Va. Landowners Illegally Block MVP Survey Crew on Bent Mountain

In May, MDN noted a disturbing trend in the Commonwealth of Virginia of entangling law enforcement in the non-criminal issue of surveying for a federally-authorized pipeline project (see VA Landowner Uses State Police to Eject Pipeline Surveyors). A small minority of landowners continue to use (abuse) local law enforcement in their zeal to oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. Under Virginia State law, surveyors may enter a property without the property owner’s express permission to survey, as long as they have sent a prior notice to the landowner with target dates of when they will be on location. Some landowners, knowing the surveyors are coming, call in the cops to pressure the surveyors to leave. And the cops play along. Not a good situation. What typically happens is that the surveyors will leave and subsequently file for a court order of eminent domain, forcing the property owner to later allow the surveyors on their property. It happened again last month when a landowner in Franklin County called in the county Sheriff (see Franklin County, VA Landowners Use Sheriff to Eject MVP Surveyors). It’s now happened again–this time in Roanoke County…
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Fourth Circuit Allows Work on Mountain Valley Pipe to Continue

Earlier this month the Sierra Club filed yet another lawsuit (we’ve lost count of how many they’ve filed) attempting to block construction of the final 8% of Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The Clubbers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to “temporarily” block a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see Sierra Club Files Another Lawsuit to Block MVP’s FWS Permit). Earlier this week the court declined, meaning MVP can continue working over the winter.
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Mountain Valley Pipe Voluntarily Shuts Down Construction in Va.

MDN told you last week that Sierra Club lawyers are attempting to bamboozle a court into halting construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in Virginia, as they were able to do in West Virginia (see Enviro Radicals Target MVP in Va. Following WV Court “Win”). Turns out the enviro-nuts don’t have to worry–at least for now. Mother Nature has done it for them, has halted all construction of MVP in the Old Dominion. Following heavy rains that have resulted in erosion and runoff from the pathway along which the pipeline will be laid, MVP has voluntarily decided to, for the time being, halt all construction in Virginia. When will construction resume? According to an MVP spokesman: “There is no specific timeline for the suspension, however, as soon as upgrades are completed and approved by DEQ, construction can resume.” Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later…
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Antis Ask Court to Overrule State, Feds and Stop Mountain Valley Pipe

Apparently the more bizarre your actions, the more likely you are to become a minor celebrity. That’s what’s happening for Grandma Red, Theresa “Red” Terry, who took the bizarre action of climbing a tree on her property and living in the top of it for a month–all in an attempt to stop the tree from being cut to make way for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). In the end Grandma Red came down when a judge told her she would begin paying $1,000/day for her bizarre behavior. Now that she’s back on terra firma, Grandma Red is meeting with state officials and attending radical Big Green rallies, showered with praise for her “courageous” action. What’s next? The Tonight Show and The Late Show? Meanwhile, in a well-timed and coordinated attack, Big Green lawyers are asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the decisions of state and federal agencies to allow MVP, simply because Big Green doesn’t like the decisions. Big Green argued the court should overturn a decision by the Virginia State Water Control Board to allow MVP to build, crossing streams, and to overturn a decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow MVP to build pipeline through a tiny sliver of Jefferson National Forest. Twenty years ago these lawsuits would have been laughed out of court because the country followed the rule of law. Today, with courts packed with Obamadroids, you just don’t know…
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Blue Ridge Mountain Res. Forms JV to Raise $92M for Drilling in OH

In December 2015 Marcellus/Utica driller Magnum Hunter Resources filed for bankruptcy (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). Five short months later, in May 2016, Magnum Hunter emerged from bankruptcy–without CEO Gary Evans (see Magnum Hunter Emerges from Bankruptcy with CEO Gary Evans Gone). Apparently the new owners of the company (the former debt holders converted into equity holders) didn’t want Evans running the company. So Evans departed to start a new drilling company not focused on the M-U. In January 2017, just one year ago, Magnum Hunter changed its name to Blue Ridge Mountain Resources (see Magnum Hunter Changes Its Name, Leaves the Bankrupt Past Behind). Since that time the only news we’ve heard about the former Magnum Hunter is that they sold their interest in Eureka Midstream (see Eureka Midstream Confirms MDN Article on New Ownership). That is, until now. Earlier this week, Blue Ridge announced it sold a “non-operating interest” in 21,000 undeveloped Marcellus/Utica acres to an undisclosed investor for $56 million, AND got the undisclosed investor to pony up another $36 million (total deal of $92 million) which Blue Ridge will use to fund an ongoing 2-rig drilling program in southeastern Ohio…
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Mountaineer Pipeline Under Potomac Latest Focus of Anti Movement

Eastern Panhandle Expansion – click for larger version

In April, MDN brought you the news that Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 3.5 mile, 8-inch pipeline that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to connect the Mountaineer Gas system in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania (see New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River). The purpose of the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project is to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels (local utility Mountaineer Gas) to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, scheduled to open in Fall 2017, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Most of the proposed pipeline crosses through a tiny sliver of Washington County, Maryland. The main “issue” with the project is that the pipeline will be drilled underneath the Potomac River, which serves as the border between WV and MD. That has radical anti-fossil fuelers in an uproar. As we pointed out in July, the project is in a fight for its life (see WV Fight Over Simple Expansion of Local Gas Delivery Pipeline). Lack of natural gas is strangling expansion in Jefferson County, WV. But that makes no difference to antis in Maryland who are kicking up a fuss and planning to stage a kayak protest in the Potomac. Below is an update on anti efforts to stop the project, and pro efforts to get it approved and built…
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Bent Mtn Money Talks – VA DEQ Adds ‘Informal’ Hearings on MVP

For some time we’ve covered opposition to the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. One of the hotbeds of opposition is in the Bent Mountain area of Roanoke County, VA (see our Bent Mountain stories here). Local gentry (i.e. wealthy) landowners have tried to involve local police to prevent surveyors from entering their property. It’s actually legal for surveyors to enter any landowner’s property–with advance notice. In one case the surveyors outsmarted the landowners by turning up at the crack of dawn (see MVP Surveyors Outsmart Va. Landowners, Survey at Crack of Dawn). That didn’t sit well with croissant crowd in Bent Mountain. After running our stories about Bent Mountain, we had a rather vicious email from one reader who claimed the people opposing MVP were just po’ folk, like the mythical Walton family, who have lived there for generations. Hogwash. If you check out Realtor.com you’ll see most of the houses listed for sale in Bent Mountain are going for more than half a million dollars. Three acres of land will run you $100,000–for just a building lot! Poor my foot. So it was no surprise for us to learn that Bent Mountain money talks. The Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has scheduled two public hearings for MVP–nowhere near Bent Mountain–on August 8th & 9th. A couple of local House of Delegates representatives objected and scheduled two of their own meetings–in the region. The House members somehow pressured the DEQ into agreeing to attend. In fact, a DEQ rep, “will offer opening remarks, answer questions and accept written comments” at the meetings. In other words, this will be an unofficial, official DEQ hearing for MVP, brought to you by the big money in Bent Mountain…
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MVP Gets Another Permit, Still Waiting on FERC to Resume Constr.

Almost two weeks ago Equitrans Midstream sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting they be allowed to restart construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, construction which has been suspended since October 2019 (see Equitrans Asks FERC to Allow MVP Construction Restart This Week). So far FERC has not granted the request. However, we have one more (minor but important) permit issued for the project.
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MVP Gets Permission to Cross Appalachian Trail from Park Service

click for larger version

While we were bitterly disappointed that Dominion Energy decided to cancel the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline project from West Virginia to North Carolina because they’re exiting the pipeline business altogether (see Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B), there is one good thing that came from ACP. Dominion fought through to completion a court case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court to allow ACP (and other pipelines) the right to cross under the Appalachian Trail (see Victory! Atlantic Coast Pipeline Wins US Supreme Court Case). One of the beneficiaries of that case is Equitrans’ Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project.
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Radical Greens Ask 4th Circus to Block MVP re Endangered Species

Hoping that lightning strikes twice with the “judges” at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (4th Circus) who read children’s books like The Lorax and use them in their decisions, deep-pocketed Big Green groups have filed a new lawsuit with the quirky judges asking that they overturn federal approvals issued to Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Big Green hopes the clown judges will overturn approvals for MVP the same way they did for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project.
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MVP Construction in Virginia Resumes – Who Pays for Pipe Police?

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) voluntarily stopped construction along the pipeline in Virginia on June 29, following heavy rains that resulted in erosion and runoff from the pipe’s pathway (see Mountain Valley Pipe Voluntarily Shuts Down Construction in Va.). At that time, an MVP spokesperson said: “There is no specific timeline for the suspension, however, as soon as upgrades are completed and approved by DEQ, construction can resume.” A week later, on July 6, the DEQ (Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality) identified two locations where MVP could resume construction. A few days later that number rose to five locations. Work is once again progressing nicely. Of course anti-fossil fuel ninny nannies are carping that the shutdown wasn’t long enough. Some of the complainers promoted (and possibly engaged in) illegal protest activities to try and defeat the project. Which leads us to a second bit of news about MVP. Roanoke and Franklin counties want MVP to pay them back for the cost of police activities required because of the ninny nanny illegal protesters. That’s right! The two counties want to send MVP a bill because protesters engaged in illegal activities that required a police presence. We find their request bass ackwards. The counties should be going after the protesters who broke the law–and the Big Green groups that backed them and agitated them and supported them in their efforts to break the law. That’s who should pay! Not MVP. MVP is performing a legal, publicly beneficial service by building the pipeline. Why should MVP pay for police protection from malcontents and lawbreakers?…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jun 26, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Promoting WV northern panhandle internationally; Utica rig count unchanged from last week; MVP begins to drill under highways in Va.; county seeks grant for pipeline emergency training; Eagle Ford Shale – slumbering energy powerhouse; o&g companies form group to study how to lower methane emissions; failed climate prognostications; free markets better than energy favoritism; judge dismisses bogus San Francisco climate lawsuit against oil companies; Putin uses North Korea summit to make energy moves; France’s Total moving up to #2 LNG producer in the world; and more!
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, May 9, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: As NEXUS gets close to Bowling Green, residents express concerns; Grandma Red turns up at radical anti-pipeline rally in Charlottesville; new name for Fairmount Santrol is Covia; proposed gas-fired electric plant in Palatka, FL gets key approval; Exxon loses a high profile enemy; what Trump’s Iran nuke deal pullout means for oil; we don’t need wind and solar to save the climate, which is a good thing; and more!
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Grandma Red Comes Down from Tree After Judge Orders $1K/Day Fine

Theresa “Red” Terry (whom we call Grandma Red) and her daughter Minor Terry finally came down from the trees where they were perched since April 2 in an illegal attempt to block Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) from cutting the trees. They came down on Saturday after a federal judge said if they stayed past midnight Saturday, they would each be fined $1,000 per day. The money would go to MVP. Red said, “Mountain Valley has taken enough from us…There wasn’t a lot more I could do up there besides show my ass and give them money.” As we previously reported, a number of Virginia lawmakers expressed their support of the Terrys and their flagrant disregard of the law (see Virginia Democrat Lawmakers Side with Lawbreakers in MVP Protest). A crowd of 100 or so gathered on Saturday, complete with six packs of beer, to watch the spectacle of Grandma Red coming down to earth. A sycophantic press was there to fawn all over Red and her daughter…
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Va. State Senator Suing Forest Service for Blocking Illegal Protests

There is nothing mysterious or complex about the actions taken by a Virginia State Senator, Chap Petersen (Democrat from the swamp, the D.C. area). Petersen is a lawyer and has just sued the U.S. Forest Service because the Forest Service is blocking a road in the Jefferson National Forest, which is their RIGHT to do (they manage it), because down that gravel road are several ILLEGAL TRESPASSERS who refuse to come down from trees that need to be cut down to make way for the federally-approved Mountain Valley Pipeline. There’s nothing complex in understanding that Petersen (did we mention he’s a Democrat?) supports lawlessness and anarchy. Imagine that, a lawmaker who supports people that break the laws he makes. How idiotic is that? Here’s the story of how Virginia Dems in high places continue to flout the laws of our country in their quest to retain political power (and contributions) by currying favor with radical Big Green supporters…
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