Surprise! NJ Issues Permits for Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Plant

MDN reported in April that a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi wants to build a huge, new $1.5 billion natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the Meadowlands (New Jersey), just outside of New York City (see Marcellus Electric Plant Proposed for Meadowlands to Power NYC). The North Bergen Liberty Generating Project, at 1,200 megawatts, will help replace some of the electricity lost when the Indian Point Nuclear plant located in New York along the Hudson River closes down in 2021. We suspect that since the mighty Transco pipeline, which flows mostly Marcellus molecules in the northeast, will feed the Meadowlands project, this plant will become an important new market for PA Marcellus production. The town where the plant will be located, North Bergen, is jazzed about the plant (see NJ Town Ready to Approve Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Power Plant). Of course the plant is opposed by radicals in the nutty Sierra Club and other Big Green groups who despise all fossil fuels and demand that you and I end our use of fossil fuels to make them feel better about themselves. The Sierra Clubbers, namely Jeff Tittel, thought he could tell NJ’s newly elected leftist Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy to block the project. After all, they’re best buds. Tittel strongly supported Murphy’s campaign. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. In a surprise move, the Murphy Administration has just approved the first in a series of required permits, indicating ole Phil is in favor of the project after all and wants it built. Which has Jeff Tittel hopping mad…
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Va. Supreme Court Upholds Pipeline Survey Law for 3rd Time

In 2016 the Virginia Supreme Court accepted a case from an 83-year old granny who didn’t want surveyors working for Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline to enter her property to conduct a survey for a possible pipeline route (see A Supreme Court to Hear Atlantic Coast Pipe Survey Case). A 2004 Virginia law specifically allows surveyors to enter a property WITHOUT landowner permission, as long as the surveyors provide ample, advance notice of when they are coming. Granny’s case attempted to challenge and end that law. She failed. Last July the Supremes ruled against her (see Va. Supreme Court Rules Against Granny in Pipeline Survey Case). However, Dominion did get a slap on the wrist. The justices said notifications sent for when surveyors will arrive can no longer say the surveyors will arrive “on or after,” because “after” can mean years later. Instead, Dominion will have to give several potential, specific dates when surveyors will visit a property. Fair enough. Except yet another group of landowners sued attempting to overturn the same law–now for a third time. And this third case also ended up in state Supreme Court. Last Thursday the Supremes ruled 6-1 to uphold the existing law that grants pipelines permission to enter property with advance notice. Third time’s a charm?…
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Enviro Radicals Target ACP with Same Strategy that Shut Down MVP

Believing they have a winning court strategy that has (temporarily) stopped the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in West Virginia (see Sierra Club Succeeds in Delaying MVP Project in WV via Court Order), Sierra Club lawyers set about to try and stop MVP in Virginia too (see Enviro Radicals Target MVP in Va. Following WV Court “Win”). But hey, why stop there? The Clubbers are now attempting to use the SAME legal argument to stop Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in WV, VA and NC. Their strategy was/is to bamboozle the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District into stopping construction at stream crossings (hundreds of them) by claiming the pipeline can’t complete required work at some of the crossings within the stated 72 hours called for in the original permit. Therefore, the court needs to reassess the umbrella permit issued for all crossings, stopping work at every single stream crossing–which effectively shuts down construction along the entire pipeline while judges dither around, go on summer vacation, then come back and dither some more before making a decision. The gajillion dollar question is, will the court fall for this sleazy legal trick again, and shut down ACP construction as they have MVP?…
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PA State Sen. Wants to Drill on State Land to Fund School Safety

Since taking office nearly four years ago, Pennsylvania’s left-leaning Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has rigidly blocked any new shale leasing of state forest land. Leases and drilling prior to Wolf brought a bountiful harvest of revenue to state coffers. But Wolf, bowing to pressure from radical environmentalists, refuses any new drilling. In February the state Senate, controlled by Republicans, passed a resolution calling on Wolf to restart drilling in state parks (see PA Senate Ctte Passes Resolution to Restore Drilling in State Parks). No dice. Resolutions aren’t laws and can’t be enforced. At the end of February, Republican Sen. Gene Yaw (Williamsport) told Cindy Dunn, Secretary of the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources at a hearing, that if the state were to open up another 25,000 acres of state forest land for Marcellus drilling, it would generate $100 million that could be used for the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund (see PA DCNR Secretary Chilly to Suggestion of More State Forest Drilling). Dunn brushed Yaw off with a chilly response. However, PA Senate Republicans are persistent. State Sen. Dan Laughlin has just announced he will introduce a bill to restart leasing and drilling under state-owned land, and that the revenue will be used for “school safety.” Laughlin figures the new leasing could raise $250-$400 million. Question: Will Dems vote to oppose school safety?…
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Anti-Fossil Fuel CA, NY, MA Scramble to Avoid Electric Blackouts

Saturday morning 34,500 residents in Los Angeles lost their electric power, in the midst of a dangerous heat wave. The cause? Not enough electricity to power all those air conditioners. Last winter Massachusetts and New England came razor close to losing electric power for millions of residents during an extended cold snap that went on for weeks. The only thing that saved their bacon was firing up a bunch of 1960s oil burning power plants. And the very town where MDN editor Jim Willis lives (Windsor) in Upstate New York is about to embark on a project to stick 33 wind mills across thousands of acres–wind mills that are 60 stories high and will kill bald eagles living in the area. These three seemingly separate stories have one thing in common–each state is anti-fossil fuel. They all desperately need more electricity. And each state is heading for (or already in) brownouts and blackouts–because of their stubborn, obtuse, anti-fossil fuel political leaders who insist “renewables” will ride in to save the day. Each state is now going to reap what it has sown, and we will be there every step of the way to remind you that we’ve predicted it, for years…
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Utica Fracking May Help Locate Evidence of Life on Mars

In 2016 MDN brought you the story of researchers who found microbes (bacteria) living nearly two miles down in Utica Shale wells. They dubbed one of the never-before-seen bacterial “lifeforms” in the well Frackibacter. We immediately labeled it a different name: Frackenstein (see Frackenstein! Researchers Find New Life Form in Fracked Utica Wells). One of the Ohio State researchers who helped discover Frackenstein continued the work. Last July he published a study titled, “Sulfide Generation by Dominant Halanaerobium Microorganisms in Hydraulically Fractured Shales” (see Ohio State Research Finds Microbes in Utica Well May be Corrosive). The researcher said a different bacteria he studied, that appeared in multiple Utica wells (called Halanaerobium) may be a cause for concern, possibly corrosive to pipes and cement and toxic for workers. Bear in mind the study was theoretical and based on observations at a single Utica well. The intrepid researchers at Ohio State have kept at it and have now published a third study. This new study, titled “Coupled laboratory and field investigations resolve microbial interactions that underpin persistence in hydraulically fractured shales” (full copy below), may “hold clues to extraterrestrial life” and assist in our efforts to search for life on the planet Mars. Far out! ET phone home–we’re about to frack Mars…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Jul 9, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Impact fee revenue flows to Philly area; CNG station in Lackawanna County delayed; Polymer Alliance Zone of WV expands; BP may buy BHP’s US shale assets; CO2 in US dropping, thx to shale; Big Corn wins with ouster of EPA’s Scott Pruitt; analysts whispering about $150/barrel oil; $5.2 billion Italian pipeline held up by olive trees; and more!
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