PA Cross Unit Drilling One Vote Away from Becoming Law

Yesterday the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee “reported out” (i.e. approved) Senate Bill (SB) 694, which is the Senate version of what was House Bill (HB) 247, a bill which allows fully leased parcels that are part of one drilling “unit” to be combined with parcels in a different unit–“cross unit drilling.” The full Senate voted to approve the bill on September 25 by a vote of 49-0 in favor. Yes, a unanimous vote, with both Republicans and Democrats voting to approve it in the Senate. We’re now one vote away from final passage–the full House. There’s little doubt it will pass.
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Mountain Valley Pipe Price Goes Up, In-Service Delayed Again

The last time Equitrans talked about the status of its 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline project (from Wetzel County, WV to Pittsylvania County, VA) was July, when the company said the cost for the project had ballooned to $5 billion and the in-service date delayed until mid-2020 (see Equitrans Wants to Remain Kissin’ Cousins with EQT; MVP 85% Done). Then the clown judges of the federal Fourth Circuit Court pulled a permit for the project, and FERC told the company to stop all construction (see FERC Shuts Down All Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction). Yesterday Equitrans issued a new update. The price has gone up…again, and the in-service date is delayed…again.
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New Online Service for Buyers & Sellers of Mineral Rights

A common refrain for both landowners and drillers who want to buy/sell/swap mineral rights for drilling is the same: How do you find buyers (or sellers)? Some have resorted to auctions. Others, plain old word-of-mouth. They both have a new way to find buyers or sellers: Something called RealX, an online mineral rights property database. Kind of like Zillow for mineral rights, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The new service just launched with over 6 million acres of mineral rights.
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Ohio Ballot Initiative to Overturn Nuke Bailout Goes to Fed Court

The fight to overturn Ohio’s House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout (freebie) given to FirstEnergy to prop up its uneconomical nuclear power plants is getting nasty. Really nasty. We previously told you about FirstEnergy’s lying commercials that claim China controls the state’s natural gas industry–because a Chinese bank loaned some of the gas-fired plants money (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Somehow FirstEnergy got Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and got him to overturn the the language of the referendum, disqualifying it on a technicality (see Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum). Because of Yost’s action, there isn’t enough time to get enough signatures. So the matter has gone to federal court, asking for more time.
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FERC Won’t Change Pipeline Approval Policy Until 5 Members Vote

FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee

On Monday Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee addressed the EnVision Forum at the University of Kentucky. Among his comments: FERC won’t reconsider how it approves pipelines, the framework it uses, until there are a full five members of the Commission (currently there are three). President Trump recently nominated a fourth person as commissioner, James Danly (see Trump Selects FERC Attorney James Danly as New Commissioner). Don’t look for a full quorum to be available any time soon. The last time FERC updated its pipeline approval framework was 20 years ago–in 1999.
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EPA’s Wheeler Rips into Cuomo, Pipe Veto “Worst Enviro Decision”

Andrew Cuomo, the man-child governor of New York, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Or week. For the past few weeks the New York Post has repeatedly hammered Cuomo over his decision to block the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project that would bring critical new supplies of natgas to Long Island and New York City. The Wall Street Journal also joined in by hammering Cuomo over the same issue, pointing out Cuomo is to blame for thousands of utility customers of National Grid who now cannot connect, yet Cuomo is forcing National Grid to add them anyway (see WSJ Editorial Board Blasts NY Gov. Cuomo for Bullying National Grid).
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