Williams Withholds Payment Forcing Pipeline Builder into Bankruptcy

On Monday Welded Construction, a pipeline construction contractor headquartered in Perrysburg, OH, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because, they say, Williams is refusing to pay them $23.5 million for work completed, and that refusal/dispute leaked out into the marketplace and created a “liquidity crisis” (crisis of confidence) with other Welded customers and their projects. By filing for bankruptcy protection, Welded hopes to create “breathing room” and settle folks down and reassure them their projects are OK.
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FERC Green Lights Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction in WV

Dominion’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from West Virginia to North Carolina has had its share of setbacks. But these days, it appears the project is building momentum and government/regulatory decisions are breaking in ACP’s favor. The project is on track to finish by the end of 2019, so says Dominion. The latest win for ACP came yesterday when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted permission for ACP to begin construction pretty much in all locations in West Virginia. The only prohibitions are small areas in National Park Service land and a few locations where there may be Indiana bats.
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Aqua America Buys Peoples Gas for $4.3B – Old Pipes, Similar Nature

Aqua America, the nation’s second largest water/wastewater utility company headquartered near Philadelphia, announced it is buying Peoples Gas, the nation’s fifth largest natural gas utility company headquartered in Pittsburgh, for $4.275 billion. This story interests us because the buyer, Aqua America, provides services to Marcellus/Utica shale drillers, and because Peoples Gas is a buyer of Marcellus/Utica gas. The combined company will both serve the shale industry as part of the supply chain, and buy the output of the shale industry as a customer. How cool is that? What made Aqua interested in Peoples? It has to do with old pipes in the ground. And similar natures.
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Outrage: Taxpayer Money Continues Funding PA Anti-Pipeline Group

Although President Trump is having good success in draining much of the D.C. swamp, there are still stagnant pools here and there. One of them is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Two years ago PHMSA was caught directly funding anti-pipeline activists with your taxpayer dollars! When it was exposed, the grants stopped–at least temporarily. But now they’ve begun again. In 2018, PHMSA is giving almost $100,000 to the Pipeline Safety Coalition, a radical anti-pipeline group in Pennsylvania. Since 2009 the group has grabbed $1.1 million of taxpayer’s money via federal grants!! It’s time for a Congressional hearing and investigation.
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Chevron Donates $250K to Fund Corp Social Responsibility Program

If we were ask you, “What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)–what does it mean?” How would you define it? We have to admit that when we first began to see CSR mentioned a few years ago, we were a bit confused by what it meant, largely because everyone defines it their own way. Here’s a real basic definition (the MDN definition) for CSR: Giving back. Giving back to a local community or to a larger sector of society with time, money and volunteers. Think of it as the “heart” of a company. Companies make money. It is increasingly expected those companies should be “good corporate citizens” and help out the people and areas where they make their money. Why do we mention it? Because companies in the shale industry are big into CSR. For example, Chevron (Pittsburgh) is funding a new Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Waynesburg University with a $250,000 gift.
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6 Protesters Arrested for Blocking MVP Pipe Trucks in WV

Although EQT Midstream’s 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline project has experienced a number of legal and regulatory setbacks and is currently blocked from constructing pipeline across/under/near any river, stream, or wetland in all of West Virginia and all of Virginia, there are still places where MVP can build (see Mountain Valley Pipe Keeps Building Despite Court Action re Permits). MVP is legally continuing construction activities. Except sometimes MVP is illegally blocked by protesters who irrationally believe natural gas will kill the planet because it’s a “fossil fuel.” It happened again on Monday when six nutjobs were arrested at an MVP pipeline storage yard near the border of Raleigh and Fayette counties in WV.
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Study Confirms Wisdom of Not Dumping Untreated Frack Wastewater

The Elliptio complanate freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment. IMAGE: WESTCOTT PHILLIP / WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Some old news that has become new once again. Prior to 2011, a few Pennsylvania municipal sewage treatment plants accepted untreated frack wastewater, processing it through their systems and releasing it into the environment (rivers and streams). Based on scientific data available at the time, then-Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, Mike Krancer (Republican), stopped the practice (see PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water). Since that time there have been no PA (or any other state) sewage plants accepting frack wastewater. A new study by Penn State now confirms what we pretty much knew then–that aquatic life is affected by dumping untreated frack wastewater into streams and rivers.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Oct 24, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Fake news alert: Mariner East 2 will NOT have to wait until 2020; Marathon Petroleum-Andeavor $23.3B merger creates industry giant; Tri-Cities natural gas bills are going down. Trump’s tax plan gets part of the credit; Natural gas regulator station proposal raises real estate concerns; Panel: Renewables and natural gas should work together; Blackstone buys shale drill bit firm that grew through downturn; The energy crisis that never happened: What happens later?; The industry with the most female CEOs isn’t what you’d expect; Mexico steel execs call for competitive natural gas, cohesive industrial policy.
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