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 Rep. Metcalfe Calls Wolf “Rogue Governor” – Can’t Force RGGI

The gloves are off in Harrisburg. We previously told you about Gov. Wolf’s plan to have PA join with northeastern states in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional alliance to slap a carbon tax on natural gas-fired electric plants (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (Republican from Butler County, PA), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent a letter yesterday to the RGGI Executive Committee saying PA has a “rogue Governor” (his exact words) who lacks the authority to force PA to participate in RGGI without legislative approval.
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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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Florida Ports an Important New Customer for M-U Natural Gas

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For some time, we’ve had our eye on Jacksonville, Florida, concerning LNG. In July 2018 Eagle LNG opened its Maxville facility which liquefies natural gas into LNG for loading onto ships that use it as fuel (see Marc/Utica Gas Trucked to Jacksonville, FL for Use in LNG Ship). Eagle LNG is also working on a full-blown (smallish) LNG export plant near Jacksonville too (see Eagle Hires Matrix to Build Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant). In May 2019 we told you about another small-scale LNG facility in Jacksonville, the JAX LNG facility (see First US “Small-Scale” LNG Facility Launches in Jacksonville, FL). But Jacksonville isn’t the only port that wants LNG. Far from it!
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WV House Advances 2 O&G Bills: Orphan Wells & Faster Permits

The annual 60-day legislative session in WV is now under way, beginning Jan. 8. The first bill of consequence introduced that would impact/help the oil and gas industry was House Bill (HB) 4001, designed to kick start a regional NGL hub and reassure China it’s OK to invest some of those promised $84 billion in the Mountain State (see WV Bill Would Establish Fund to Kick-start NGL Hub, Reassure China). Two more bills have now been introduced and appear to be on a fast track to adoption: HB 4090 (orphan wells) and HB 4091 (faster permits).
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EIA Predicts Avg NatGas Price $2.33 in 2020, 9% Lower than 2019

Yes, 2019 was a tough year here in the Marcellus/Utica shale due to low natural gas prices drillers received for their gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the average spot price for natural gas at the benchmark Henry Hub was $2.57 per million BTUs (MMBtu) in 2019. But the news gets worse. EIA says that in 2020, because of increasing natgas production without a corresponding increase in demand, they predict this year’s average HH price will sink to $2.33/MMBtu. That’s 9% lower this year than last.
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PA Landowner Says Range Well Didn’t Cause Methane Problem in Water

Range Resources’ Harman Lewis Unit 1H well in Moreland Township, Lycoming County.

Two days ago MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection has once again climbed up on its high horse and is now ordering Range Resources to “fix” a well they claim is leaking methane into the ground, causing nearby water wells and the ground itself to be contaminated (see PA DEP Orders Range to Fix Leaking Gas Well in Lycoming County). Range says the well is not at fault. The landowner whose land where the well is located also says the Range well is not at fault.
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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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NTSB Urges Changes to PHMSA LNG-by-Rail Regs

Yesterday MDN told you that 16 highly partisan, far-left Democrat attorneys general had filed comments opposing President Trump’s plan to allow LNG (liquefied natural gas) to be transported by special rail cars (see 16 Democrat State AGs Oppose Trump Plan to Ship LNG via Rail). Just coming to light are comments filed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also opposing the new LNG-by-rail regs, as written. However, there’s a big difference between the 16 Dem AGs and NTSB objections…
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Eagle Hires Matrix to Build Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant

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A small LNG export facility project at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida first appeared on our radar in November 2018 when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted it a favorable environmental impact statement. Since that time the Eagle LNG export project has received tax incentives from the City of Jacksonville, and last September FERC gave the project final approval to proceed (see FERC Grants Final Approval to Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant). The project is now getting real. Eagle just announced they’ve hired Matrix Service to build the facility.
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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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16 Democrat State AGs Oppose Trump Plan to Ship LNG via Rail

Last April President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Transportation to write a new rule allowing specially constructed tanker cars for railroads (DOT-113 tank cars) to ship LNG, i.e., liquefied natural gas (see Here Come the “Bomb Trains” – Trump to Allow LNG by Rail). The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (draft regulations) to move the process forward in October (see US DOT Gets Serious About LNG by Rail – Publishes Proposed Rules). Monday was the final day for comments on the proposed rules. Unsurprisingly 16 uber-partisan Democrat state attorneys general filed a joint letter opposing the new regs.
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Bloomberg Lawyers in State AG Offices “Political Mercenaries”

In December 2017 MDN told you about the bastardization of our justice system by Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg funneled money to New York University (NYU) School of Law which in turn pays to hire radical (Democrat) attorneys to work inside the offices of the attorneys general in 10 different states, including Pennsylvania (see NYU Buying Frivolous Enviro Lawsuits by Hiring Lawyers for State AGs). The aim of hiring these lawyers to work alongside AGs is to launch lawsuits to “protect” the environment–i.e. sue fossil fuel companies. It is a gross perversion of our justice system and MUST STOP.
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World’s Top Investment Firm to Phase Out Fossil Fuels, Eventually

BlackRock Inc. is the world’s number #1 asset manager–with nearly $7 trillion in investments. The company invests in a LOT of companies that produce or are dependent on the production of fossil fuels. Important company to our industry. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, in a pair of letters (one to CEOs and one to investors) has just signaled BlackRock will begin to move away from fossil fuel investments. But (and this is a big but), it won’t happen overnight.
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