Enviro Groups Back Down on Challenging DEP Permits for ME2 Pipe

An interesting development on Friday, when the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a press release to announced that three radical environmental groups have dropped their objections to permits the DEP previously granted for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association, and THE Delaware Riverkeeper “settled” their appeal of 20 permits issued to Sunoco for the ME2 project. What does it mean that they “settled?” According to the announcement, “The settlement does not alter any of the 20 permits in the appeal.” In other words, this is face-saving by the radical groups. They backed down. Gave up. Threw in the towel–recognizing that ME2 is about to be completed. In other words, they’ve lost. And we won! We love saying that. No matter how hard the radicals tried to spin the news (via their affiliated mouthpieces, like StateImpact Pennsylvania), you simply can’t gloss over the fact that they’ve backed down…
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Central PA Landowner Arrested, Jailed for Violating ME2 Court Order

For the past two years the Gerhart family has used illegal protest tactics to stall tree cutting on their property in Huntingdon County, PA, to block construction of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline. Out-of-state Big Green radicals, along with the Gearharts’ own daughter, lived on-and-off in the tops of three white pine trees, building magic tree houses so they can lay around and pretend they’re saving the planet. The tree occupation prevented Sunoco Logistics Partners from cutting the trees, which are in the path of the ME2 project. Then, at daybreak on Sunday, April 8th, after observing the protesters had left the night before scared of impending high winds, Sunoco snuck in and cut down the trees, much to the consternation of the Gerharts who called it a “underhanded and cowardly attack.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called it a “predawn timbering raid” (see ME2 Pipeline Cuts Down PA Trees Vacated by Protesters). Funny! We mention all that as background because the mama Gerhart has landed herself in jail. Sunoco said that Ellen Gerhart violated a standing court order to not interfere with work happening on her land for the pipeline. So police arrested and jailed her last Friday, without bond, until a hearing date on Aug. 3 (a week later). What did Mrs. Gerhart do to end up in the slammer?…
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Court Cancels Permits for Mountain Valley Pipe on Fed Land

The Sierra Club and two other far-out, radical “environmental” groups have scored a minor victory in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to overturn permits issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that allows EQT Midstream’s Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia and Virginia. The court says USFS and BLM didn’t come to the right conclusion about sedimentation and erosion impacts of MVP. The judges (who don’t know a thing about these issues) say USFS and BLM’s contention that impacts can be adequately mitigated is in error. Ever notice how some judges love to tell other people how to do their jobs? In practical terms, the decision is merely an irritation–affecting maybe 1% of the overall project. But the broader implications are troubling. The Clubbers and their friends have a similar case against MVP at the same court (Fourth Circuit) that asks the court to block construction of MVP throughout Virginia on the theory that a stream crossing permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is faulty (see Army Corps Engrs Reinstates MVP Permits for 4 WV River Crossings). Will the Fourth Circuit judges now tell the Army Corps how to do their job too? That’s the strategy outlined in the Sierra Club’s arrogant, boastful press release following the decision stopping construction of MVP in Jefferson National Forest…
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Cabot O&G 2Q18: Income Doubles, Drilled 24 Wells, Ends Permian

One of our favorite Marcellus drillers, Cabot Oil & Gas, issued their second quarter 2018 update on Friday. Some of the highlights include: net income doubling, from $21.5 million to $42.4 million year over year; drilled 24 and completed 23 wells (down just a tad y/y, from 27 drilled and 26 completed in 2Q17); and Marcellus production was 1.89 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), a new all-time high, up 4% from first quarter 2018. Cabot’s CEO Dan Dinges talked about the company ending its dalliance with the Permian Basin, shutting down “exploratory area #1” in 2Q18, but continuing work on “exploratory area #2”–which is in central Ohio. He said more details on Ohio exploration will be forthcoming in the Q3 update. As we looked through the official update, the PowerPoint slide deck and a transcript of the conference call (all below), we found a few more items that caught our interest. (1) Cabot says they have another 35 years worth of drilling to do in the Marcellus, with the current leases they have in place. (2) The “break even” price at which they begin to make money has now gone all the way down to just under one dollar per Mcf. (3) The company’s plans still count on the Constitution Pipeline getting built. (4) Train 1 of the Lackawanna Energy Center (gas-fired electric plant near Scranton) is up and running and burning 70 Mmcf/d of Cabot’s Marcellus gas, train 2 will be online by October 1st, and train 3 by December 1st. Here’s the good news from Cabot…
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OH Wayne Natl Forest Landowners Tired of Waiting, Take Fight to DC

Bureaucrats deeply embedded in the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are engaged in denying private property owners with property in the Ohio Wayne National Forest (WNF) their property rights. That’s the very serious (and true) charge being levied by members of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). After “seven years of inaction,” property owners in WNF have taken their case to Washington, D.C.–to elected representatives from Ohio, along with federal agencies–in hopes of getting Utica drilling under way in WNF. After 10 long years, the BLM finally auctioned 719 acres in WNF in December 2016 (see BLM Auction Leases 17 Parcels, 719 Acres in OH Wayne Natl Forest). Since then BLM has held three more auctions. Ultimately there are some 18,000 acres under consideration for leasing by the BLM in WNF, a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned! Those mineral rights owners have been denied the use of their property rights for more than a decade. It was thought with the beginning of auctions the situation would be remedied. Not so. Not a single drilling permit has been issued following the auctions. BLM bureaucrats are threatening private landowners that their property, if it belongs to a drilling unit along with BLM auctioned land, will be subject to a full National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. Enough! It’s time to put an end to unelected DC swamp dwellers blocking Utica drilling in WNF…
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Snap: Lebanon, PA Antis Protest Fossil Fuels Weekly for 1.5 Hours

Every Friday afternoon from 4 to 5:30 pm, a single protesters (typically just one person) stand on a corner in Annville (Lebanon County), PA holding a sign to protest pipelines and fossil fuel energy. The selected protester, from a group calling itself Lebanon Pipeline Awareness, stands on a corner wearing clothes and sneakers made from plastics–i.e. fossil fuels. Sporting a sign made from materials that include fossil fuels. The protester was transported to that location using vehicles made from fossil fuels (loaded with plastic) and powered by fossil fuels (gasoline). The protester comes from a home or apartment heated and cooled with fossil fuels. The anti group alerted the media to come take a look at the “protest” by using computers made from and powered by fossil fuels. The protester drinks water from a plastic bottle–made from fossil fuels–as he/she stands there holding a fossil-fuel-made sign. And yet, these people are there to protest fossil fuels! Does anyone else see how utterly pathetic this is? How dishonest? How truly nutty?…
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Marc/Utica Gas Trucked to Jacksonville, FL for Use in LNG Ship

Crowley’s El Coqui – LNG powered ship

There is a trend underway for ships to use LNG (liquefied natural gas), which cuts down on pollution from using diesel and other fuels. Good trend! There is a term associated with LNG used in ships you may not be familiar with: LNG bunkering, which is the practice of providing LNG to a ship to use for its own consumption. It’s not a no-brainer to fuel up an LNG ship. It takes special equipment. Last Wednesday Eagle LNG officially opened its Maxville (suburb of Jacksonville), Florida liquefaction facility to first liquefy then transport LNG to Crowley’s new LNG bunkering facility at the Port of Jacksonville (Jaxport) where the LNG will be used to fuel Crowley’s El Coqui, the world’s first LNG-powered ship designed to carry both containerized and roll-on/roll-off cargo. First liquefy the natural gas, then get it to the fueling station (bunkering) that loads it onto the ship. The cool thing is that some of the natural gas arriving at Eagle LNG’s facility is coming from the Marcellus/Utica region, “trucked” to Jacksonville…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Jul 30, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: MDS raises $31.5M, opens Pittsburgh branch office; Polymer Alliance Zone adds 2 more WV counties; VA Dems ask gov to block pipelines; MVP protester sentenced to jail; natgas boom pays off for Doddridge, WV schools; how BP found shale profits with “crystal ball”; the U.S. is still global natgas king; when will fractivists apologize?; the next round of U.S. LNG export terminals; is digitization living up to hype for oil & gas?; Trump says Europe to buy boatloads of LNG; and more!
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