Antis Get Lib Judge to Shut Down All Mariner East Pipes, Dems Rejoice

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have finally, after months and years, scored a minor victory. They’ve been shopping to locate an ultra-liberal judge who would ignore the law and instead issue edicts from the bench–to shut down both the Mariner East 1 (ME1) and Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline projects. Yesterday Elizabeth Barnes, an administration law judge for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), unilaterally ordered Sunoco Logistics Partners to “cease and desist all current operation, construction, including drilling activities on the Mariner East 1, 2 and Mariner East 2X pipeline” in West Whiteland Township (Chester County, PA). The judge also moved to shut down all operations of Mariner East 1 across the state, ruling that she is “enjoining Respondent from operating Mariner East 1.” It is a breathtaking display of arrogance and seizure of power that does not belong to her. The ruling runs counter to other decisions regarding these critical pipeline projects–projects that have been thoroughly vetted by numerous regulatory agencies. Construction of ME2 is 94% complete! ME1 has been flowing NGLs for over a year–with ZERO problems! And yet Barnes has shut it all down, with the stroke of a pen. We predict it won’t last long…
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Army Corps Engineers Suspends MVP Permit for River Crossings

The radical Sierra Club is claiming a victory in temporarily stopping construction work of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) at four river crossings in West Virginia. On Tuesday the Sierra Club and a mishmash of other radicalized groups filed a motion asking the Fourth District U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allows MVP to construct the pipeline across streams and rivers in the Mountain State. The Clubbers’ tortured logic is this: When construction of the pipeline across a river, the stated standard is that construction can take no longer than 72 hours. MVP says it will need longer when constructing the pipeline across four rivers–Elk, Gauley, Greenbrier and Meadow. Therefore (say the Clubbers), MVP is in violation of the general permit issued by the Corps and that means ALL (not just those four rivers) construction should be stopped, immediately. The Fourth Circuit has not yet rendered a decision, however, the Corps itself said they had reviewed the standards and have (for now) rescinded the permit as it applies ONLY to those four rivers, NOT to any locations. So it’s a partial, and temporary, victory for the Clubbers…
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MVP “Nutty” Protester Drops Back to Earth – Out of Food

Nutty up a pole in Jefferson National Forest

The Nut has fallen to the ground–or more properly, gently helped to the ground by members of the U.S. Forest Service. On March 28 an off-her-rocker fossil fuel hater who refuses to give her real name, calling herself “Nutty,” climbed up a jury-rigged pole in the middle of a gravel road running through the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. She’s trying to stop construction vehicles working on the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) from using the road to access their legally-permitted construction sites. Her criminal act of lunacy recently inspired another woman to do the same thing (see “Nutty” is as Nutty Does – 2nd MVP Protester Goes Up a Pole in VA). The Forest Service cut off Nutty’s food and water supply back in April by blocking other nuts from passing her supplies. With no food, she decided it was time to come back to earth. After coming down, Nutty was taken to a hospital to be checked out, and given a citation to appear in court to defend her criminal acts. No doubt the “monopod” (pole with ropes to nearby trees) she occupied is already on the ground, cut up into little pieces…
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NH Supreme Court Decision Puts New England Pipe Back in Play

A recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision may breathe new life into a natural gas pipeline project believed to be dead–or at least on life support. Spectra Energy (now owned by Enbridge) first announced an unnamed pipeline project to shuttle gas from the Marcellus/Utica to New England in July 2014 (see Spectra Energy to the Rescue! New England Pipeline Expansion). In September 2014 Spectra announced they had named the project Access Northeast and added Northeast Utilities–now called Eversource Energy–as a partner (see Spectra Energy New England Pipeline Gets a Name & a Partner). In December 2014, Spectra formed an alliance with a competitor, the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline, to further extend the reach of the project (see Spectra Energy Alliance with Iroquois to Sell Marcellus Gas to NE). The project is pegged to cost around $3 billion and would connect four different pipeline systems: Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. But then Spectra/Eversource was dealt a body blow by Massachusetts in 2016 (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). The project was dealt a second body blow in 2016 by New Hampshire when regulators said Eversource could not pass along some of the costs of the pipeline to electric rate payers (see NH Regulators Veto Access Northeast Pipeline Contract). The NH Supreme Court has just overturned the ruling by NH regulators and has said yes, Eversource CAN pass along some of the costs, because electric customers will directly benefit from the pipeline project…
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Only 10 Miles of Atlantic Coast Pipeline Affected by Court Ruling

Last week MDN told you that the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had invalidated (vacated) a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allows Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to accidentally kill a few bats and bumble bees (classified as endangered) as it builds the massive $6.5 billion, 600-mile project from West Virginia to North Carolina (see U.S. Fourth Circuit Court Vacates Key Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipe). The Sierra Club and several other radical, far-left groups were behind the court case that led to the decision. However, as it turns out, the decision doesn’t really hurt the project all that much. The vacated permit isn’t so “key” after all. Of the 600 or so miles of pipeline getting built, the vacated permit from Fish and Wildlife only affects about 10 miles of pipeline. A nothingburger. Dominion continues to build ACP and the 10 miles of affected construction will get done after Fish and Wildlife redoes the paperwork to the court’s liking. Antis are furious (as they always are), claiming the court ruling shuts down all construction. Not so. Construction continues, despite antis’ moaning and groaning…
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UGI Expanding NEPA Gathering System to Flow More Cabot Gas

UGI, a large utility (and pipeline) company located in Pennsylvania, has announced they will expand a northeastern PA pipeline gathering system. UGI built what they call the Auburn Gathering System between 2011 and 2015–46 miles of pipe, two compressors stations and various other pipeline related facilities located in Susquehanna, Wyoming, and Luzerne counties (near Scranton). UGI spent $215 million to build the system, a system that currently flows 470 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas. Much (most?) of that the gas comes from Cabot Oil and Gas in Susquehanna County. The new news is that UGI build two new compressor stations, adding to the existing two, which will increase flows through the system by another 150 MMcf/d–all of the increase coming from Cabot. Here’s the good news that more Cabot gas will soon flow through the Auburn System, connecting with two of the biggest pipeline systems in the country–the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) and the Transco Pipeline (Williams)…
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Top NJ Officials Continue Attacks Against PennEast Pipeline

New Jersey’s Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal (Democrat), and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker (also a Democrat) continue a coordinated attack on the PennEast Pipeline in an effort to appease their radical/left base of supporters. PennEast is a $1 billion, 120-mile, 36-inch pipeline from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the project in January (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). Since that time the NJ Sierra Club along with other so-called environmental organizations have coordinated legal and regulatory attacks against the project, enlisting willing accomplices Grewal and Booker. In March Grewal asked the U.S. District Court in NJ to overturn PennEast’s federally-delegated right to use eminent domain to take state-owned AND private-owned property in the path of the pipeline. In early April, Sen. Booker asked FERC to reconsider its approval of the project. And earlier this week, the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection and Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, represented by Grewal, asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review FERC’s January approval of the project. NJ has all guns out and shooting in an attempt to assassinate PennEast…
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Crestwood Testing Proposed LPG Storage Site @ Seneca Lake for Leaks

Lately we’ve wondered what’s been going on in the years-long struggle by Crestwood to create an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, or propane) storage facility in a depleted salt cavern along the shoreline of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Last December we brought you the news that Crestwood had won a victory when a chief administrative law judge, part of the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), ruled against antis who are demanding ongoing, never-ending hearings about the project–a transparent tactic to continue the years-long delay in perpetuity (see Crestwood Scores Big Victory in Seneca Lake LPG Storage Project). The judge said the DEC has all the evidence it needs to make a decision. Of course, the decision will get made by a radical anti who heads up the DEC–Basil Seggos (part of the National Resources Defense Council cabal that opposes all fossil fuel projects). So the project still has miles to go before it becomes reality. But now, a new setback, not that the project hasn’t been “setback” from the beginning by radicals. This time the setback comes from within. An attorney representing the project sent a letter to the DEC on May 17 asking them to delay (?!) a decision while Crestwood runs more tests on well pressure to “determine its suitability as a gas storage unit.” That is, the depleted salt cavern may leak. Radicalized antis have pounced, demanding the DEC cancel the project forthwith–even before the test results are in…
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First Marcellus Molecules from Cove Point Arrive in Japan

On April 22, the LNG tanker Sakura left Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export facility loaded with Marcellus molecules, heading for Japan (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). It was the second-ever load of Marcellus molecules to depart the Cove Point facility. About a week later the ship transited the Panama Canal (see 1st Cove Point Marcellus Shipment to Japan Goes Thru Panama Canal). On Monday, the Sakura finally docked at the Negishi LNG terminal in Japan, closing the loop on the first of many such shipments of Marcellus gas that will go to the Land of the Rising Sun…
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“Nutty” is as Nutty Does – 2nd MVP Protester Goes Up a Pole in VA

A second woman takes to sitting on top of a pole in Jefferson National Forest to block MVP – click for larger version

For the past couple of months MDN has kept you informed on the actions of lawbreaking (criminal) protesters who are attempting to block construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). A small number of protesters have climbed trees in Jefferson National Forest, including a woman who climbed up an elaborately erected “monopod”–a pole with a small tree house at the top. The U.S. Forest Service shut down a gravel road leading to the monopod and has kept collaborators out, so they can’t pass her food and water–although the Forest Service is doing that job anyway. Last week the radicals were in court to try and get the Forest Service roadblock lifted so they can ferry supplies to their comrade in arms. What is the woman’s name who’s on the top of the pole and has been there since late March? She won’t give her name, however, she calls herself (no lie), “Nutty.” How apt. Now a second monopod has been erected a mile up the road from the first, and another woman has gone up that pole. Her name is Fern MacDougal. Ms. MacDougal says she was inspired to climb a pole by two people: Nutty, and by David Buckel, the lawyer who in April set himself on fire, killing himself, in order to protest fossil fuels. So, MacDougal’s heroes are someone who calls herself Nutty, and an insane man who committed suicide by fire. We think that’s all you really need to know about Ms. MacDougal…
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FERC Becomes Political as Seen in Rehearing Vote on NY Project

Has someone “gotten” to FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Richard Glick–told them, “You vote against these pipeline projects or you don’t have a future in the Democrat Party”? That’s the thought we increasingly have as we watch the two sitting Democrats on FERC repeatedly vote against projects that in some cases they previously voted to approve. What makes someone like LaFleur flip and change her vote on something that two years ago she was 100% on board with? Something has to explain it! Two and a half years ago LaFleur, then a member of FERC, voted to approve Dominion Energy’s $165 million New Market Project, a project that expands Dominion’s transmission pipeline from western New York across the state to the Capital Region of the state, near Albany (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). The radical leftist group Otsego 2000 challenged the project, asking FERC to reconsider its approval, using mythical man-made global warming as a new criteria to reject the project. Last Friday the three Republicans FERC commissioners voted “no” to reconsider the New Market Project, but LaFleur and Chuck Schumer-appointed Richard Glick (both Dems) voted to reconsider, citing global warming concerns. Again, we wonder if someone has gotten to them. A sad day that FERC is longer a non-partisan group…
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NJ & PA Could Have Saved $1.3 Billion if PennEast Were Live

Click image for larger version

Too bad it takes so long to approve a new natural gas pipeline like PennEast–a $1 billion, 120-mile, 36-inch pipeline from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. Why does it take so long–years, in fact? Well there’s the federal regulatory process. But then there are the multiple, ongoing challenges from Big Green groups, people who irrationally hate all fossil fuels. Big Green launches lawsuit after lawsuit in an attempt to bury projects like PennEast in legal horse manure. One of the chief purveyors of said horse manure is THE Delaware Riverkeeper (Maya van Rossum). What if PennEast had been built two years ago, right after filing their well-laid-out, safe plan? If it had been built, consumers in PA and NJ over the past two winters would have saved $1.3 billion, according to a new study by Concentric (full copy below). Can you imagine the good things that could be done with an extra $1.3 billion in the hands of private citizens? All of the economic benefits that would ripple through the economies of PA and NJ? Instead, all of that benefit is being blocked by a few radical greens…
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More MarkWest Construction Under Way in Doddridge County, WV

MarkWest Energy – Sherwood Complex

MarkWest Energy’s Sherwood Complex in Doddridge County, WV has been in operation since 2012. Since that time, MarkWest has built and currently operates nine processing plants at the complex, capable of separating methane from NGLs. The plant continues to grow. MarkWest is currently building another two processing plants at the Sherwood Complex, to be done and in operation this year. And if that isn’t enough, MarkWest says there is potential to build another six (!) processing plants at Sherwood. As we previously noted, Sherwood is right now the fourth largest gas processing plant in the U.S., and by the end of this year, it will be number one (see MarkWest Building 6 New Processing Plants, 3 Fractionators in 2018). One of the primary reasons for the rapid expansion at Sherwood is Antero Resources, which uses the Sherwood operation to service its vast WV drilling program. Needless to say, the ever-expanding Sherwood facility is a huge blessing, economically, to Doddridge County. Here’s a deep dive into future plans for Sherwood, and how the plant benefits the local community…
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Canadian Civil War Previews What’s Coming in NY re Pipelines

Two Canadian provinces that share a border, Alberta and British Columbia (BC), are in the midst of a heated argument/conflict/civil war(?)–over a pipeline. We’ve not covered the conflict, until now. The short version is this: Alberta has a rich deposit of oil in what are called oil sands. In order to get more of the bountiful supply of oil to new markets, in Asia, Alberta needs a new pipeline. Kinder Morgan operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and previously proposed expanding Trans Mountain–from Alberta through British Columbia to the shore where the oil can be loaded on tankers and sailed to other continents. BC has blocked the new pipeline, and so now Alberta has passed a law that allows them to stop existing oil and gas flows into BC. If that happens, it will bring BC to its metaphorical knees from lack of energy sources. Yes, it’s getting nasty. The Canadian federal government is also involved, attempting to pressure BC to allow the pipeline. What does that have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? If we were to say “Constitution” or “Northern Access”–perhaps the light bulb will go off. You see, we have a parallel situation here in the states. New York State is blocking gas pipelines critical to PA (as supplier) and to the New England states (as demand centers). At some point, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that PA will begin to turn off existing natgas flows into NY–and then what will we do? We New Yorkers would be royally screwed. Gov. Cuomo pay attention to our neighbors to the north. What’s happening up there is coming in your direction, if you don’t change course…
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TransCanada Pipe Construction Crew Helps Locate Missing WV Boy

Little boy who went missing in WV

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Last Monday afternoon a three year-old boy wandered into the woods near his home in Jackson County, WV and got lost. The parents could not find him. WV State Police and several local fire departments aided in a search effort, canvasing the woods. TransCanada is building the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline project several miles from where the toddler went missing. Upon hearing of the missing boy, the people in charge of the project flew into action, delivering supplies and port-a-potties to the searchers. They also provided maps of the area made by TransCanada–maps which ended up being instrumental in finding the boy. Some 15 hours after he went missing, on Tuesday morning, he was found–safe and sound. Authorities credit TransCanada as being instrumental in the process. TransCanada’s people didn’t do it for accolades. They did it because it was the right thing to do–even though it delayed the project and cost the company money. This episode paints a far different picture of pipeline companies than you typically hear about, does it not? Pipeline companies are not the heartless, “damn the environment and everyone who lives in the path of the pipeline” meme antis feed to sycophantic “reporters” in mainstream media. Quite the opposite. These are people who care about the work they do, and how it impacts the people where they do it. They care about the communities in which they work–and live…
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Trout Unlimited Launches Spy/Snitch Program for PennEast Pipeline

Let’s be right up front about how we feel about the innocent-sounding Trout Unlimited (TU). Four years ago the organization was outed as a radical, far-left environmentalist group–hellbent on opposing fossil fuels (see Trout Unlimited, Other Groups Outted as Radical Green Groups). We have zero respect for the organization. Yes, there are some well-meaning (hoodwinked, misguided) people who belong to it. Good people. But tricked into supporting an anti-American, anti-fossil fuel agenda. (You need to get out!) TU has just announced a new spy/snitch training program to keep an eye on the PennEast Pipeline–when it actually starts to get built. TU will soon begin training for a so-called “water monitoring” program in PA counties where PennEast will run–Luzerne, Carbon, Northampton and Bucks counties. To which we say, knock yourselves out. PennEast has nothing to hide. The pipeline won’t negatively impact waterways–not in any meaningful, long-term way. So if you want to spy and snitch, go right ahead. There won’t be anything to snitch about…
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