MVP Update: USFWS Needs More Time; Antis Pester DEQ

Last Friday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking for an extra 45 days to revise an Endangered Species Act (ESA) review of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. Also from last week: anti-fossil fuelers (Big Green groups) virulently opposed to MVP (which is 90% built) continued to hound the project by pestering the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) over minor violations the DEQ found in construction activities from September to December. Big Green wants to know what the DEQ is going to “do” about the violations.
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Fed Court Nixes Landowner Compensation Claims re UGI PA Pipeline

UGI Corp. has just won a case on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that overturns an order by a lower court ordering UGI to pay more than $380,000 combined to two sets of property owners for taking their land as part of the Sunbury Pipeline in Snyder County, PA. The landowners who sued used a so-called expert whose testimony was, according to the judges, “speculation and conjecture” and “not good science.” Therefore the lower court award was overturned.

2/14/20 Update: We spotted a second article that does a good job of reviewing this case and the rebuke the Third Circuit handed a lower court judge. Click to read it below.
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PA’s Highest Ranking Senate Republican, Joe Scarnati, Retiring

Joe Scarnati

A couple of weeks ago MDN brought you the sad news that Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, a staunch ally of the Marcellus industry, is retiring at the end of this year (see Say It Ain’t So! PA House Speaker Mike Turzai is Retiring). Turzai is the top Republican in the Republican-controlled House. Now comes word that the top Republican in the Republican-controlled Senate, “President Pro Tempore” Joe Scarnati will also retire at the end of this year. Yikes! What’s going on?
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Time to Finish Mariner East 2 Pipeline Says SEPA Former Senator

In January the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after more than a year, agreed to lift a moratorium on new construction work for several Energy Transfer pipeline projects in the state, including the Mariner East 2 and 2X projects (see PA DEP Clears Way for ET to Complete Mariner East Pipelines). A few weeks later the DEP assessed a $1.95 million fine on the Mariner East 2 project (see PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2). Fine paid, permission granted…At least ET can restart work on ME2 now, right? Wrong.
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Anti-Fossil Fuel Judge Sells Philly Refinery to Chicago Developer

The fix is in. A bankruptcy judge in Delaware yesterday announced he is awarding the sale of the closed Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery to a Chicago developer that has plans to demolish the East Coast’s largest and oldest refinery–and replace it with big, smelly, noisy warehouses with trucks coming and going day and night. The judge’s remarks are telling, citing as one of his main reasons for dumping the refinery is the facility’s “numerous and repeated problems.”
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Explainer Video – The Case Against PA Joining Northeast RGGI

Our friend Mark Mathis from the Clear Energy Alliance has just hit another home run with his newest video explaining the battle in Pennsylvania to try and force the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). PA Gov. Tom Wolf, in a naked power-grab, intends to force PA to join RGGI, a group of northeastern states attempting to assassinate coal and gas-fired power generation by taxing it to death with an insane carbon tax (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Mark explains it all in this short, 4-minute video…
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Feb 13, 2020

NATIONAL: House Republicans propose carbon capture and sequestration legislation; Trump sends Danly’s FERC nomination to Senate for second time; Pressure rises on the oil and gas industry to address gas flaring; How the left occupies Attorneys General offices: a case study in capture; Stop playing games with America’s energy future; Enverus and RS Energy Group combine forces; INTERNATIONAL: BP lays out long-term ambition to achieve net-zero emissions; Despite phase-out pledge, EU will continue to fund gas projects.
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