PA Court Delivers Split Decision in Remaining Ch. 78a Regs Case

Mainstream media, via a single Associated Press story, is reporting a decision by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court yesterday is largely a “win” for the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection with respect to Chapter 78a regulations. The AP story de-emphasizes what we consider the larger story–that the drilling industry already won most of the case last year (see PA Supreme Court Gives Drillers Victory in Chapter 78a Regs Case). In yesterday’s court ruling, the judges split the final pieces of the case, awarding victory to the DEP in some areas, and the Marcellus industry in others. We sort it all out below.
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EQT Pauses Lawsuit Against Former Rice Employees

In February, EQT filed lawsuits in both Pennsylvania and federal courts against two former employees it had fired, claiming the employees, before they were fired, had systematically copied confidential information from company computers and took it with them when they left (see EQT Claims 2 Fired Workers Stole Confidential Information). In March, EQT alleged the employees “stole” the information to help Toby and Derek Rice in their bid to take over EQT via a proxy war (see EQT Accuses Fired Employees of Colluding with Rice Boys). At least one of those two cases has just been put on hold.

7/24/19 UPDATE: Below is new information about the paused EQT lawsuit. While EQT requested a 45-day pause/hold on the lawsuit, the judge paused it for 15 days instead–until Aug. 2nd.
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Court Shoots Down Anti Lawsuit Against Pipe Thru NJ Scrub Pines

NJ protected scrub pines

New Jersey Natural Gas’ (NJNG) $130 million, 22-mile natural gas pipeline project called the Southern Reliability Link has been in the works since at least 2017. A 10-mile section of the project passes through “protected” scrub pines and swamps. The project is plagued by political opposition from NJ’s Democrat Party (now in charge of the state) and by lawsuits filed by leftist Big Green groups, including the Sierra Club. A NJ state appeals court has just shot down a lawsuit filed by the radical group People Over Pipelines. It’s rare we get to celebrate a victory like this, so let’s celebrate!
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Fed Court to Otsego 2000: No Standing in NY Pipe Case, Get Lost

A radical anti-fossil fuel group (rich snobs) from Cooperstown, NY, in Otsego County (calling themselves Otsego 2000), sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court a year ago to try and stop a project to build a couple of compressor stations in upstate New York, using the argument global warming wasn’t factored into the decision-making process (see Otsego2000 Snobs Appeal FERC Approval of New Market Pipe Project). Because neither of the compressor stations are located in Otsego County, the court ruled Otsego 2000 had no standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place (see Fed Court Rules Against NY Antis in “Landmark” Dominion Pipe Case).
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Weymouth Compressor Construction Not Likely to Begin This Year

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Last week we told you the good news that the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has granted an air permit for a compressor station in Weymouth (see Mass. DEP Issues Air Permit for Weymouth Compressor Station). The compressor station is the final component of the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge expansion project–a federal project overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Although MA issued the air permit (the main permit), anti-fossil fuelers are doing their best to continue delaying the compressor in hopes of killing it outright.
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NET Power Pioneers “Zero-Carbon” Gas-Fired Electric Plants

In 2017 and again in 2018 we brought you news about a Texas-based company called NET Power (see The World’s First Zero-Emissions Natgas-Fired Power Plant and Natural Gas with Zero Emissions? This Will Give Antis Heartburn). It seems a group of smart people at NET Power have figured out a way to capture all, as in 100%, of the carbon dioxide that comes from burning natural gas to produce heat to turn a turbine. There are no CO2 emissions that escape into the atmosphere. A company spokesman teased at a workshop held yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences that the company now has multiple plants under development around the world.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jul 23, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: PJM Interconnect records record electricity use Friday, over weekend; 10 arrested during climate change sit-in at Pa. Democratic HQ; Philadelphia Energy Solutions files for bankruptcy after refinery fire; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Blackstone weighs Cheniere Energy Partners stake sale; NATIONAL: Halliburton cuts 8% of North American jobs in frack slowdown; U.S. Shale: Peak oil [production] finally arrives; Icahn launches proxy fight after stalled talks with Occidental CEO; INTERNATIONAL: No, natural gas is not as bad a coal – IEA; Western Canada’s natural gas production is nearing all-time highs; LNG demand to spike five-fold in parts of Asia; RBC – Natural gas glut will last into 2020s.
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