Exxon Mobil Shaken Down by NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

GoodFellasThe Comptroller of the State of New York, Thomas DiNapoli, is the sole person in charge of The New York State Common Retirement Fund–a fund with $160 billion in it. DiNapoli, or rather the NYS Common Retirement Fund, owns $1.02 billion of Exxon Mobil stock. Unfortunately, DiNapoli is an anti-drilling bully (see our list of MDN articles here). When someone like DiNapoli has you by the short hairs and is pulling, you ask him how high he wants you to jump. That’s what’s happening to Exxon Mobil.

DiNapoli is forcing Exxon Mobil to write a cockamamie report on the so-called hazards of fracking, to be released this September on the Exxon website. So what if the report shows there are no (or very few) actual hazards in fracking? Yeah, right. They don’t call people like Tommy DiNapoli a goodfella for nuttin’. Exxon is getting shaken down by a bullying investor that holds a lot of stock. And not just any investor–but a government official to boot. It’s sleazy, it’s disgusting, and it’s New York politics. What do you think Exxon’s report on fracking will say?…
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Cuomo & DiNapoli: Asleep at Sales Tax Switch in NY Southern Tier

MDN has long chronicled the sad situation for landowners in New York State with a moratorium that is, as of today, 5 years and 20 days old. It has had catastrophic economic consequences for New York, especially for those who live in the Southern Tier of the state–that area along the mid-state “southern” border with Pennsylvania (Broome, Tioga, Chemung, Steuben counties). Gov. Andrew Cuomo is spineless on the fracking issue–that much is clear. He won’t stand up to the shrill and unreasonable voices in his own party. No one will take him seriously on the national stage. Cuomo’s rising star has become a shooting star–straight down.

Thomas DiNapoli, NY State Comptroller, is clearly an avowed anti-driller. We’ve brought you a number of stories that illustrate his disdain for drilling (see MDN stories about DiNapoli here). We find it particularly offensive and hypocritical (although not surprising) that DiNapoli has just issued a report that shows sales tax revenue is up in most of the state’s counties, but down in Southern Tier counties–down a lot. DiNapoli bemoans the fact that the Southern Tier continues to take it in the neck–yet he makes no mention of how shale drilling could instantly reverse the economic misery of Southern Tier residents. Typical politician–identify the problem but offer no solutions…
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NYS Comptroller DiNapoli Letter: Chesapeake Needs New Board

Anti-drilling New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is once again going after Chesapeake Energy. Like many Democrats, he’s not one to waste a good crisis. You may recall that DiNapoli previously scolded Chesapeake over its Founders Well Participation Program (FWPP) that allowed CEO Aubrey McClendon, the guy who founded the company, to participate in each well drilled, with up to 2.5 percent ownership (see this MDN story).

Now that the board has rescinded the FWPP program after next year, DiNapoli needs something else to target, so he’s lobbying to have a new board of directors installed and sent an open letter to shareholders calling for just that (see the letter embedded below).

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NY Comptroller DiNapoli Editorial Defends Drilling Tax

Thomas DiNapoliLast week, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli made a pitch for taxing the gas drilling industry in New York to create a pool of money that can be used to clean up accidents that may occur. As MDN pointed out (see MDN story here), any pool of money that sits in Albany doesn’t last long and will certainly be reallocated for other unintended uses. In addition, wouldn’t you make the company who caused the accident pay to clean it up? Why extort extract money ahead of time from all drillers, even from those who will never experience an accident, for an accident fund? Why? Because politicians love money, that’s why.

Apparently DiNapoli is feeling push-back against his brilliant proposal, and has found it necessary to write an editorial, sent to multiple news outlets across the state, to defend the indefensible: yet another new tax. Here is DiNapoli’s editorial, in full:

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Radical Dems Make Another Run at Forcing NY to Divest Fossil Fuels

In what is at least the second (maybe third or fourth) serious attempt, radical Democrats in the New York State legislature have floated a bill that would force NY’s public employee pension fund to completely divest any stock holdings in fossil fuel companies. Are NY retirees ready to take a $1 TRILLION hit in their wallets if it happens?
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Sep 6, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Cuomo’s pricey wind-power gift to unions; Methane reduction rules won’t change gas producer’s plans to cut back on emissions; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: NJR Midstream announces acquisition of Leaf River Energy Center; Monmouth College’s ‘Shale Play’ exhibit explores impact of fracking; NATIONAL: Electric generation transforms primary energy into secondary energy; Fact check: Kamala Harris misled America on#ExxonKnew; Reporters Notebook: Natural gas-powered buses becoming more visible; Methane emissions continue to drop; 5 surprising scientific facts about earth’s climate; Media’s embrace of ‘climate crisis’ raises alarm about journalistic objectivity; INTERNATIONAL: Dutch homeowners willing, but not eager to switch to natural gas-free living.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, May 30, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: ODNR approves Utica Shale permits for Columbiana County; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Sempra starts loading first Cameron LNG cargo; Colorado city OKs 6-month drilling permit moratorium; NATIONAL: Exxon shareholders reject resolutions on climate and splitting CEO, chairman roles; The Department of Energy referred to natural gas as ‘freedom gas’ in a press release; U.S. E&Ps cut costs in response to price decreases George Mitchell, hero to the world’s poor.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Dec 19, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA joins 8 other states, D.C. to develop regional program to cap greenhouse gas pollution from transportation; Ohio shale production spikes, and what that means for the state; How responsive will Cove Point LNG exports be to economics?; NY Comptroller DiNapoli facing heat over climate change; Natural gas industry burns for more pipeline capacity in Mass.; Anti-pipeline activism isn’t generating more investment in renewable energy; The incredible shrinking credibility of the climate movement; Oil nosedives to $46 – worries about economy collide with supply glut; Natural gas producer key to Trump’s energy dominance agenda strikes new deal with Malaysia.
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New Williams Board Appointment Raises Ethics Question

On July 31 midstream giant Williams announced it had added a new member to its board of directors, Vicki Fuller. We didn’t think much of it at the time. We included a mention in our “best of the rest” section the following day (see Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Aug 1, 2018). Fuller is an accomplished woman–very smart. Prior to assuming her part-time role at Williams (for a cool $275,000 per year), she was the chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. That is, she decided how and where to invest the $207 billion worth of investments in the pension fund, put there by New York State workers (teachers and others), used to cover their retirement pensions. That’s a lot of responsibility riding on one person’s shoulders. And therein is the rub. Anti fossil fuel radicals have been pushing New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (a wildly left liberal himself) and Fuller (appointed by DiNapoli) to divest the Common Retirement Fund from fossil fuel companies–companies like Williams. To his credit, DiNapoli has resisted the political pressure to divest, realizing that millions of pensioners’ investments would fall by billions of dollars if that happens. And to her credit, Fuller did not cave to the pressure either. Liberal media (PBS) is now going after Fuller and her appointment to the Williams board, implying it’s some sort of quid pro quo–that Fuller got the job and a big salary for doing part-time work, in return for not divesting the pension fund from Williams stocks and bonds. Which is a stretch. A big stretch. However, the timing of her departure as CIO of the pension fund and her appointment to the Williams board (both in the same week) doesn’t look good…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Sep 20, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Dominion Energy announces proposal to acquire outstanding Dominion Energy Midstream common units; Pa. anti-fracking group hiring: no fracking knowledge required – must have ability to regurgitate misinformation; NY Comptroller wants to know companies’ greenhouse gas emissions; Blue Ridge Mountain Resources announces new CFO; Potter Township official shares experience for others about crackers; Slew of environmental lawsuits aren’t about climate change, they’re about attacking energy companies; Cuadrilla bags fracturing permit for second shale well in UK; IEA says near-term natural gas export growth to be fueled by US, Australia and Russia; China LNG tariff casts shadow over new U.S. export terminals; Germany blinks first in ongoing European gas war; U.S. to export ‘tremendous’ amount of LNG to Poland.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Sep 12, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: ETP to inspect entire blast-damaged gas pipeline in Pennsylvania; Oil and gas industry ‘here to stay’ in Harrison County, OH; Extension of natural gas line to Williamsport could start next month; Senate candidate Barletta talks energy at CNX offices; Orion strategies opens Pittsburgh office; Ramos joins firm; New York City fossil fuel divestment in the spotlight; California commits energy suicide – no fossil fuel electric by 2045; Had it bet on nuclear, not renewables, California would already have 100% clean power; U.S. shale gas prices staying lower for longer; EIA projects record high US natural gas output, demand in 2018; EIA nudges natural gas price forecast higher to $2.99 in ’18, $3.12 in ’19; Why China’s fracking hopes will hit the rocks; Will the U.S. let India continue to import Iranian crude?
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Cuomo Plan to Divest Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels Cost NY $1T

Andrew Cuomo – tinhorn dictator of NY

Sorry to harp yet again on the tinhorn dictator Andrew Cuomo, so-called governor of New York, but his actions are so egregious, so outside the mainstream, we can’t keep silent. Cuomo is bragging that he’s not only shut down fracking in the state, he’s also blocking natural gas pipelines and blocking new gas-fired electric generating plants. He’s clinically off his rocker. And now Cuomo is pushing NY’s public employee pension fund to completely divest any stock holdings in fossil fuel companies. University of Chicago Law School Prof. Daniel Fischel and Compass Lexecon economists Christopher Fiore and Todd Kendall have analyzed the risks associated with fossil fuel divestment by both New York and Colorado’s retirement funds. They found that over the next 50 years, divesting NY’s retirement fund will cost NY pensioners $1 TRILLION of value they otherwise would have had in their pockets. Will anyone have the guts to stop the Cuomo train wreck before it’s too late?…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, May 3, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA PUC inspectors recommend restarting ME1 NGL pipeline; Cabot ramps up shale production in Susquehanna County; PA EQB hearing on May 16 to consider boosting shale permits 250%; PA House Republicans unexpectedly delay final vote to roll back conventional regs; symbolic frack ban coming in Greenwich, CT; Houston vs. Houston (offshore vs. shale); don’t let NY control energy policy for OK, LA and AR; natgas storage surge coming; U.S. importing Canadian crude by rail; and more!
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Apr 9, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Pittsburgh lawyer co-founds software co aimed at Marcellus; EQT interim CEO making $850,000/yr; court approves PES bankruptcy plan; climate lawsuit suffers another blow in federal court; CO2 emissions from power plants at lowest levels since 1988–thx to shale; corp raiders forcing smaller shale players to consider M&A; 7% of all fossil fuels never burned; Kinder Morgan threatens to scrap Trans Mountain pipe project in Canada; and more!
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jan 19, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye over the break that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: 6 permits issued in Utica Shale; fossil fuel divestment is a costly, empty gesture for NY; a tale of two river basins; Jessup Borough hires radical lawyer to review power plant project; New England electric generators burned 2M brels of oil in 15 days; Scott Pruitt aims to accelerate efforts to remake EPA; new strategy for pipeline cos – bigger pipes; OPEC frets about new flood of U.S. oil; EIA says U.S. fossil fuel production to hit new records in 2018 & 2019; and more!
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NY State Retirement Fund Invests More Money in Fracking Co.

We found this story illustrative of the rank hypocrisy so prevalent in our beloved home state of New York. Even the most cursory follower of shale energy knows that our corrupt governor, Andrew Cuomo, decided to ban shale fracking in the Empire State in 2015 (see It’s Official: Cuomo Bans Economic Opportunity & Prosperity in NY). Since that time Cuomo has acted like the tin-pot, despot dictator he is, by moving to block pipelines coming into the state that carry fracked natural gas (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline and Cuomo’s Corrupt NY DEC Blocks NFG Northern Access Pipeline Permit). Cuomo recently lost one such battle, attempting to block a 7.8 mile pipeline from being built to a gas-fired electric plant in Orange County (see Millennium Begins Building 7.8 Mile Pipeline in Orange County, NY). Instead of using evil, filthy, vile “fossil fuels” like natural gas, Cuomo prefers to shower billions to his friends who promise they will bring solar and wind to the state. Cuomo has implemented a policy that demands 50% of New York’s electric supplies come from solar and wind by 2030–a delusional fantasy. The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the state’s ginormous pension fund for state workers (including public school teachers)–with some $140 billion of investments. Anti-drilling New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is the sole trustee in control of the fund, overseeing its investments. The fund invests in plenty of oil and gas companies–i.e. frackers–which we were once again reminded of when spotting a news clip that the Fund has just increased its holdings in PDC Energy–a shale fracker…
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