Supreme Court Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Overrule NY

In January 2018, Williams, builder of the proposed Constitution Pipeline–124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY to move Marcellus gas into NY and New England–took their last, best shot at overturning a politically-based decision by the corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny the Constitution necessary water permits to build (see Constitution Pipeline Appeals NY Fight Directly to U.S. Supreme Court). Williams appealed an appeals court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping against hope that the high court would hear the case–and overturn the appeals court decision, thereby forcing NY to allow pipeline construction. Sadly, the attempt has failed. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition to hear the case. Let’s be honest, it was a long shot to begin with–the Supremes only hear a handful of cases each year. But still, the decision is disappointing. Unlike antis, when our side loses a court case like this, we acknowledge and accept it. If it had gone the other way, antis would have claimed the court decision was illegitimate and launched illegal actions to block construction–like sitting in the tops of trees. They resort to anarchy, mob rule and bullying when they don’t win. We accept the rule of law and pledge to soldier on and fight another day. That’s the difference between unmoored radicals and people with their heads screwed on straight. So what happens now? Is this truly the end of the line for the Constitution? The project has one, possibly two very slim chances left…
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Broken Record: Wolf, Dems & RINOs Float 4% Severance Tax

Every year it’s the same thing from “America’s most liberal governor,” PA’s Gov. Tom Wolf: propose a severance tax on natural gas production, a tax in addition to the existing impact tax (which is already the equivalent of a severance tax), and demagogue the issue in hopes of shaming/pressuring/bullying Republicans into passing such a tax. When/if such a tax is passed, give every last dime of it to teachers unions in the Philadelphia area–the people who elected Wolf to office. That’s been Wolf’s modus operandi since he assumed office. And it has just happened again, for the fourth time. Wolf, along with two liberal Democrats and two Republicans in Name Only (RINOs, from the Philly area) gathered yesterday to announce new severance bills introduced in both the PA House and Senate that will slap a Marcellus-killing 4% tax on shale production, on top of the existing ~4% impact tax. Here we go again…
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PA Court Rules ME2 Pipe has Power of Eminent Domain, Period

One of the ways anti-fossil fuel groups have tried to stop the Mariner East 2 Pipeline project is by tying it up in court. Various lawsuits have been filed going back years (see our list of lawsuit stories here). One litigant, a Big Green group headquartered in Philadelphia, the so-called Clean Air Council, has tried repeatedly to get the courts to deny ME2 the right to use eminent domain in cases where landowners refuse to cooperate (see Clean Air Council’s Strange War Against Mariner East Pipeline). CAC argued that ME2 is not a “public utility” and therefore not entitled to the use of eminent domain. That argument flamed out. They also argued since ME2 crosses a state boundary–into a small part of Ohio–it’s not an intrastate but interstate project and should be subject to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) instead of the PA state Public Utility Commission (PUC). That argument bombed too. CAC then argued ME2 is using a public taking for a private enterprise (not for the public good). Also tossed out. A court case that began in 2015 made its way to the PA Commonwealth Court and yesterday the Commonwealth Court finally shut down the CAC’s long-running lawsuit once and for all, denying their wild claims…
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ATF Cuts Back on Agents Hunting for Perps Who Stole Dynamite

As we previously reported, someone(s) stole a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (used to ignite the dynamite) on the weekend of April 14-15 from a locked storage trailer sitting at an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction site in Lancaster County, PA (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) immediately swung into action, offering $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and flooding the county with agents (see ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.). Then last week, someone discovered some, perhaps all of the stolen dynamite (see Stolen Dynamite from Atlantic Sunrise Site Discovered in Creek). The ATF has still not found a suspect. They now believe the amount of dynamite recovered was all of it. Some 10 agents are left in the county, working their way through interviewing 900 workers who had access to the site…
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Atlantic Sunrise Doles Out $264,300 in Grants to Schools, Towns

Pipeline companies are known for their largess in showering local schools, towns and nonprofit agencies with money for worthy causes. Among those who engage in this civic practice is Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County, PA. In 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program was established to benefit community organizations in communities within the Atlantic Sunrise footprint. Since 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise has doled out more than $2 million across the 10-county project area in support of noteworthy projects. And they’ve just done it again. A total of 41 PA organizations have just received a total of $264,300 in contributions–more than a quarter of a million dollars! We have the full list below, along with information about how your organization can apply for the next round…
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1st Cove Point Marcellus Shipment to Japan Goes Thru Panama Canal

LNG Sakura – now on its way to Japan

A sharp MDN reader recently emailed us to ask about that first shipment of Marcellus Shale LNG exported from Cove Point that is heading to Japan, wondering if the ship would transit through the Panama Canal to get to Asia. We had to say we didn’t know! But now we do know. And the answer is “yes”–that ship is going through the Panama Canal. Last week MDN reported that the second shipment of Marcellus molecules from Cove Point had been loaded onto the LNG carrier Sakura, and that the Sakura is heading to Japan (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). Before June 2016, large LNG carriers could not pass through the Panama Canal. In 2016 new locks were installed to make it possible for larger ships, like the Sakura, to transit through. By using the Panama Canal, ships save an extra 7,800 miles, bypassing a trip around the tip of South America. Since 2016 more than 300 LNG carriers have used the Canal. Here’s the news that the Sakura is already through the Canal and now in the Pacific Ocean, steaming toward Japan…
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List of 6 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants Coming to Michigan

Last June DTE Energy filed paperwork in Michigan to build a new “state-of-the-art” natural gas-fired power plant in St. Clair County (see DTE Energy Files to Build New Natgas-Fired Elec Plant in Michigan). The gas-fired plant will produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 850,000 homes. If all goes according to plan, the new $1 billion plant will go online in 2022, helping to offset three coal-fired plants set to retire by 2023. Although environmental groups launched a campaign against the project (see Michigan Anti Fossil Fuelers Oppose DTE Gas-Fired Plant Proposal), their efforts were too little too late. Last week the Michigan Public Service Commission approved the project! In addition, we spotted an article about five more natgas-fired plants planned for Michigan (full list below). As we always point out, there is a considerable amount of Utica/Marcellus gas heading into Michigan via the Rover and NEXUS pipelines. These plants are all potential customers for our gas supplies…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, May 1, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA school wins enviro award for using propane buses; WV Chamber honors Williams; Virginians can now comment on MVP pipe permits; Canadian & M-U natgas battle for Midwest market share; why hasn’t Permian boom created a boom in o&g jobs; Tennessee city wins court case against FERC; Marathon cuts $23B deal to buy Andeavor; former Speaker Boehner aide tapped to head American Petroleum Institute; PJM says nukes & coal don’t need saving; in Europe, natgas is king; and more!
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