DC Court to Rehear Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Eminent Domain Decision

Lawsuit aims to castrate FERC

Here we go again. In August a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had the right to approve Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, including the right to use eminent domain to build it before details are finalized over compensation to landowners (see DC Court Upholds FERC Authority in Approving Atlantic Sunrise Pipe). The Sierra Club and other Big Green groups, with endless mountains of money from people like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, kept pushing and finally convinced the entire DC Circuit (all of the judges, call “en banc”) to rehear and reconsider the case already decided by three of their number.
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Equitrans Cancels Trinity Energy Contract re Mountain Valley Pipe

Last week Equitrans subsidiary EQM Midstream Partners (formerly EQT Midstream) canceled a contract with Texas-based Trinity Energy to build portions of the now-stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. You may recall that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stopped all new construction on MVP in October, until a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit that passes muster with the courts can be issued (see FERC Shuts Down All Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction). We’re not sure what Trinity was doing in the meantime with a shutdown of construction in place, but Trinity reps expressed surprise that their MVP contract has now been canceled.
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2 Dozen Antis Protest at Weymouth Compressor Site – 4 Arrested

Weymouth protesters block entrance to compressor site (Credit: Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Earlier this week MDN told you the great news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has green lighted construction of a compressor station in Weymouth, Mass., and that Enbridge (the builder) said they will begin construction any day now (see Stop Press! Enbridge to Begin Construction on Weymouth Compressor). Indeed, crews are at the site getting things ready, and that brought out “more than two dozen” (according to a CBS report) anti-fossil fuel protesters. Some of the protesters couldn’t help themselves and tripped over into committing a crime by blocking the entrance to the facility so crews could not come and go with equipment. Typical.
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Meets with PTT re Cracker – Still No FID

PTT Ohio cracker site (click for larger version)

Near the end the year for the past 3-4 years we inevitably hear that PTT Global Chemical will not, as promised or implied, make a final investment decision (FID) about building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, Ohio, but that the FID will instead happen “next year.” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (RINO) met with PTT representatives yesterday to discuss the project. No announcements. No new promises. No FID announced. Another disappointment (cue George Michael song “Last Christmas”).
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Gov’t & Atlantic Coast Pipe File Briefs with U.S. Supreme Court

Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) previously filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that judicially creates a new law stipulating pipelines can’t cross under the Appalachian Trail without (no kidding) an Act of Congress. The Supremes get 8,000 such requests each year, and accept maybe 80 (or 1%). Lightning struck. The ACP case was accepted by the Supremes in October (see U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Atlantic Coast Pipeline Case). Briefs by ACP and the Trump administration were filed on Monday.
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Rover, NEXUS NatGas Exports to Canada Currently “Maxed Out”

For some time we’ve been concerned about competition for Marcellus/Utica gas coming from western Canada being piped to Canada’s East Coast (see TC Energy Plan to Move Western Canadian Gas to East Coast Approved). TC Energy’s (formerly TransCanada) plan to haul gas over 1,000 miles across the continent at steeply discounted rates seemed like it was working (see TC Energy Cuts Rates 3rd Time to Sell W. Canada Gas to New England). Maybe we worried for nothing. S&P Global Platts is reporting Canada’s net imports of U.S. gas at the Dawn Hub have surged.
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FirstEnergy Loses OH Supreme Court Case to Block Referendum

The mafiosi at FirstEnergy lost their lawsuit filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in a bid to block a referendum aimed at giving all Ohio residents the right to vote to overturn an ill-conceived corporate welfare law passed that puts $1 billion into FirstEnergy’s pocket in order to keep two failing nuclear power plants open. Although they lost the case, FirstEnergy claims the Supreme Court decision is a “victory” for their attempt to keep their grubby hands on taxpayer’s money. How does that work?
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SEPA DA Charges Off-Duty Police w/Crime for Providing Pipe Security

Tom Hogan, Chester County’s “buy a DA”

In what has to be the outrage of the century, Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan, drunk on his own power, has falsely charged both Energy Transfer (Sunoco Logistics Partners) and several PA constables (essentially off duty police officers) with bribery and conspiracy because the off-duty officers had the gall to moonlight as security to protect Mariner East pipeline workers from anti-fossil fuel crazies and wackos.
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NEXUS and Rover Pipes Ask Stark County, OH for BIG Tax Cut

One of the selling points to make big interstate pipeline projects more palatable to the general public, at least in Ohio, has been the fact they pay annual property taxes. We can tell you from personal experience that a small pipeline in the Town of Windsor (NY, yes! NY) has meant lower property tax bills for MDN editor Jim Willis. Two very large pipeline projects in Ohio, Rover and NEXUS, are asking Stark County to reduce their assessments so they can pay less in taxes–up to 50% less.
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Is NESE Pipeline to NYC Dead? Williams Withdraws Final NJ Permit

In October, MDN reported that Williams had temporarily withdrawn three of four applications with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to build its Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project to offshore Long Island (see Williams Withdraws NESE Pipe Permit in NJ, Resubmit Soon). In September NJDEP gave Williams an extra month with the permits (see Williams Gets Extra Month to Refile NESE Pipeline Permits in NJ). Williams said it would refile the three permits “in the next few days.” Never happened. Now the company has pulled the fourth NJ permit.
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More Changes at Tallgrass Energy Following Founder’s Exit

Matt Sheehy, new President of Tallgrass Energy

Major changes continue at Tallgrass Energy, the owner/operator of the Rockies Express (REX) natgas pipeline that carries Marcellus/Utica gas to Midwest markets including the Chicago area. Last week we told you the founder/CEO of Tallgrass, David G. Dehaemers Jr., abruptly quit (see Tallgrass Energy Founder/CEO/Chairman David Dehaemers Quits). The company’s President and COO, Bill Moler, was elevated to CEO. Today Tallgrass named a new replacement in the role of President.
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Stop Press! Enbridge to Begin Construction on Weymouth Compressor

WOW, what a reversal of fortune! Barely a month ago MDN told you that two natural gas utility companies, National Grid and Eversource, had cut the legs out from under Enbridge by declaring they no longer need the Weymouth (Mass.) compressor station to supply them with incrementally more natural gas supplies for the Greater Boston area (see 2 Utilities Cut Enbridge Off at Knees re Mass. Compressor Station). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Black Friday granted Enbridge a final go-ahead to begin construction anyway. Christmas came early!
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FERC Authorizes Startup for Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline

click for larger version

The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Erie County, PA and from there across the border into Ashtabula County, OH, began construction in February. Risberg cost roughly $86 million to build and will flow 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas from the PA Marcellus to the northern tip of Ohio in Ashtabula County. In mid-November, RH energytrans, the builder, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1). FERC granted permission and as near as we can tell the pipeline is now up and running.
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2nd Class Action Lawsuit Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe

Last week MDN told you about a law firm fishing for Energy Transfer shareholders to join its class action lawsuit against the company over rumors of corruption in obtaining permits to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see Shareholder Lawsuit Filed Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe). A second law firm is now trying the same tactic–a second shareholder lawsuit based on unproven rumors.
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FERC Pushes Back Deadline to Review MVP Southgate to Feb 2020

Latest proposed route for MVP Southgate (click for larger version)

Last November Equitrans (nee EQT Midstream), filed plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project *another* 70 miles south, into North Carolina, called the MVP Southgate project (see EQT Makes it Official, Files with FERC to Extend MVP into NC). The Southgate project has been under review at FERC since that time. The original schedule called for FERC to issue a final environmental impact statement (EIS) on Dec. 19. That date has just been pushed back.
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Time to Defend the Mariner East Pipe Projects – Garland Thompson

Speaking of the Mariner East (ME) pipelines and the NGLs (primarily ethane, but also propane and butane) they flow, why isn’t the organized business community (i.e. Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) doing more to stick up for the ME pipeline projects? MDN friend Garland Thompson, a gifted reporter/writer who covers energy and technology issues for US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, recently penned an open letter to the Philly Chamber challenging them to get off their collective butts and defend ME and the jobs it will create in the greater Philly region.
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