Sisters of the Corn Return – Sue Williams re Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Like a bad Stephen King horror flick, the Sisters of the Corn (our name for a group of leftist nuns in Lancaster County, PA) have returned to file yet another frivolous lawsuit against Williams over a pipeline that crosses their land–a pipeline (Atlantic Sunrise) that has been up and running for years. The Sisters claim an infringement of their “religious liberties” in the lawsuit. They tried this argument once before and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
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Williams Record M-U Volumes, Early Startup for SET, Leidy South

During the Williams third-quarter 2020 update yesterday, CEO Alan Armstrong shared some very interesting, and relevant (to the Marcellus/Utica) comments. Armstrong said that two important pipeline projects to carry M-U gas to other markets, the Southeastern Trail expansion project and the Leidy South project, are both in the midst of coming online–ahead of schedule.
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PA Fines Atlantic Sunrise Pipe $836K for Years-Old Violations

Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, a 200-mile greenfield pipeline from northeastern to southeastern PA where it joins the Transco Pipeline, went online in October 2018 (see FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6). Shippers on Atlantic Sunrise include Cabot Oil & Gas, Seneca Resources, and Range Resources. Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it is (two years after it went online) assessing fines for violations that happened during construction of the pipeline 2-3 years ago.
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FERC Begins Enviro Assessment for Williams’ PennEast Competitor

Over a year ago, in March 2019, MDN told you about a new Williams plan to beef up the Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to deliver an extra 760 MMcf/d (originally 1 billion cubic feet per day) of Marcellus gas to PA, NJ, and Maryland (see Williams Announces Transco Competitor to PennEast Pipe in NEPA). The project is called the Regional Energy Access expansion project.
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FERC Approves Williams Leidy South & NFG FM100 Pipeline Projects

In December 2018 Williams announced a new project to increase capacity along the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) in PA by an extra 582,400 dekatherms (582 million cubic feet) per day. Williams officially filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build the “Leidy South Project” in August 2019 (see Williams Files Leidy South Project with FERC to Expand PA Transco). Great news: On Friday, FERC approved the Leidy South Project. FERC also approved a second project that works hand-in-glove with the Leidy project: National Fuel Gas Company’s FM100 project.
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Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away

Is it time to turn the gas off for New York City and let the people there reap the “benefits” of having a dictator, Andrew Cuomo, as their governor? On Friday the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation, thoroughly and completely corrupted by Cuomo, issued yet another rejection for the critically-needed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project. It was the last straw for Williams, the builder of the project, which has walked away from the project. Gas customers on Long Island, including parts of NYC, now face the real prospect of running out of natural gas (this is not an exaggeration). Andrew Cuomo is the grossest, most corrupt governor in NY’s history.
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FERC Defends Pipeline Tolling Orders, Pledges to Use Less Often

Big Green continues its fight to strip away the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) right to use tolling orders when considering requests to “rehear” decisions to approve pipelines (see PA Big Green Supports Lawsuit to Gut FERC re Pipe Approvals). In an update on a court case Big Green is using to challenge FERC, a case involving Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (in the PA Marcellus), FERC has told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that (a) it properly used a tolling order in the case of Atlantic Sunrise, but (b) it promises not to use them so much in the future. Big Green is not, of course, is not happy (they never are).
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Construction to Begin on Southeastern Trail Expansion Pipe in VA

Prince William County

In April 2018 Williams filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand capacity along the mighty Transco Pipeline to increase the amount of gas the pipeline can flow to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S by 296 million cubic feet per day. The Southeastern Trail expansion project (SET), as it’s called, was given final approval by FERC in October 2019 (see FERC Approves Transco Southeastern Trail Expansion Pipe Project). Last Friday Williams asked FERC for permission to begin construction in Prince William and Fauquier counties in Virginia.
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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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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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NC Strikes Out – US Supreme Court Won’t Overturn 3 Pipe Approvals

In April, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down both New York and North Carolina regulators who tried to block three important Williams pipeline projects, all related to the mighty Transco Pipeline (see DC Circuit Court Slaps Down NY, NC Request to Block 3 Pipelines). North Carolina regulators appealed the dismissed case to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Tuesday the high court refused to hear the case, meaning NC has fully and completely struck out.
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National Grid Predicts NESE Pipe Will Get OK in “Next Few Weeks”

National Grid, the electric and natural gas utility company that serves part of New York City and all of Long Island, has been the target of a smear campaign by New York Gov. Cuomo, who ordered his Dept. of Environment Conservation (DEC) to reject the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project in May (see NY Gov. Cuomo Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipeline to NYC). Because of the coming shortage in natgas for the region thanks to Cuomo’s NESE decision, National Grid now refuses to accept any new natgas customers in the Greater NYC area (see National Grid Keeps Promise, No New NYC Gas Customers). There’s been a LOT of blowback–much of it aimed at Cuomo who attempts to shift the blame for his action in blocking NESE onto National Grid.
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Fed Judge Tosses $54M Award to Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Landowner

Here’s a cautionary tale for landowners who think they can go court-shopping on the other side of the country to settle their differences with pipelines that cross their land. Don’t do it. A Pennsylvania landowner in Schuylkill County, PA thought he could force Williams’ (Transco Pipeline) into arbitration to compensate him for allowing the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline crossing his land. Except the landowner filed for arbitration in California! Williams/Transco refused to participate in the arbitration since Cali has NOTHING to do with Pennsylvania when it comes to arbitrating compensation for eminent domain.
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Long Island Dem Senators Break with Cuomo, Urge Pipeline Approval

In New York State it’s not popular–frankly it’s not safe–if you’re a Democrat who opposes mob boss Andrew Cuomo for any reason/any issue. Yet six Long Island State Senators, all Democrats, are doing just that. The six sent a letter to Basil Seggos, who runs the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and does whatever Cuomo tells him to do, asking Seggos to provisionally approve the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project.
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Cabot Pockets $89 Million Profit on Sale of Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

On Monday MDN brought you the news that NextEra Energy, largely a renewables company, has made the bold move of buying 39% of the Central Penn Line, otherwise known as Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see NextEra Energy Buys 39% Stake in Atlantic Sunrise Pipe for $1.37B). There is another aspect of that story worth mentioning–an aspect that involves Cabot Oil & Gas and a tidy profit.
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