Pipeline Rage: Anti Hits Flagger with Car in Lancaster Co.

Daniel Forry

This is “old” news. An old man (77 years old) got so “riled up” against Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline work happening near him in Lancaster County, PA that in three separate incidents he either engaged in violent acts, or threatened to. It’s old news in the sense that two of the incidents happened in March and one in June. However, the three incidents are just now coming to light. In one case, the crotchety old anti inched his car forward and “tapped” a flagger–someone standing on the roadway to prevent cars from passing and hitting workers who were crossing the road. In another incident, the man attempted to drive around a flagger, actually hitting him. The man’s actions are not only threatening and menacing, they are illegal and violent. What’s to say that next time the old man won’t simply run someone down? According to the District Attorney’s office no one was injured during his bouts of “pipeline rage.” The man has been served with papers to appear in court to answer for his illegal actions. Here’s the kicker. The old man, Daniel K. Forry, is a member of the board of education for the Hempfield School District…
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2 Lancaster Radicals Arrested Stopping Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Work

The married couple who started Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP), Mark and Malinda Clatterbuck, are far-left radicals who pretend to be mom and pop, salt-of-the-earth, neighbor-next-door, aw-shucks common folks who would never engage in “violent” protests. Mark Clatterbuck admits to traveling to North Dakota to participate in the mass action against the Dakota Access Pipeline–a “protest” that turned quite violent and destroyed millions of dollars of property. No, we’re not saying nor implying that Clatterbuck himself engaged in illegal actions while there. We are saying the Clatterbucks’ sympathies lie with protest movements that sometimes result in such actions. The Clatterbucks made some big boasts–that some 1,000 people had pledged to protest and get themselves arrested to stop Atlantic Sunrise, a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. Something under 50 people have actually been arrested for illegal actions in trying to stop construction. As the Atlantic Sunrise project nears completion in all locations, including Lancaster County, apparently LAP is feeling neglected. Nobody talks about them anymore. They didn’t/couldn’t stop the pipeline, as they had boasted they would. So in an attempt to grab one more headline, Mark and another LAP protester, Elliot Martin, connected themselves together at a pipeline construction site using a “sleeping dragon”…
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PA DEP Grants Williams NE Supply Enhancement Pipe Key Permit

NESE map – click for larger version

The Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) is a Williams Transco Pipeline project meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. After an initial rejection by the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Williams refiled an application for the project in May with the DEC (see Williams Refiles Application with NY DEC for Transco NESE Project). Meanwhile, there are portions of the project in Pennsylvania that have already been approved by the PA’s Dept. of Environmental Protection. In a notice published in the June 16 Pennsylvania Bulletin, the DEP issued the project a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for work being done in Lancaster and Chester counties. According to the PA Environment Digest Blog: “The Project facilities consist of approximately 10.17 miles of new 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline in Drumore, East Drumore, and Eden Townships, Lancaster County and the addition of one 21,902 horsepower motor-driven compressor at the existing Compressor Station 200 in East Whiteland Twp., Chester County.” Too bad the dysfunctional NY DEC couldn’t be more like the mostly-functional PA DEP…
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Constitution Pipe Asks FERC for Speedy Rehearing, 2020 Deadline

Seems like a week doesn’t go by that MDN isn’t asked (by someone from Pennsylvania), “Is there any hope of building the Constitution Pipeline through New York?” Our standard response is this: The only way it gets built is (a) NY elects a new governor favorable to the industry–about a 1% chance of that happening, (b) President Trump issues an Executive Order overriding Cuomo’s blockade of Constitution (and other pipeline projects)–maybe a 10% chance of that happening, or (c) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reconsiders a decision to not overrule NY’s move to block the project–maybe a 15% chance. The U.S. Supreme Court in April refused to consider the Constitution Pipeline case, closing that door (see Supreme Court Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Overrule NY). In January of this year, FERC turned down Constitution’s request to overrule NY (see Death of the Constitution Pipeline? FERC Refuses to Overrule NY DEC). But then Constitution (i.e. Williams) asked FERC to reconsider their ruling, to “rehear” the case as it’s called, in Feburary (see Constitution Pipe Files for FERC Rehearing, Then Back to Court). In March, FERC gave themselves a little more time to think about rehearing the decision, but since that time, the agency has been silent. Yesterday Williams/Constitution filed a request with FERC asking them to urgently, speedily, quick-like-a-bunny, pretty-please with a cherry on top hurry up and reconsider/rehear their earlier decision, this time hopefully overruling NY. Could it happen? Sure, it could. Will it? Doubtful, but hey, hope springs eternal! Williams/Constitution also filed an official request yesterday with FERC to extend the deadline to build the Constitution project–from this year to 2020. If FERC grants the extension, then maybe there is a glimmer of hope that FERC will change its mind, or that FERC somehow sees a way that Constitution can still get built…
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FERC Tax Decision Forces Williams to Restructure – No More MLP

It appears a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier this year that strips away the main advantages of the tax-advantaged master limited partnerships (MLP) structure is causing the MLP to go the way of the dodo bird. Because of the Trump tax cut, in March FERC reversed a previous policy and will no longer allowed MLP interstate oil and gas pipelines to include an income tax allowance in their cost-of-service rates (see FERC Takes Aim at Adjusting Pipe Rates in Light of Trump Tax Cut). Not long after, Tallgrass Energy, owner of the Rockies Express Pipeline, announced they would phase out their MLP structure (see Tallgrass Energy Eliminating MLP – First “Casualty” of Tax Cut?). As we predicted, it was the first of many to do so. Williams is now the latest midstream company to dump its MLP. Williams is essentially two companies–Williams (the corporation) and Williams Partners (the MLP). The MLP owns most of the assets. Williams Partners will be no more and instead, all of the assets will now live under the Williams (corporation) umbrella. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Once upon a time Williams had plans to merge the two together–but that all got mothballed when they ended up first fighting against, then trying to merge with Energy Transfer Equity (see Energy Transfer Makes “Indecent Proposal” to Buy Williams for $48B). FERC’s action in March provided the motivation for Williams to move forward with phasing out the Williams Partners MLP, which will cost Williams (the corporation) $10.5 billion to do…
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Williams Refiles Application with NY DEC for Transco NESE Project

In April MDN told you that the New York Dept. of Environment Conservation (DEC) had rejected a modest pipeline expansion proposal by Williams’ Transco Pipeline subsidiary (see Cuomo-Corrupted DEC Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipe Project). The project, which we’ve previously written about and are actively promoting, is called the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). NESE is meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. The DEC warned Williams that they would reject the application as incomplete unless/until FERC itself provides an environmental assessment of the project. That happened in March, but the DEC said it didn’t have enough time to review it and requested Williams refile (we’ve heard that one before). Given Cuomo is refusing to approve any new natural gas pipeline projects (see him say it point blank in this video), we’re not optimistic that the DEC will actually approve it this time either…
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Nearly Done in Lancaster County – July

Good news. The main part of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project–where it runs through Lancaster County, PA–is almost finished. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. The most opposition to the pipeline has happened in Lancaster County. Right now 90% of the pipeline has been welded in Lancaster County and sits above ground. By the end of July, all of it will be done and buried in the ground. It won’t be long after that that the entire 198 miles will begin to flow northeast PA Marcellus gas…
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FERC OKs Start of Bidirectional Flow on Transco/Atlantic Sunrise

On Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Williams’ Transco Pipeline permission to reverse the flow along part of the pipeline to begin sending more Marcellus gas south. The order allows Transco to start up modified compressor stations in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, and to begin flowing an extra 150 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of yummy Marcellus gas southward. Most of the time when we report on Atlantic Sunrise, we talk about the greenfield (brand new pipeline) being installed in 10 Pennsylvania counties. What’s often overlooked are other aspects of the project, like this one, that will kit out the Transco to flow 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus gas to the south and to the Gulf Coast. The greenfield portion of the pipeline is due to be completed sometime soon–by “mid-2018.” This latest order allowing the startup of bidirectional flow along certain portions is an important part of the project…
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Insider Reveals What’s Really Going On in NY Constitution Pipe Case

One of the lawyers who filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting the Supremes hear the Constitution Pipeline case has written a column that rips the mask off New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and exposes him for the corrupt autocrat he is. The column is long and uses a number of legal references and arguments, but we can sum it up this way: (1) Cuomo has been caught admitting he has imposed an illegal moratorium on new pipelines; (2) Cuomo’s action in blocking the Constitution and other pipelines usurps federal authority; and (3) Cuomo’s actions in blocking pipelines threatens national energy security. It’s not often we get the inside thinking of one of the key players in a high-profile lawsuit. Read the following and learn…
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1Q18 Midstream Potpourri: Williams, MarkWest, Summit, Tallgrass

Every three months publicly traded companies, including those with major operations in the Marcellus/Utica, issue a required quarterly update for stockholders. It’s often referred to as “earnings season.” We like to cull through the updates to share items of interest with MDN readers. For drilling companies we dedicate an entire post to each company. We typically don’t cover midstream (i.e. pipeline) companies as much. However, there are a number of important projects cooking with companies like Williams, MarkWest Energy (MPLX), Summit Midstream and Tallgrass (REX Pipeline). We culled through the press releases and analyst phone call transcripts to pick out comments and portions that we think are helpful in understanding where some of these important projects are, and how they impact the bottom line of said companies. Below is our 1Q18 midstream potpourri…
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Supreme Court Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Overrule NY

In January 2018, Williams, builder of the proposed Constitution Pipeline–124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY to move Marcellus gas into NY and New England–took their last, best shot at overturning a politically-based decision by the corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny the Constitution necessary water permits to build (see Constitution Pipeline Appeals NY Fight Directly to U.S. Supreme Court). Williams appealed an appeals court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping against hope that the high court would hear the case–and overturn the appeals court decision, thereby forcing NY to allow pipeline construction. Sadly, the attempt has failed. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition to hear the case. Let’s be honest, it was a long shot to begin with–the Supremes only hear a handful of cases each year. But still, the decision is disappointing. Unlike antis, when our side loses a court case like this, we acknowledge and accept it. If it had gone the other way, antis would have claimed the court decision was illegitimate and launched illegal actions to block construction–like sitting in the tops of trees. They resort to anarchy, mob rule and bullying when they don’t win. We accept the rule of law and pledge to soldier on and fight another day. That’s the difference between unmoored radicals and people with their heads screwed on straight. So what happens now? Is this truly the end of the line for the Constitution? The project has one, possibly two very slim chances left…
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ATF Cuts Back on Agents Hunting for Perps Who Stole Dynamite

As we previously reported, someone(s) stole a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (used to ignite the dynamite) on the weekend of April 14-15 from a locked storage trailer sitting at an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction site in Lancaster County, PA (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) immediately swung into action, offering $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and flooding the county with agents (see ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.). Then last week, someone discovered some, perhaps all of the stolen dynamite (see Stolen Dynamite from Atlantic Sunrise Site Discovered in Creek). The ATF has still not found a suspect. They now believe the amount of dynamite recovered was all of it. Some 10 agents are left in the county, working their way through interviewing 900 workers who had access to the site…
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Atlantic Sunrise Doles Out $264,300 in Grants to Schools, Towns

Pipeline companies are known for their largess in showering local schools, towns and nonprofit agencies with money for worthy causes. Among those who engage in this civic practice is Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County, PA. In 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program was established to benefit community organizations in communities within the Atlantic Sunrise footprint. Since 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise has doled out more than $2 million across the 10-county project area in support of noteworthy projects. And they’ve just done it again. A total of 41 PA organizations have just received a total of $264,300 in contributions–more than a quarter of a million dollars! We have the full list below, along with information about how your organization can apply for the next round…
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Cuomo-Corrupted DEC Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipe Project

A new fight is shaping up in the (crumbling) Empire State. Once again Andrew Cuomo, at the prompting of Big Green groups (corrupted by their big donations to his campaign war chest) has instructed his lackeys who run the Dept. of Environment Conservation (DEC) to reject a modest pipeline expansion proposal by Williams’ Transco Pipeline subsidiary. The project, which we’ve previously written about and are actively promoting, is called the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). The project is meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. In a pattern we’ve seen before, the DEC claims, falsely, that an application for a state water crossing permit is “incomplete.” The DEC, like Lucy with her football in the old Charlie Brown cartoons, offers the promise that “if only” the pipeline company will submit a “complete” application THEN they will approve it. But just like Lucy with the football, when the company gets close, the DEC pulls it away yet again. Fool me once… The DEC used this same tactic to defeat the Constitution Pipeline project. It sure feels to us like “here we go again”…
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Stolen Dynamite from Atlantic Sunrise Site Discovered in Creek

Stolen dynamite looked like this

As we’ve reported daily since the news broke, someone stole a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (used to ignite the dynamite) from a locked storage trailer sitting at an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction site in Lancaster County, PA (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA). As of last Thursday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had doubled the reward money to $20,000 and upped the estimated amount of explosives and blasting caps stolen (see ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.). Someone walking across a bridge in Riverfront Park (East Donegal Township) last Friday peered into the creek and noticed a lot of something that didn’t look like it belonged–the missing dynamite and blasting caps. Except the amount recovered is only half of the amount the ATF previously said was stolen. A day after the discovery the ATF changed its story and now says it is “increasingly confident” that all of the stolen dynamite has been recovered. The ATF says the contractor botched the paperwork recording how much dynamite was actually in inventory. The ATF has still not awarded the $20,000 reward money–because a suspect has not yet been apprehended. The investigation is ongoing. So has the ATF recovered all of the dynamite, or not?…
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ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.

The stolen dynamite looks similar to this picture – click image for larger version

We don’t want to belabor this issue too much, but once again we have more/new information about a serious situation in Lancaster County, PA. As we reported earlier this week, someone(s) has stolen a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (needed to detonate the dynamite) from a construction site for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA and More Dynamite Stolen from PA Pipe Site than Originally Reported). Investigators with the federal ATF–Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives–are “moving with a sense of urgency” to locate the thieves. How urgent? ATF has just doubled the reward money, from $10,000 to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest. They also have “30-40 agents” swarming through Lancaster County working on the case. Make no mistake, they will find out who did it. The ATF also says it appears the contractor storing the dynamite violated federal storage standards, making it easier for someone to steal it…
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