FERC Delays Action on PennEast Pipe Eminent Domain Ruling

There have been a number of twists and turns for the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1.2 billion new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. The project has not yet moved one shovel of dirt due to ongoing delays from lawsuits by (disgusting) Big Green groups and their colluders, mainly the Democrats who now run the state of New Jersey. Here’s one more twist–the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delayed weighing in on a request by PennEast for help regarding clarification on the use of eminent domain.
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Rover Pipe Wants to Flow Extra 175 MMcf/d – No Extra Cost/Equipment

The $4.2 billion, 713-mile Rover Pipeline system that flows Marcellus/Utica natural gas from western PA and eastern OH all the way to Canada, placed the final two pieces of the system online in November 2018 (see FERC OKs Final 2 Rover Pipeline Laterals – Now 100% Online). The mainline Rover pipeline flows 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Rover wants to expand that capacity without any new equipment and without any additional cost. How do they plan to pull that rabbit out of their hat?
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PA AG Josh Shapiro Bashes Marcellus with Anti-Pipe Lawsuit Support

PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is no friend of the Marcellus industry, and frankly, he’s no friend to PA landowners either. At every turn, Shapiro investigates and attempts to block the Marcellus industry in the state. The latest evidence: Shapiro has used the full weight of the entire state in signing on to an amicus (friend of the court) brief in a federal court case that challenges the approval of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline–a Williams PA pipeline that’s been in the ground and operating since 2018.
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PA Big Green Supports Lawsuit to Gut FERC re Pipe Approvals

The sleaziest of Pennsylvania’s Big Green groups–THE Delaware Riverkeeper and PennFuture–have filed a “friend of the court” (amicus) brief in a federal lawsuit hoping they can help gut the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by denying FERC the only way the agency has of combating these sleazy groups–something called a tolling order.
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PA DEP OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

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Dominion Energy’s West Loop Project will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant being built there. We first noticed this small (but important) project in June 2019 (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued final approval for the project in December (see FERC OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). And now, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the project.
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PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2

Two weeks ago the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the largest fine for a single company/project in its history. DEP slapped Energy Transfer (ET) with a $30.6 million fine for the construction and subsequent explosion of the company’s Revolution gathering pipeline in western PA (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine). As part of the fine, DEP said ET could restart construction to fix Revolution. DEP also said ET could restart construction for another project: Mariner East 2 (ME2). Yesterday the other shoe dropped when DEP announced a new fine related to ME2 work–for $1.95 million.
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PA PUC Approves Aqua America Purchase of Peoples Gas for $4.3B

Aqua America, the nation’s second-largest water/wastewater utility company headquartered near Philadelphia, announced in October 2018 it would buy Peoples Gas, the nation’s fifth-largest natural gas utility company headquartered in Pittsburgh, for $4.275 billion (see Aqua America Buys Peoples Gas for $4.3B – Old Pipes, Similar Nature). It took a while, but the last hurdle was cleared yesterday when the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission gave its blessing on the deal.
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Mariner East Pipe Flips PA from Propane Shortage to Surplus

Credit: Energy Transfer

The 2014 Polar Vortex event, when most of the U.S. was plunged into record low temps for an extended period, created a propane shortage for many. One of the states most affected by lack of propane during that event was…Pennsylvania! Should such an event hit again, PA is now in the clear, thanks to the Mariner East pipelines.
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KM’s Elba Island LNG Asks FERC for OK to Start Up Unit 2

A slight tweak and correction to a story we ran last week in which we speculated that the first four mini-trains at Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export facility are now up and running (see KM’s Elba Island LNG Makes Rapid Progress, Units 1-4 Now Online). We told you we could not find evidence in the FERC dockets that Unit #2 was in fact up and running, but we assumed it was. It was not. On Monday KM asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start up Unit #2, saying it would be ready to rock-n-roll beginning tomorrow, Jan. 16. Our timing was just a tad off.
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More Changes at the Top for Tallgrass – New CFO

In December, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, a major energy investment firm, announced it had cut a deal to buy the remaining shares of stock it doesn’t already own in Tallgrass Energy for $3 billion, with a plan to take the company private (see With Tallgrass Founder/CEO Gone, Blackstone Forces Sale/Merger). As we previously pointed out, Tallgrass Founder and CEO David G. Dehaemers Jr. has cashed in his chips and retired, clearing the way for William R. (Bill) Moler to take over as CEO. We now have a second high-level change in the company–a new Chief Financial Officer.
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3rd Lawsuit Filed Against Energy Transfer re Mariner Corruption

MDN previously told you about unconfirmed rumors that the FBI is investigating the PA Gov. Tom Wolf administration over how permits came to be issued for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see FBI Investigates Wolf Admin for Corruption re ME Pipe Permits). The allegation/rumor is that Wolf and/or members of his staff pressured the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to approve permits for the pipeline project in return for something (money or something else). Two different law firms seized on the rumor as reason enough to launch speculative class action lawsuits for shareholders, accusing Energy Transfer (the builder) of corruption (see 2nd Class Action Lawsuit Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe). A third such lawsuit was filed last week–this one by a public employee retirement fund.
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Talen Energy Sells PA Pipeline to Adelphia Gateway for $155M

In December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the Adelphia Gateway pipeline project (see FERC Issues Final OK for Southeast PA Adelphia Gateway Pipeline). Adelphia is a plan to convert an old/existing oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook, into a natural gas pipeline. To flow Marcellus gas to southeast PA. The builder lacked one key ingredient–the pipeline!
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Fed Court Rules Columbia has Right to Use OH Gas Storage Field

Medina, Ohio

In a phenomenally complex court case decided last July by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Columbia Gas (TC Energy) won the right to continue storing natural gas in an underground storage field near Medina, Ohio. The landowners, who claim Columbia owes them (more) money for using the land under their property, appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supremes turned it down yesterday, meaning the Sixth Circuit ruling stands.
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Big Green Tries to Whip Up Opposition to PTT Ohio Cracker

Big Green is doing its best to stir up opposition to PTT Global Chemical’s proposed ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, Ohio. Big Green is also trying to hide its involvement and pass itself off as organic, local community opposition. Not true. Last week the same so-called community organizer addressed an anti meeting at a local church and organized a “protest” a few days later.
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New Fortress Energy Gets $800M Loan to Build LNG Projects

New Fortress Energy has a unique business model. The company builds the plants to liquefy and export natural gas (LNG), the facilities (in other countries) to import the LNG, and even some of the gas-fired power plants that will use the gas to produce electricity in those countries. Our primary interest in New Fortress is a series of LNG export plants they are building in landlocked northeastern Pennsylvania (see Work Continues to Clear Site for NEPA Landlocked LNG Export Plant). The company has just signed a deal for $800 million loan to fund its LNG “terminals and infrastructure around the world.”
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THE Dela. Riverkeeper Tries to Shame FERC to Reject PennEast Pipe

Last week three Big Green groups–the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, The Watershed Institute, and THE Delaware Riverkeeper–asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission via a joint letter to not issue an extension to the PennEast Pipeline, long-delayed largely because of those groups’ ongoing lawsuits (see Big Green Groups Ask FERC to Deny PennEast Pipe More Time). Two days later THE Delaware Riverkeeper sent a followup letter to FERC to make “further comments” bashing PennEast.
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