FREE Audio: MDN Top 5 Stories for Week of July 2, 2018

Below is an audio recording (“podcast”) featuring the Top 5 stories most read over the past week on MDN. Just click on the green button to listen. Below the recording is a list of the Top 5 with links to click to read the full stories (available only for subscribers). This list is meant as a way for folks to quickly catch up on the most essential news of the week–“essential” as determined by MDN’s audience of readers. Enjoy!


Continue reading

Small Victory for the Swamp – EPA Admin Scott Pruitt Resigns

Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, has been given the heave-ho by President Trump. We doubt Pruitt has done anything that merits his dismissal. He’s certainly done nothing worse than hundreds (thousands?) of Democrats that infested the Obama Administration. Gina McCarthy, as EPA Administrator, committed crimes while in office that were totally ignored by the media. The difference between McCarthy and Pruitt is a biased and partisan mainstream media that’s hounded Pruitt from Day One–because he’s draining the swamp. Swamp Things fight back. And this time, they won a small victory by hounding Pruitt out of office (including physical threats to Pruitt and his family). D.C. these days kind of has the feel of a third world dictatorship. Not because of Trump, but because of the Swamp Things that infest it. Cross them, and they’ll gang up on you like members of the Medellín Drug Cartel fighting to protect their turf. D.C. belongs to Swamp Dwellers–and they don’t let outsiders like Pruitt, or Trump, forget it. Not for a single day. Pruitt’s Deputy Administrator, Andy Wheeler, will take over as Acting Administrator. What do we know about Andy? He’s certainly less controversial and combative than Pruitt. Andy used to work for Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe (good conservative). Andy doesn’t believe in the fairy tale of catastrophic global warming, just as Pruitt didn’t. Big Green Swamp Dwellers like the NRDC are voicing their concerns that Wheeler may be *more* effective than Pruitt at dismantling Lord Obama’s numerous, onerous regulations. All good signs. However, our concern about Wheeler is that he has lived in and around D.C. most of his adult life. You can’t live in that region for that long and not be somewhat tainted by Swamp Fever. That an the fact that Wheeler didn’t support Trump and wrote some derogatory things about him during the campaign…
Continue reading

Rover Pipe Tells FERC: The Weather Ate My Restoration Homework

Earlier this week MDN told you that Rover Pipeline has not fulfilled its promise to restore (grading, replanting, etc.) certain locations it said it would restore no later than June 30, and because of their failure to perform, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is (so far) refusing to authorize for go-live two of Rover’s lateral pipeline segments (see FERC Plays Hardball with Rover – Refuses to Certify 4 Laterals). Treading on thin ice, Rover responded to FERC with a letter (full copy below) stating it is “deeply disappointed by several inaccurate statements made by FERC Staff in the letter and writes now to correct the record.” Very thin ice. In the letter, Rover tells FERC they (Rover) had kept FERC staffers informed at every point along the way about what they are doing, and not doing, and why. Specifically, they blamed the weather, heavy rains, for the delay. And Rover said that for FERC to imply Rover may not live up to its obligations is just bupkis. Question: Will telling someone “You’re wrong!”–especially if they’re your boss with the power to make your life miserable–make them more amenable to your position? We don’t think so…
Continue reading

Army Corps Engrs Reinstates MVP Permits for 4 WV River Crossings

In May, the radical Sierra Club claimed a victory in temporarily stopping construction work of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) at four river crossings in West Virginia (see Army Corps Engineers Suspends MVP Permit for River Crossings). The Sierra Club and a mishmash of other radicalized green groups filed a motion asking the Fourth District U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allows MVP to construct the pipeline across streams and rivers in the Mountain State. The Clubbers’ tortured logic was this: When constructing the pipeline across a river, the stated standard (according to the permit) is that construction can take no longer than 72 hours. MVP says it will need longer when constructing the pipeline across four rivers–Elk, Gauley, Greenbrier and Meadow. Therefore (say the Clubbers), MVP is in violation of the general permit issued by the Corps and that means ALL (not just those four rivers) construction should be stopped, immediately. The Corps said they had reviewed the standards and at that point (in May) rescinded the permit as it applies ONLY to those four rivers, NOT to any locations. The Corps has just reissued the permit in question, tweaked to allow MVP more time. That’s the new news and the good news. However, in June the Fourth District Court agreed with the Clubbers and for now, has stopped construction at all 591 stream crossings the pipeline traverses in WV (see Sierra Club Succeeds in Delaying MVP Project in WV via Court Order). So even though the underlying reason the case was brought in the first place, that construction will take longer at four crossings (out of 591) is now resolved, the court order is still in place preventing work at any of the crossings in WV…
Continue reading

Dominion Surrenders to Mt. Vernon – Relocating Compressor Station

In October 2016, Dominion announced a new pipeline project called Eastern Market Access Project (see Dominion Announces $145M Project to Expand Gas Supply to DC & MD). The project will beef up two compressor stations in Virginia, build a new compressor station in Maryland, and add a couple of pipeline taps near Washington, D.C. The purpose of the $145 million project is to deliver more gas to Washington Gas (and its customers), and to deliver gas to a new gas-fired electric power plant being built in Maryland. A Dominion spokesman confirmed for MDN that the gas will come from either the Marcellus or Utica plays. The compressor station slated to get built in Maryland sits just across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon–the home and estate of our illustrious first president, George Washington. Mount Vernon is designated as a National Historic Landmark and part of the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. If you’ve ever visited, it has an incredible view. The folks operating Mount Vernon took exception to a compressor station junking up that incredible view. Dominion says you won’t be able to see the compressor station at all from Mount Vernon, but Dominion’s arguments fell on deaf ears. Last week Mount Vernon launched a very public campaign to stop the new Dominion compressor station from locating across the river. The campaign worked. Facing a PR nightmare, Dominion issued a statement saying they will work with Mount Vernon to find a new/different location for the compressor station, something acceptable to both sides…
Continue reading

Europe Building New Cracker, to be Fed by Marcellus/Utica NGLs

Here’s some exciting news: The first ethane cracker plant to get built in Europe in the past 20 years has just been announced by INEOS. Based in Switzerland, INEOS is a young but rapidly growing chemical company with roughly $40 billion in sales per year. INEOS’ competitors would be companies like BASF, Bayer and Dow Chemical. INEOS has its fingers in a lot of pies. For example, the company currently has two ships that shuttle Marcellus and Utica Shale ethane from Philadelphia to Scotland and Norway (see Ineos Gets Ready to Begin Ethane Exports from Marcus Hook, PA). INEOS has also been tapped to provide the technology for an ethane cracker plant to be built in Belmont County, OH (see PTT Taps Swiss Company INEOS for OH Cracker Plant Technology). INEOS already owns their own cracker plant in Scotland (see Cracker Plant in Scotland “Brought Back to Life” Thx to Marcellus Ethane). Now the company plans to build a €2.7 billion (US$3.2 billion) cracker plant and propane dehydrogenation unit in northern Europe. A specific country/location has not yet been selected. An INEOS official said, regarding the new cracker facility: “All our assets will benefit from our ability to import competitive raw materials from the US and the rest of the world.” Our translation: We love cheap Marcellus/Utica NGLs, and this plant will use lots of it…
Continue reading

Appalachia Resist! OH “Camp” Trains Children to be Eco-Jihadists

We find this story truly disgusting, and disturbing. On the Fourth of July, a small group of parents in Ohio forced their children to attend an Appalachia Resist! protest “camp” in Athens where the kids were brainwashed and indoctrinated, taught to hate fossil fuels and hate the people that work to extract them. Perhaps parents passing down their irrational hatred to their children is nothing new–but teaching kids how to sabotage equipment and spike trees, in order to stop legal fossil fuel extraction activities, is rather new–or at least not something you see a lot of. What kind of country have we become where parents do this to their kids?…
Continue reading

Oil & Gas Workers Make Highest Average Paychecks in U.S.

Oil and gas is back, and back in a big way. During the downturn in 2015-2016, hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs in the shale industry when companies like Chesapeake Energy, Halliburton and others laid off thousands at a time. Our industry is a boom and bust industry, there’s no denying it. The work is there, until it isn’t. Last year our industry began to turn around once again. These days, workers are once again in high demand. If you’re a truck driver in Texas making under six figures, you’re not working in the shale industry (see WSJ story: Hot commodity in the shale boom: truckers). Researchers at Bloomberg (yes, left-leaning Bloomberg) are reporting that of all the industries in the U.S., those working in “energy” (including oil and gas) now make the highest average salaries of any industry. The median pay for energy workers last year was $123,000! If you’re looking for work, or looking to change careers, now is the time to check out the shale industry…
Continue reading

Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Jul 6, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Cheniere gets permit for new LNG plant in Corpus Christi; Washington Metro upgrades fleet with hundreds of new CNG buses; war on coal is becoming war on natural gas; US crude by rail traffic rebounds in 1Q; fracking-induced earthquakes generate “anxiety” in the public; Suez Canal opens up to more LNG carrier traffic; US-Mexic oil and natgas alliance will stay strong; two biggest threats to the natgas boom; China keeps LNG off tariff list for now, but will it become a trade weapon later?; and more!
Continue reading