PA Democrats Float Free College – Paid for by Marcellus Tax

PA State Sen. Vincent Hughes

Another mind-blowingly dumb Socialist/Communist plan is being floated by Democrats in PA (what’s new?). PA Dem state legislators yesterday announced new bills that would give families living in PA the right to send their kids to one of PA’s 14 state-run colleges for free–lock, stock and barrel. Free tuition. Free room and board. Free condoms. Free everything. IF the family makes less than $48,000 per year. Families making between $48,000-$110,000 per year get free tuition and fees only (they have to pay for Junior and Missy’s room and board). The “free” plan, according to Philadelphia area State Sen. Vincent Hughes, would cost around $800 million–and he thinks the Marcellus Shale industry should pay for it. That’s Hughes’ answer for everything–just tax the Marcellus industry. But Hughes has a little problem–he’s already promised Marcellus severance tax revenue to Philadelphia teachers’ unions–unions from which he has received $635,000 in campaign contributions (see PA Dem Senator from Philly Intros Bill to Steal Marcellus Money). In the unlikely event a severance tax is enacted in PA, it certainly won’t be enough to fund both K-12 education and pay for “free” college. How about this Sen. Hughes: We think the money for free college should come from taxes on government-paid workers instead. People like YOU. Why don’t we use YOUR money to pay for this “wonderful” plan?…
Continue reading

PA DEP Releasing Onerous New GP-5 & 5A Methane Regs June 8

Last December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued “draft final language” for the proposed General Permit 5A (GP-5A) and the revised General Permit 5 (GP-5)–regulations that supposedly will cut down on fugitive methane from escaping from drill pads and pipelines (see PA DEP Signals Onerous New GP-5 & 5A Methane Regs Coming 1Q18). The onerous regulations, which for now only apply to *new* sources (not existing) were originally prompted by bullying from the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. Even though EPA pressure disappeared under President Trump, PA Gov. Wolf is still pushing these onerous new regs. GP-5 applies to pipelines and compressor stations, while GP-5A applies to well pads and drilling. Following a flood of comments, the DEP tweaked the onerous regs yet again (for the third or fourth time), and in late March published yet another revised final final final final final version of the regs (see PA DEP Releases Draft Final GP-5 & 5A Methane Regulations). The DEP just announced they will issue the final final final final version of the revised regs on June 8, and two months later, on August 8, the new rules will officially go into effect–unless they delay it again…
Continue reading

Quebec to Ban Utica Shale Drilling, Most Other Drilling Too

It seems the Canadian province of Quebec has decided to ban pretty much all oil and gas drilling, which is a good news/bad news thing. The good news is that Quebec will have to import their hydrocarbons from other places–namely the Marcellus/Utica. The bad news is for Questerre, a Canadian driller who has patiently waited for years to begin drilling on their extensive Utica acreage in the St. Lawrence Lowlands of Quebec. Questerre thought they would begin drilling this year (see Questerre Plans 8 Initial Well Pads in Canadian Utica 2018-2019). Instead, Questerre is now hosed. In addition to a total frack ban, Quebec is instituting a “no drill zone” for conventional (non-shale) drilling of 1 kilometre (.62 miles) from municipalities, 300 metres (984 feet) from private residences, 550 metres (1,804 feet) from schools, hospitals or public buildings, and 200 metres (656 feet) from “ecotourism” sites. In other words, all drilling of any kind will be pretty much banned pretty much everywhere. Quebec is following in the footsteps of New York, where the hydrocarbon industry has been decimated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It’s a sad day for our Canadian cousins in Quebec…
Continue reading

NG Advantage’s Virtual Pipe Comes to the Rescue in Downstate NY

NG Advantage, the pioneer in “virtual pipeline” trucked CNG service, majority-owned by Clean Energy Fuels, tried to build a compressor station/trucking hub in a Binghamton, NY suburb, but that effort failed earlier this year due to local opposition (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline Project Near Binghamton is Dead). We’re sure the entire situation left a sour taste in NG’s mouth. Even so, this past winter NG didn’t turn its back on New York State, much to their credit. National Grid, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world (covering Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and the UK), had a problem in Long Island during the winter months. As temps got super low, National Grid needed more natural gas to meet the spike in demand from customers. NY is pipeline-phobic, so what could National Grid do? They turned to NG Advantage and NG rose to the occasion, trucking CNG (compressed natural gas) from facilities in Massachusetts and Vermont to Long Island, helping supply National Grid customers in the Empire State. Here’s the story of a company that didn’t turn its back on NY…
Continue reading

Democrat FERC Commissioner Seeks to Block PennEast Pipe

FERC Commissioner Richard Glick

In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted 4-1 to approve the $1 billion, 120-mile PennEast Pipeline project that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). Democrat FERC Commissioner Richard Glick (wind lobbyist, hand-picked by hyper-partisan NY Sen. Chuck Schumer), voted against approving the project. A number of Big Green groups filed a request for a “rehearing” of FERC’s decision to approve PennEast. FERC used a “tolling order,” which gives them longer than the statutory 30 days to respond, to play out the rehearing request. The use of tolling orders is the only way to get projects built these days. FERC has to play the game–put off saying “no” to these anti groups, because as soon as they tell them “no” to a rehearing request, antis then run to the courts and try to block the project there. Glick is siding with antis. He issued a statement last week once again trash-talking PennEast, and demanding FERC answer the groups rehearing request pronto so they can hurry like a bunny to the nearest Appeals court to try to stop PennEast…
Continue reading

Cove Point LNG Shutting Down for Maintenance This Fall

Cove Point LNG, built by Dominion Energy, began exporting Marcellus Shale gas in April (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). Even though it’s only been up and running for about two months, there’s already talk of shutting Cove Point down. You may recall that two countries have contracted for all of the exported LNG coming from Cove Point: India and Japan (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell is currently visiting Japan to commemorate the first two shipments of Marcellus LNG arriving there. Yesterday Farrell shared that although Cove Point is doing just fine, the plant will undergo “brief maintenance” of “a few weeks” in the autumn. Scheduled downtime. Does that mean LNG will quit flowing out of the facility each day? According to Farrell, it “depends” on how full the storage tanks are ahead of the planned downtime…
Continue reading

WVU to Research Fracking Effects on Cardiovascular Health

Building and operating a fracking site can emit some airborne particles. But scientists don’t fully understand how many, and how these particles may impact human health. Do drilling operations for unconventional wells emit a lot or a little in the way of particles? And do those particles affect human health? Travis Knuckles, assistant professor at the West Virginia University School of Public Health, has received $450,000 from the National Institutes of Health to investigate these questions. Knuckles will attempt to answer the question, Does fracking impact cardiovascular health–for workers and for those living nearby? We applaud real research efforts like this one…
Continue reading

Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jun 7, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Range gives $50K for STEM education programs; the Permian has a natgas problem; Duke Energy opens SC gas-fired power plant; Trump tariffs spur steel-making here at home; shale country is out of workers and dangling 100% pay hikes; oil giants willing to pay $10B for BHP’s shale assets; shale is turning US into global exporting power; distillate most exported petroleum product in 2017; and more!
Continue reading