PA Fines Sunoco $355,636 for Old Mariner East 2 Pipe Violations

Credit: Scott Blanchard / StateImpact Pennsylvania (click for larger version)

In early 2018 Sunoco Logistics Partners (aka Energy Transfer) agreed to pay a massive (historically high) $12.6 million fine to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction). It wasn’t the only fine the ME projects have incurred. Last Thursday Sunoco agreed to pay *another* $355,636 for a series of “inadvertent returns” (i.e. drilling mud spills) that happened more than a year ago, between August 2018 and April 2019.
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CNX Agrees to $175K Fine for Faulty Utica Well in SWPA

CNX was fracking their Shaw 1G Utica well in Washington Township (Westmoreland County) in early 2019 when they detected “a strong drop in pressure” and stopped fracking (see CNX Hits Major Problem Fracking Utica Well Near SWPA Reservoir). Turns out the well was “communicating” (i.e. losing gas to) several nearby conventional wells. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally assessed a fine for that episode late last week: $175,000.
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PA Marcellus Gas Production Declines in 2Q, News Not All Bad

Last Thursday Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report–for April through June 2020 (full copy below). The report shows natgas production in PA rose 2.8% compared to the same period last year. However, overall production fell 2.8% compared to 1Q20–the second quarter in a row production has fallen quarter-over-quarter.
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NEXUS, Rover Pipes Lose Court Case to Lower Ohio Tax Bill

Last December both Rover Pipeline and NEXUS Pipeline, two large Utica-gas pipelines traversing Ohio, appealed their property tax valuations to the Ohio Dept. of Taxation, looking to trim their tax bills in Stark County by up to 50% (see NEXUS and Rover Pipes Ask Stark County, OH for BIG Tax Cut). In July, Ohio’s Tax Commissioner denied the two pipelines’ request. Rover and NEXUS together are projected to be on the hook for $20 million in taxes in Stark County–just for last year!
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Putting Recent ME2 Marsh Creek Lake Mud Spill in Perspective

Two weeks ago while drilling in Chester County in Marsh Creek State Park, Energy Transfer’s Mariner East (ME) 2X pipeline experienced an “inadvertent return”–nontoxic drilling mud coming up out of the ground where it’s not supposed to (see Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill). In this case the mud came up in a small section of the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake. Hostile Democrat politicians in Chester County immediately jumped on the leak (which didn’t kill a single fish) to demand the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoke the pipeline’s permits to build in the county–forever. A former politician from Chester County offers a different view of this latest episode and the partisan calls to stop ME2.
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Sen. Gene Yaw Makes Strong Case Against PA Carbon Tax

PA Sen. Gene Yaw

We spotted an article that is one of the most salient, relevant, eloquent, and best-reasoned defenses of fossil fuels and using natural gas for power generation we’ve ever read. And it was authored by none other than Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw! Yaw, from Williamsport, is chairman of the PA Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. He is dead set against Gov. Wolf’s ill-conceived plan to force the state to join the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)–a carbon tax on coal and gas-fired power generation that will do nothing to save the planet and everything to kill off what remains of the Marcellus Shale industry in the state.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Aug 24, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Shale gas impact fee receipts down; future take a wild card; Natural gas prices are on fire, but producers are holding back; Local activists will paddle in protest of proposed Kearny natural gas plant; ExxonMobil Petrochemicals moving into PA?; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Lack of natural gas infrastructure hurts NC; The blithering idiocy of California’s energy policies; NATIONAL: Federal data show the high cost of electrifying homes; US weekly LNG exports rise to 11 cargoes; Flex LNG expects U.S. cargo cancellations to decrease in September; Natural Gas is the bridge to climate change nirvana; An effective ESG strategy strengthens the competitiveness of US liquefied natural gas; Natural gas price fundamental daily forecast – focus shifts to potential production disruption.
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