Anti-Fossil Fuel NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns!

Former NY AG Eric Schneiderman

One of the plagues we’ve had to endure in the Empire State is a totally out-of-control, mad drunk with an abuse of legal power, Attorney General Eric Schniederman. There isn’t a shale pipeline or drilling project in New York that Schneiderman hasn’t harassed. Apparently the oil and gas industry isn’t the only thing he harasses. Following a bombshell story in the ultra liberal The New Yorker magazine that accuses Schneiderman of rough sex and slapping woman around, he abruptly resigned as of today. Schneiderman’s resignation has nothing to do with the Marcellus/Utica, but his departure is cause for celebration in New York. Schneiderman was one of the ring leaders in a cabal attempting to shake down Exxon Mobil and other oil companies for billions of dollars, accusing them of “knowing” that oil causes mythical man-made global warming and is harming the environment. The fossil fuel projects in NY that Schneiderman opposed are legion–too many to count. No one in the industry will shed any tears over his departure now that Schnedierman has now been “exposed” (pun intended), hoist with his own petard. One example from the bombshell story: An ex-girlfriend (originally from Sri Lanka) told the New Yorker that Schneiderman, that paragon of ultra-liberal values, called her his “brown slave” and ordered him to call him “Master.” And if she didn’t? He slapped her, hard, until she did…
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PA Ethics Commission Persecutes Wolf Aide Favorable to NatGas

Yesenia Bane

You know we’re not fans of PA Gov. Wolf and his administration. We think he’s been a disaster for the state, in many ways. However, a member of his administration, Yesenia Bane (deputy chief of staff), has been unfairly targeted simply because her husband worked for a firm that did business with the Marcellus industry, and because she herself (with abundant knowledge of the industry) assisted Wolf by attending industry-sponsored events. Bane had the nerve to represent Wolf to the industry, attending events to act as liaison, learning about industry concerns, and conveying Wolf’s thoughts to the industry. And for that she’s accused of crossing an ethical line–accused by a radical Big Green supporter from the Philly area by the name of Caroline Hughes–a woman whose connections to Big Green should be investigated. Hughes filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission against Bane late last year (see Antis Target PA Gov Wolf Aide as Payback, Husband Works for EQT). The complaint is a ginned up allegation that Bane “was regularly involved in meetings and travel related to her husband’s natural gas industry clients.” The so-called evidence comes from a copy of Bane’s travel schedule in 2016, obtained by Big Green mouthpiece StateImpact Pennsylvania. The new news is that the Ethics Commission has launched a full-blown investigation–we call it a persecution–of Bane, for simply doing her job…
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M-U Region Adding 43% of All New Gas-Fired Electric in 2018

Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a report saying it predicts 32 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity to come online this year, in 2018. Of that 32 GW, 21 GW (or 66%) will come from new natural gas-fired plants. And of that 21 GW of new gas-fired generation, Pennsylvania alone will generate 5.2 GW, and Maryland and Virginia will each generate 1.9 GW. Put another way, 9 GW out of 21 GW (or 43%) of all new demand for natural gas for power plants is happening right here in the Marcellus/Utica region. As we have observed on many occasions, power generation is a very important source of new demand for abundant and cheap Marcellus/Utica gas…
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Rex Energy Gets 4th Extension to Delay Paying Defaulted IOU

In early April, Rex Energy, a driller focused solely on the Marcellus/Utica driller, defaulted on payments it owes to debtholders (see Rex Energy Defaults on IOUs, Can’t File Annual Report on Time). Rex told the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the company could not make a semi-annual interest payment due on senior notes on April 2. Rex said in the filing that the noteholders to whom payment is due (Angelo, Gordon & Co.) signed a temporary “forbearance” agreement that gives Rex a little breathing room, until April 16. The April 16 payment didn’t happen. Rex and Angelo signed a second forebearance agreement giving Rex another extension–until April 23–to either pay or agree to a new deal (see Rex Energy Gets 1 Extra Wk to Pay Defaulted IOU, Files Annual Report). April 23 came and went with no deal, and once again Rex and Angelo signed an agreement, the third such forbearance agreement, which gave the company until May 2 (see Rex Energy Gets 3rd Extension to Pay Defaulted IOU). May 2 came and went and (you guessed it), Rex has now signed a fourth forebearance agreement, giving the company another week–until May 9…
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FERC Rejects Rehearing Request from Antis re MVP, ACP Projects

Last September a group of 57 gentry landowners in Virginia and West Virginia, backed by an out-of-state Big Green group, sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in an attempt to gut the 80-year old Natural Gas Act that gives FERC the right to grant eminent domain for pipeline projects (see VA, WV Landowners Sue FERC re Pipelines, Seek to Gut Natural Gas Act). Specifically, the colluding landowners oppose Dominion’s $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina, and EQT’s $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline project, a 303-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The frivolous lawsuit, titled BOLD ALLIANCE, et al. v. FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, et al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which was the wrong court. Only FERC has jurisdiction over the projects and decisions about whether or not they can get built. If a supposedly aggrieved party disagrees with FERC’s decisions, they must first file for a rehearing, and if FERC still refuses, THEN the supposedly aggrieved party can file a lawsuit ONLY with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The suers, Big Green group Bold Alliance, filed for a rehearing with FERC. Bold Alliance tried to sidestep the law by moving forward with a lawsuit prematurely. However, the really big no-no is that they filed in U.S. District Court for DC, NOT the Court of Appeals for DC. Big difference. Here’s “the rest of the story”…last Friday FERC rejected Bold Alliance’s request for a rehearing for both MVP and ACP. So we expect the next step is that Bold Alliance will now file an appeal with the correct court, the DC Court of Appeals…
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TransCanada Asks FERC to Expand Capacity on New England Pipe

TransCanada is attempting to do what so far, no one else has been able to accomplish: Increase flows of Marcellus/Utica (and perhaps other basin) gas into New England. The way they’re doing it is via the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), a 295-mile pipeline that spans New England from the Canadian border to pipeline connections in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. No, TransCanada is not proposing to build any new pipeline as part of their plan. In fact there is no construction of any kind for phases I and II in what TransCanada is calling its Portland XPress Project (PXP). Phase I, which TransCanada filed on April 20, asked FERC for permission to begin flowing an extra 39.8 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas from Pittsburg, NH, to Westbrook, ME, and to increase the flow from and to Canada. In Phase II, which was filed yesterday, TransCanada asked FERC for permission to flow an extra 11.3 MMcf from Westbrook, ME, to Dracut, MA. When the filing for Phase III comes along, they will ask to build a new compressor station, among other bits and bobs. New England and Atlantic Canada desperately need the gas, so there’s no reason why FERC would deny these reasonable requests. Perhaps TransCanada can succeed where Kinder Morgan’s TGP Northeast Energy Direct and Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast projects failed, and boldly go where no pipeline has gone before…
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Snap: Va. Dems Total Crack with Reality – Call Pipelines “Death Rattle”

A rather juvenile, kindergartenish attitude appears to be taking root in the Democrat Party–at least in the Old Dominion. Dems there have decided that wind and solar, which provide something like 2.9% of all electric generation in the country, should just take over now and that we should stop building any/all pipelines that flow evil, nasty, “yesterday’s energy” called fossil fuels. And on that self-deluding basis, a group of Dems from Roanoke and across the state signed a (blithering idiot) letter to Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam demanding that he just stop both the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline projects in Virginia–federal projects. Of course the Dems are not really THAT stupid. This is a sleazy political calculation–playing to the nutjob base that elects them. States don’t have the right to overrule the federal government. The last time Virginia tried to overrule the federal government was in 1860, and you know how that turned out…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, May 8, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Northeast shale takeaway gets boost from new pipes; to Shell and back – the cracker journey over the last 6 years; crucial components for Shell cracker recently delivered; PA DEP head talks water contamination, fracking & funding; Bakken Shale comes roaring back with higher oil prices; the drive to ban oil trains in NJ will threaten public safety; shale drillers face new test as price tops $70/barrel; natgas injection season finally arrives; pipeline investments dogged by regs, tariffs, protesters and redundancy; and more!
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