groundwater. A Pennsylvania House of Representatives member, Dan Moul (Republican from Gettysburg), is about to introduce a bill that would replace the DRBC’s authority to regulate groundwater by vesting that authority solely in the hands of the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). The problem is, the bill appears to be targeted more at the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) than DRBC. The bill will affect both organizations. Last time we checked, the SRBC does a fine job of regulating water withdrawals for fracking AND makes no attempt to regulate fracking, which the DRBC is attempting to do. But then, we don’t think this bill has the DRBC’s frack ban, nor fracking at all, in mind. It likely has more to do with farming and other water uses and some perceived shortcomings at the SRBC…
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More of the Same at Final DEP Hearing for Shell Ethane Pipeline

Click map for larger version

For three nights in a row this week the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted hearings for Shell’s proposed Falcon ethane pipeline–a 97-mile pipeline system with two “legs” that will feed Shell’s mighty ethane cracker plant now under construction in Monaca, PA. We brought you a report from the first session, an eyewitness account from MDN friend Charlie Schliebs (see Shell Ethane Pipeline Hearing Draws Few Supporters, Many Antis). That session was predominantly populated with antis attempting to paint nightmare scenarios if the pipeline (and cracker) gets built. Last night was the third and final session–in Sewickley. Once again we have an eyewitness account, this time from MDN friend Katie Klaber, former president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition and currently managing partner at The Klaber Group and a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Pittsburgh branch). Katie is a consummate environmental professional–someone with a lifelong career in environment compliance and someone who served on the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee of the DEP for more than a decade. She knows a thing or two about projects like the Falcon because she’s seen a thing or two (to borrow from the Farmers Insurance commercials). When the audience realized that Katie was supporting the project (the only one of the first 18 speakers to do so), the hissing started. She and the next few speakers who supported the project were hissed by bad-behaving antis in the crowd, with some Mother F…ers thrown in by an especially outspoken attendee. Nice people, those antis…
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US Forest Service Gets Tough on Illegal MVP Pole Sitting Protester

polecat

The kooky antis who are trying to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in the Jefferson National Forest are a gift that keeps on giving. On Monday MDN told you that some of the antis (movement people, from other states/areas) had erected a pole in the middle of a gravel road in the Forest–a road MVP construction equipment uses–and that an anti had scampered up to the top of the 50-foot pole (suspended with ropes) and is living in a platform at the top of the pole (see One MVP Radical Protester Arrested, Another Goes Up a Pole). Other antis, some movement people, some local, are sitting nearby in magic tree houses in a couple of trees. Unfortunately a judge refuses to allow law enforcement to forcibly remove those in the magic tree houses (see WV Judge Refuses to Eject Tree Sitters Blocking Pipeline Work). The tree (and pole) sitters are getting on the nerves of the U.S. Forest Service. According to a Facebook page maintained by the radicals, the Forest Service has blocked volunteers from sending food and water up the illegal pole to the person at the top. They’re also shining bright lights on the top of the pole 24/7. There’s more than one way to make them leave! We also have updated comments from one of the tree sitters–Grandma Red, a 61 year-old woman who recently climbed up to one of the magic tree houses–who says she’s “swinging in the wind.” You got that right, Grandma…
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Monroeville Continues to Block Seismic Testing to Prevent Drilling

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 (for potential drilling in a neighboring 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). Both sides compromised and in November settled the case, which Monroeville Council voted to accept in December (see Monroeville Council Approves Seismic Testing Court Settlement). That should be the end of the story, right? Wrong. Monroeville has continued their harassment by asking a court to immediately suspend the testing because (they claim) Geokinetics did not give proper notification to residents that the testing was happening. This is nothing more than a transparent attempt to prevent future drilling by slowing, or stopping, H&H’s ability to get an accurate picture of the best places are to drill a Marcellus well. Fortunately Geokinetics just finished the testing, so Monroeville’s pathetic attempt to stop it is now moot…
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ME1 Pipeline Shutdown in M-U Causing Propane Prices in TX to Drop

Propane is one of the NGLs (natural gas liquids) that come out of the ground along with natural gas and oil–especially in “wet gas” areas like southwestern PA, eastern OH, and the northern panhandle area of WV. Ethane and propane have been flowing through the converted Mariner East 1 (ME1) pipeline for more than year–hauling propane (and ethane) from southwest PA all the way to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia. At Marcus Hook, the propane is loaded onto ships and sent around the world. The world is an important market for our propane. However, ME1 was suddenly switched off on March 3 by order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) after a sinkhole opened up under the pipeline, exposing some of the bare steel to the open air (see PA PUC Shuts Down Mariner 1 Pipeline Due to Mariner 2 Sinkhole). Sunoco Logistics Partners, the owner of ME1, is building a new set of pipelines called Mariner East 2 (ME2) close to the existing ME1. ME2 will also haul ethane and propane to Marcus Hook, greatly expanding capacity. As part of their construction work in Chester County, several sinkholes developed leading to the shutdown of ME1. You might think if the supply of propane suddenly stops, prices would go up. But that’s not what happened. Because the propane ME1 was hauling to Marcus Hook was exported, that supply is now staying here at home. The effect has been to drive DOWN the cost of propane–in Texas!…
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2nd Commissioning Cargo Now Being Loaded at Cove Point LNG

Gemmata returns to Cove Point

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, issued its weekly Natural Gas Update report. In one of the short bullet point notes we learned important new information about the Cove Point LNG export facility. We learned that the next ship to arrive and load up at the facility will NOT be the Patris, as we were led to believe (see Cove Point LNG Gets Ready to Ship First Marcellus Molecules in Apr). Instead, the first ship that loaded molecules at the facility, the Gemmata, has returned and is (as you read this) loading a “second commissioning cargo.” Which takes some explanation. The first commissioning cargo was gas brought to the facility by an LNG tanker and unloaded, regasified, and then put through liquefaction again–in order to test the facility. That first cargo was natural gas from Nigeria, brought in by Shell. And Shell shipped out the first commissioning cargo on the Gemmata on March 1 (see Cove Point Ships First LNG Cargo – But Not M-U Gas). This is the second commissioning cargo–so apparently the ship that brought in the original Nigerian gas was bigger than the Gemmata. The Gemmata unloaded its shipment of Nigerian gas in the UK, turned around and came back, docking at the facility on Tuesday of this week. Yes, the Patris is still on the way to Cove Point and will dock on April 9, next Monday, and will begin loading the first batch of Marcellus molecules…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Apr 6, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Ace Pipeline sues EQT for breach of contract in pipeline construction; OH Utica well permits rebound in March; study finds natgas is NOT the reason for coal decline; PUC pushes CHP technology; 3,600 megawatts of electric generating retiring in 2018 in PJM; Sunoco to meet with Chester County officials re pipeline plan; New England desperate to stop 1,600 megawatts of gas-fired electric generation from retiring; Permian’s looming natgas bottleneck; former Chesapeake co-founder Tom Ward buys assets from Chesapeake; Steve Forbes writes on lefty mayors suing oil/gas companies; and more!
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