PA PUC Distributes $252M from Impact Tax – Highest Ever!

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Each June the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (PA’s version of a severance tax) releases the final numbers of impact fee revenues and disbursements for the prior calendar year. Yesterday was the appointed day for 2018 fee revenue generated. The PUC reports impact fees on natural gas producers in 2018 totaled $242,964,000–the highest-ever yearly amount of revenue generated since the fee/tax was implemented in 2011. If you add in another $8,866,900 disbursed after a court case was settled about “stripper wells,” the total that was disbursed this year amounts to a whopping $251,830,900–a quarter of a billion dollars!
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Enviro Judge Allows Weymouth, MA Compressor to Advance

Artists rendering of how the plant will look (click for larger version)

A compressor station planned for Weymouth, Massachusetts, part of the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge expansion project, has been stalled since 2017. The administration of MA Gov. Charlie Baker (RINO) finally issued an air permit for the project in January of this year (see Antis Outraged: Massachusetts Gov Approves Weymouth Compress Stn). Antis promptly challenged the Dept. of Environmental Protection permit, dragging out the process another six months. Yesterday a “hearing officer” (we’d call her a judge) for the DEP ruled the permit issued by the DEP “does not violate Massachusetts statutory and regulatory provisions.” The hearing officer recommends that the DEP issue a Final Decision affirming the air permit. Victory!
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Spreading Marcellus Love Throughout PA with Expanded PIPE Program

PA Rep. Jonathan Fritz (photo by Rick Hiduk)

Two weeks ago today MDN editor Jim Willis experienced the rare treat of venturing out from behind the keyboard to a press conference held in the great outdoors in nearby Susquehanna County, PA. The topic? Energize PA, a series of bills being promoted by Republicans in both the PA Senate and House. The event was organized by PA Rep. Jonathan Fritz, who opened the presser with details on House Bill (HB) 1103, a bill that will expand the state’s PIPE program to run more “last mile” natural gas pipelines to homes and businesses in rural communities. PA makes the gas, and now they want to benefit from using it.
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Mammoth Energy’s Puerto Rico Elec Work Gets it into Legal Trouble

Oilfield services company (OFS) Mammoth Energy Services, headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, operates in the Marcellus/Utica Shale, Permian Basin, SCOOP/STACK in Oklahoma, and in Canada’s oil sands region. Mammoth not only works in OFS, they also dabble in electrical transmission and distribution (“T&D”) work. Following the 2017 disaster when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Mammoth was hired to help rebuild the electric utility infrastructure on the island (see Mammoth Energy Wanders into Non-Shale Work in Puerto Rico). That dalliance in non-shale work has come back to bite the company.
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Pieridae Buys Shell Assets in W Canada to Feed Nova Scotia LNG

Pieridae Energy wants to build an LNG export plant in Nova Scotia, Canada. The project is called the Goldboro LNG project. Nearly a year ago we told you that Pieridae had purchased a small natural gas producer in Western Canada to help provide supplies of gas to the East Coast plant (see Nova Scotia Goldboro LNG Buys Driller, Getting Gas from Canada). Pieridae has just done it again. They’ve cut a deal to buy Shell Canada’s Alberta Hills gas production along with three gas processing plants for C$190 million.
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US Supreme Court Decision Makes Shale Drilling in NY More Likely

We spotted a post last week by friend Tom Shepstone on the Natural Gas Now website about a recent, very important, U.S. Supreme Court decision that makes it easier for landowners to bring a “takings” lawsuit against government entities (see Take Notice DRBC: “Sue Me” Approach to the Takings Clause Is Untenable.). The Supremes ruled that a landowner can file a takings claim directly in federal court without having to file in state court first. Federal courts are more likely to grant a takings claim. The implications of the case are causing alarm among antis who have abused our court systems to block Constitutional property rights.
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US DOE Invests $44.5M in Grants to Advance Fracking Technology

It’s no secret that the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) had a hand in the original research that resulted in the shale revolution. It was George Mitchell who pioneered the first shale wells–but he did so based on research performed by the federal government. The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy remains active to this day in researching new and better ways to extract and use fossil fuels, much to the dismay of global warming fundamentalists. One of the ways Fossil Energy accomplishes its mission is to fund research projects by academic institutions–and even private companies. Fossil Energy has just announced a new round of $44.5 million in grants aimed at improving fracking (yes! fracking) technology, and improving our understanding of shale plays.
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