Genscape Confirms Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Ready to Flow in August

Last week MDN brought you the exciting news that Williams says their $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline that runs through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County will go online in August (see Williams: Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Going Online in August). We have no reason to doubt Williams. After all, if they make an announcement like that and then don’t live up to it, there will be PR hell to pay. It’s in their own best interests to tell the truth about these things. Then again, deadlines have been known to slip and companies always like to put the best possible spin on company news–in an effort to boost the stock price for investors. So perhaps it’s good to have an independent, third party come along from time to time to verify claims like those of Williams and Atlantic Sunrise. But how in the world can you verify a claim that a pipeline is almost done and will go online in the next month or so? By using drones and/or airplanes to fly over the entire length of the project, that’s how. And that’s what Genscape, an analytics and real-time data company has done. Their conclusion? Williams is telling the truth–Atlantic Sunrise WILL go online sometime in August…
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Huge Pieces of Hickory Run Power Plant Arrive in Port of Erie

Calypso Sal – the ship delivering Hickory Run parts at Port of Erie

In February 2013 MDN told you about a plan to build the Hickory Run Energy Center–a $750 million electric generating plant at a former manufacturing site in New Castle (Lawrence County), PA (see NW PA Town Approves Site for Marcellus-powered Electric Plant). Original plans called for Hickory Run to be online and operating sometime in 2016. That never happened and the project seemed to have died. But then the project got sold by LS Power, the original owner, to a subsidiary of Japan’s second largest corporation, ITOCHU Corporation. And new life was breathed into the project. The initial design called for a 900 megawatt facility, powered by Marcellus gas. More recent plans indicate the facility will be 1,000 megawatts (or 1 gigawatt), enough electricity to power 1 million homes! Ground was broken for Hickory Run last year (see Ground Broken for Lawrence County, PA NatGas-Fired Electric Plant?). Fast forward to this year. A massive load of components for the plant arrived by ship at the Port of Erie on Sunday. It is by far the largest ship to dock at the port in the last five years. Aboard the ship are more than 13 million tons of components and parts destined for the plant. Special permits and trucks will be required to get the equipment on location some 100 miles away in New Castle…
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Speaker Didn’t Tell Middletown Pipe Antis What They Wanted to Hear

Anti fossil fuel radicals continue to try and stir up opposition to the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project near Philadelphia. Local supervisors in Middletown (Delaware County, PA) walk a tightrope between a desire to protect area residents and anti groups fomenting irrational fears. The Board of Supervisors hired a consultant to advise them on potential safety issues with ME1 & 2. Monday night the supervisors held a public meeting to allow residents to hear from and ask questions of the consultant. The consultant, to his credit, maintained his objectivity. He’s not for or against pipelines–he’s looking at safety issues and discussing realistic scenarios. His responses to some of the questions were not what antis in the crowd wanted to hear. They wanted him to feed their fear-mongering (and false) beliefs. The consultant refused to do so. We found one bit of news from the session highly instructive. There is an anti group calling itself Middletown Coalition for Public Safety. The group presents itself as a “nonpartisan grassroots group of parents and residents whose goal is to educate elected officials and the public regarding the risks associated with the proposed Mariner East 2 pipeline.” It is the exact opposite. Rabidly partisan (Democrat). And not composed of residents. The people who belong to the group, at least its leaders, aren’t from Middletown! At the Monday meeting one of their members, Eric Friedman, was not allowed to question the consultant because he doesn’t live in Middletown. What does that tell you about how these “grassroots” groups are operated and funded?…
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Nelson County, VA Refuses to Sell Water to Atlantic Coast Pipe

Talk about obtuse–about cutting off your nose to spite your face. The dunderheads at the Nelson County Service Authority have just voted to turn down $3.5 million of revenue from Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) over the next two years. ACP wanted to buy water from the authority to use in underground horizontal directional drilling for the pipeline as it passes through the region. ACP would have paid half a million dollars for a hookup fee and a rate of 10 cents a gallon for the water. The five dunderheads on the board–three of them brand new in the past month–offered up all sorts of excuses to cover the fact they simply don’t want the pipeline. They don’t want to be seen “supporting” it. Makes for uncomfortable conversations at the local Five & Dime. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. ACP has said they already have an alternative source for the water and will simply truck it in. Congratulations to the Service Authority Board–you just made your community less safe and poorer. Less safe because now water truck after water truck will clog up the highways (running the risk of accidents), and poorer because you turned down $3.5 million you could have used to give a break in water fees to county residents…
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Nova Scotia LNG Export Project Signs Agreement with Labor Unions

MDN has tracked the progress of an LNG export plant planned for the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, called Bear Head LNG, for the past several years (see our Bear Head LNG stories here). Of all the Canadian LNG export projects, Bear Head appears to have the most momentum. The project has received most of the necessary permits it needs to proceed. An official from the project says it is “shovel-ready” and can begin at any time. However, they aren’t ready to begin just yet. The reason we track the project is because the most probable source of natural gas to feed the plant would come from the Marcellus Shale via the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline, converted to be bidirectional (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). For the first time in nearly a year, we have some new news to report on Bear Head. LNG Limited, the company behind Bear Head, announced this morning it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with two labor union groups to supply skilled workers to build the plant–when it gets built. While a timeline is not given, the announcement says Bear Head will need “several hundred workers” over “the next several years” to build the facility. Which we take as a positive sign that this project is close to starting…
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FERC Gridlock Coming Thx to Rob Powelson (Selfishly) Leaving

Our sadness that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Rob Powelson is leaving is quickly turning to anger–against Powelson. In June we told you that Powelson will be leaving FERC in mid-August (see Sad News: FERC’s Rob Powelson (from PA) Resigns Effective August). Powelson has been a breath of fresh air and a strong proponent for pipelines. He’s a former utility regulator from Pennsylvania. Smart guy. Nice guy. And now, a selfish guy. It’s predictable and unsurprising that the two Democrats on FERC have sold out to radical elements in their own party and now vote against every new pipeline project that comes along, using mythical man-made global warming as the excuse. With Powleson leaving in August, gridlock will ensue. It’s easy to predict a a string of 2-2 decisions coming, which means important projects will not get approved in a timely manner. Powelson is leaving to further his own career. While we can appreciate that, we think there’s a higher calling for Powelson–to stick around and ensure important projects are not delayed by gridlock. Powelson needs to “take one for the team” and put his own ambitions aside for another year or two. If a string of important pipeline projects are delayed because Powelson leaves, he won’t be remembered fondly. “But,” you may ask, “won’t President Trump just quickly replace him?” “Quickly” is the operative word there. The rumor mill is already in overdrive on who Powelson’s replacement will be. However, most experts who watch this space are predicting the earliest Trump will be able to get someone seated at FERC will be in early 2019. And maybe longer. Meanwhile, important pipeline projects will be in limbo. And that makes us grumpy with Mr. Powelson…
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Green Groups Push Fossil Fuel Divestment but Invest in Oil & Gas

If this doesn’t beat all. In an explosive expose from NBC News (yes, NBC News), some of the biggest names in the Big Green movement, including some in the Marcellus/Utica region, are secretly investing in oil and gas companies while at the same time demanding that banks, investment firms, pension funds, state governments and others divest from the same companies they invest in! In one case, the tax-exempt William Penn Foundation, which backs rabid anti-fossil fuel/divestment groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council, actually invests in (yes) oil and gas companies. The profits from William Penn’s fossil fuel investments are then used to fund groups attacking fossil fuel companies. Mind boggling. It’s yet another case of “do what I say, not what I do” when it comes to the left in this country. We’re just amazed that NBC (a big fake news organization) actually reported it…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Jul 25, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA health officials hand out potassium iodide pills to those living near nuke plants; Luzerne County can’t find enough uses for shale impact fee money; Marcellus industry finding it hard to fill some jobs; Senators support DOE small-scale LNG export regs; Big Oil rewards shareholders; new horizontal directional drilling software from Technical Toolboxes; oil majors are stepping up their natgas game; use gas flaring to pull water from the atmosphere; Halliburton buys chemical company; Google thinks it can better manage o&g data than o&g companies can; Cuadrilla gets OK to frack first well in UK; and more!…
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