Irrational Fossil Fuel Hatred in Bristol, VT re Local Gas Line

It took Vermont Gas Systems three years to build a 41-mile, $165 million natural gas transmission pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury. The pipeline went into service in April. Vermont Gas is now working to complete several local distribution spurs–short, small pipelines to deliver the gas to homes and businesses. One of those spurs goes to Bristol, VT. A handful of Bristol residents are suing the town board for approving the local distribution pipeline without first holding a townwide vote. When you read the objections of those against the project, they don’t talk about exploding pipelines and safety issues, or running pipelines through pristine areas. How can they object on that basis? There are literally tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of miles of this very same kind of pipeline in every major and most minor cities and towns across the country. When you read the comments of those in Bristol objecting, they talk about natural gas as “a big, dirty fossil fuel” and fracking as an abject evil, contaminating water, filled with chemicals, yada yada yada. In other words, they are clinically insane. They irrationally hate fossil fuels, even though their very lives and existence depend on those fossil fuels every minute of every day. We’ve run out of words to describe such lunacy…
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Duke Study Can’t Hide Fact Water Use for M-U Fracking is Small

We find the latest “bash fracking” so-called study just published by Duke University to be, well, rather amusing. This is not Duke “researcher” Avner Vengosh’s first bash fracking study (see Duke Hit Piece on Shale Water Usage from Same Park-Sponsored Prof and Latest Case of Duke U Bought & Paid “Research” by Park Foundation). This newest “research” study is amusing because the findings appear to be solid and positive news for the industry, but the researchers and mainstream media are going out of their way to spin the findings into something negative. In “The intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing” (full copy below), researchers imply and infer that fracking is using too much water, and producing too much wastewater (brine and flowback). Yet here in the Marcellus/Utica region, fracking’s use of our regional (very abundant) water supplies is minimal, only growing 20% from 2011 to 2016. Although they do their best to spin it negatively, you can’t ignore the facts. Fracking isn’t a drain on freshwater supplies, using a small fraction compared to other uses, including golf courses. The amount of wastewater that must be disposed is not a burden either. Most brine (i.e. produced water) and flowback is recycled and reused, with a small amount disposed via injection wells…
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Antis Still Can’t Come to Terms They Lost NY AIM Pipe Case

Big Green antis thought they could stop the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline project–an expansion of the existing Algonquin pipeline system designed to carry 342 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to New England states that badly need the gas. On March 3, 2015 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the project. Construction began in 2015 and, following extreme opposition from New York State over a small portion of the project near the Indian Point nuclear plant (which will shut down in a few years anyway), AIM finally went online in late 2016. In what has become a typical pattern, Big Green groups asked FERC to rehear their decision to approve AIM, FERC refused, and Big Green then filed a lawsuit in federal court. But two weeks ago the federal court told the antis “no,” crushing their efforts to roll back the expanded pipeline (see DC Circuit Court Denies Anti Request to Rehear AIM Pipe Approval). That should be the end of the matter. There’s no place left to go, court-wise, except maybe (one in a million odds) to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet the antis, still disbelieving they’ve lost, are threatening to pursue it legally. Some unstable people just can’t let go…
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Cuomo Plan to Divest Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels Cost NY $1T

Andrew Cuomo – tinhorn dictator of NY

Sorry to harp yet again on the tinhorn dictator Andrew Cuomo, so-called governor of New York, but his actions are so egregious, so outside the mainstream, we can’t keep silent. Cuomo is bragging that he’s not only shut down fracking in the state, he’s also blocking natural gas pipelines and blocking new gas-fired electric generating plants. He’s clinically off his rocker. And now Cuomo is pushing NY’s public employee pension fund to completely divest any stock holdings in fossil fuel companies. University of Chicago Law School Prof. Daniel Fischel and Compass Lexecon economists Christopher Fiore and Todd Kendall have analyzed the risks associated with fossil fuel divestment by both New York and Colorado’s retirement funds. They found that over the next 50 years, divesting NY’s retirement fund will cost NY pensioners $1 TRILLION of value they otherwise would have had in their pockets. Will anyone have the guts to stop the Cuomo train wreck before it’s too late?…
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Anti Fossil Fuel Zealots in Oneonta, NY Oppose CNG Terminal

A boatload of anti fossil fuel zealots from Cooperstown put down their wine glasses long enough to pack an auditorium in nearby Oneonta to bloviate against a sensible plan to build a CNG “decompressor” facility to accept trucks loaded with CNG during wintertime and summertime when area supplies of natgas get dangerously low. We wrote about the proposed facility, described as “a decompression station for compressed natural gas deliveries by truck to supplement resources” two weeks ago (see Oneonta, NY Wants to Build NatGas Decompressor for Short Supplies). In brief, here’s the issue: On really cold and really hot days there’s not enough natural gas in the region, and some large users of gas, like the local hospital and state university, actually have to stop using gas and switch to burning oil as a backup. It’s nuts. To overcome lack of clean-burning gas supplies, the local econ development people are trying to chase down grants to build a decompression station which would be used for maybe two weeks out of the entire year. Wednesday night the Oneonta Town Board held a hearing to get more details about the project. The loons from Cooperstown (i.e., Otsego 2000) turned out in force, some 100 of them, to protest the plan. Why? Because it’s a “fossil fuel.” What did the loons offer as an alternative to this sensible plan to truck in CNG only on days when it’s needed? They recommend “retrofitting old buildings to save energy” (i.e. throw on extra sweaters and turn the thermostat down), or switch to renewables. You know, solar and wind nirvana. What about when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Just do without. It’d only be for a few days at a time…
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Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe

In a pattern that has become obvious, and disturbing, the radicalized Sierra Club has once again prevailed in shutting down work on a second mammoth pipeline project–Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)–by concentrating their legal arguments at one small, specific point of the project. This happened with Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). As we reported yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told MVP to stop work on the entire project, at least for now (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). The Sierra Club convinced the without-experience-in-the-oil-and-gas-industry judges of the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to build MVP across 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest, on the border of WV and VA. This time, with ACP, the Sierra Club convinced the Fourth Circuit to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, the rolled-back permits affect more of ACP than MVP–about 100 miles of work out of 600+ miles. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits all but told FERC they need to shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. The court can’t order FERC to do so, but they strongly cautioned FERC that they should do so. Since FERC stopped work on MVP, it stands to reason they will do it with ACP too. So lightening has now struck twice, and it’s not good. Dominion maintains they will continue to build ACP except for those areas where the Fourth Circuit has rolled back permits. In other words, they’ll keep building it in North Carolina and some locations in WV. All eyes are now on FERC. We hate to say this, but our guess is that FERC will shut down the entire ACP project, for now. It’s virtually the same scenario as MVP which FERC elected to shut down. Why would this project be any different?…
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Cuomo Strikes Again: Blocks Completed Gas-Fired Plant from Starting

Andrew Cuomo is a tinhorn dictator who must be stopped (politically). NOW. Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center is a $900 million, 680-megawatt natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY (near the Hudson River). The plant is fully built, and the Millennium pipeline now flows Marcellus gas to it (see Millennium Lateral Pipe to NY Gas-Fired Elec Plant Begins Service). Valley Energy Center is tested, vetted, and ready to start producing electricity. But at the last minute, Cuomo pulled strings with his lapdog head of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Basil Seggos, and the DEC has rejected renewing an air permit for the facility. The DEC, using trickery and doublespeak, now says the project must file for a different kind of air permit, called a Title V Clean Air Act permit, which requires additional mountains of paperwork and (most importantly for Big Green radicals), more time for “public input”–including at least 45 days for review by the U.S. EPA. Why didn’t the DEC require that permit from the start? Why sandbag the project and wait until they’re ready to flip the switch, and then tell them “wrong permit”? This is an underhanded, dirty trick. It is corrupt. And it is Andrew Cuomo at the center of it…
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PA Supremes Order Rehearing for Rex Permits Near Martian School

The Martians and their allies have attacked once again. Run for the hills! This is a long-running story that’s just taken another (unfortunate) twist. A handful of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”) in Butler County, PA, backed by money and legal help from Philadelphia Big Green groups THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council, have filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit (see Martians Use Riverkeeper to Continue Court Battle Against Rex). The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The actions by these radicalized parents have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $100,000 in legal fees (we hope the taxpayers enjoying paying for this folly). Eventually most of the lawsuits were won by the good guys and at least two wells got drilled. However, in 2016 the Martians appealed a town ordinance that allows the wells to be drilled about 3/4 of a mile from the school. A panel of three western PA judges in Commonwealth Court heard arguments in the case, and in June 2017 the judges ruled against Riverkeeper and the Martians (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Martian Case to Stop Rex Energy Drilling). Riverkeeper, using funding from the William Penn Foundation and Heinz Endowments (among other Big Green funders) pressed on, all the way to the PA Supreme Court. Last Friday the Supremes proved they aren’t so supreme after all. In a ruling, the Supremes told Commonwealth Court to do it over again, this time considering PA’s so-called Environmental Rights Amendment as part of their thinking. In other words, do it over, and rule another way this time–that’s what the Supremes are telling the lower court to do…
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Snitches Now Have Nothing to Do

Our lead story today is that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has temporarily shut down all work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, in both Virginia and West Virginia (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). A shame. We spotted another story about a group of landowners and outside radical anti-fossil fuelers who call themselves Mountain Valley Watch. The group, adamantly opposed to MVP, flies drones over work areas to see if they can spot the least little “violation” by workers (Look! That guy just dropped a Snickers bar wrapper on the ground!). The members and fawning media try to label them as “citizen-scientists,” which is laughable. They’re snitches. They run around spying on their neighbors (i.e. workers) hoping to catch them in violation of some obscure code–all in the name of “being an extra set of eyes.” That’s why there’s environmental agencies with trained regulators and inspectors–to do that kind of work. But it’s just so much fun flying drones around, being a virtual peeping Tom. Trouble is, now that MVP construction is stopped, what will the pipeline snitches do with their time? Their neighbors might want to keep an eye out for drones buzzing overhead…
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Protester Sentenced 2-6 Months in Jail

Huntingdon County, PA landowner Ellen Gerhart, adamantly opposed to the Mariner East 2 pipeline being constructed across her land, had her day in court on Friday. Gerhart, as we recently reported, was accused of violating a 2017 court order preventing her from interfering with ME2 construction on her property. It was alleged that she continued to do so anyway, against a judge’s order, and on Friday, July 27 she was arrested and jailed (see Central PA Landowner Arrested, Jailed for Violating ME2 Court Order). A week later, on Friday, Aug. 3, Gerhart stood before the judge as evidence was presented (videos and testimony from pipeline workers) that showed Gerhart had indeed violated the order. So the judge sentenced her from two to six months in prison, plus a $2,000 fine. Which is sad, but necessary. We (still, so far) live in a society where flagrant violation of the law is punished. The judge said she caused a hazard for pipeline workers…
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WV Grandma Sits in 1971 Ford Pinto to Block MV Pipe Work

Click for larger version

This is one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” stories. A 64 year-old retired school teacher from West Virginia (want to know what’s wrong in this country? look at the people teaching our kids) somehow got assistance from someone to drag and then hoist an old, bombed-out, non-functioning 1971 Ford Pinto up into the air, suspending it on blocks, sticking it in front of work being done to construct the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Monroe County, WV. With grandma sitting in it. The car and signs hung in the area had spray-painted slogans like, “defend what you love,” “resist all pipelines,” and “this is our home.” In other words, the woman is an old hippie, trying to relive the glory days of Vietnam protests. She succeeded in blocking work for a few hours–until police arrested her and carted her away. These people just get more bizarre every day…
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Cabot’s Lease Terms for Ohio Landowners + Antis Stage Tiny Rally

We spotted an article covering a “rally” of maybe 20 people (judging by the pictures) who gathered on the bank of the Clear Fork of the Mohican River in Ashland County, OH this past Sunday. The group was there to protest Cabot Oil & Gas drilling a few test wells in the area to see if there’s anything in the region worth drilling for. Out of state radicals calling themselves “pipeline fighters” who had engaged in illegal activities against the Dakota Access Pipeline where there to whip up the locals–maybe convince them to do something illegal too. That’s how this kind of insanity spreads–by human contact. Anywho, the most interesting part of the article for us was not about the machinations of antis and their big boasts of how they’ll stop fracking. Instead, the most interesting part was an explanation of how Cabot came by the acreage they’ve leased in central Ohio, and how much money Cabot is offering landowners to amend existing lease agreements…
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ME2 Landowner/Protester Admits to Some of Her Crimes, $25K Bail

Yesterday we told you that a Pennsylvania landowner from Huntingdon County, PA, Ellen Gerhart, was arrested on Friday for violating a court order to not interfere with Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline work being done on her property (see Central PA Landowner Arrested, Jailed for Violating ME2 Court Order). Although Gerhart is due for a hearing before a judge on Friday, there was a preliminary hearing yesterday. Gerhart “attended” by video conference because she’s being held in a neighboring county jail (Huntingdon doesn’t have facilities to house female prisoners). Under questioning, Gerhart admitted her actions were intended “to annoy and harass” ME2 workers by her actions. What were those actions? She admitted placing meat close to the construction site in order to attract bears. She also admitted setting small fires in bottles/cans, hinting to workers that they might explode (like a Molotov cocktail). She remains in jail, for now. Yesterday the judge set bail at $25,000…
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Enviro Groups Back Down on Challenging DEP Permits for ME2 Pipe

An interesting development on Friday, when the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a press release to announced that three radical environmental groups have dropped their objections to permits the DEP previously granted for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association, and THE Delaware Riverkeeper “settled” their appeal of 20 permits issued to Sunoco for the ME2 project. What does it mean that they “settled?” According to the announcement, “The settlement does not alter any of the 20 permits in the appeal.” In other words, this is face-saving by the radical groups. They backed down. Gave up. Threw in the towel–recognizing that ME2 is about to be completed. In other words, they’ve lost. And we won! We love saying that. No matter how hard the radicals tried to spin the news (via their affiliated mouthpieces, like StateImpact Pennsylvania), you simply can’t gloss over the fact that they’ve backed down…
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Central PA Landowner Arrested, Jailed for Violating ME2 Court Order

For the past two years the Gerhart family has used illegal protest tactics to stall tree cutting on their property in Huntingdon County, PA, to block construction of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline. Out-of-state Big Green radicals, along with the Gearharts’ own daughter, lived on-and-off in the tops of three white pine trees, building magic tree houses so they can lay around and pretend they’re saving the planet. The tree occupation prevented Sunoco Logistics Partners from cutting the trees, which are in the path of the ME2 project. Then, at daybreak on Sunday, April 8th, after observing the protesters had left the night before scared of impending high winds, Sunoco snuck in and cut down the trees, much to the consternation of the Gerharts who called it a “underhanded and cowardly attack.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called it a “predawn timbering raid” (see ME2 Pipeline Cuts Down PA Trees Vacated by Protesters). Funny! We mention all that as background because the mama Gerhart has landed herself in jail. Sunoco said that Ellen Gerhart violated a standing court order to not interfere with work happening on her land for the pipeline. So police arrested and jailed her last Friday, without bond, until a hearing date on Aug. 3 (a week later). What did Mrs. Gerhart do to end up in the slammer?…
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OH Wayne Natl Forest Landowners Tired of Waiting, Take Fight to DC

Bureaucrats deeply embedded in the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are engaged in denying private property owners with property in the Ohio Wayne National Forest (WNF) their property rights. That’s the very serious (and true) charge being levied by members of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). After “seven years of inaction,” property owners in WNF have taken their case to Washington, D.C.–to elected representatives from Ohio, along with federal agencies–in hopes of getting Utica drilling under way in WNF. After 10 long years, the BLM finally auctioned 719 acres in WNF in December 2016 (see BLM Auction Leases 17 Parcels, 719 Acres in OH Wayne Natl Forest). Since then BLM has held three more auctions. Ultimately there are some 18,000 acres under consideration for leasing by the BLM in WNF, a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned! Those mineral rights owners have been denied the use of their property rights for more than a decade. It was thought with the beginning of auctions the situation would be remedied. Not so. Not a single drilling permit has been issued following the auctions. BLM bureaucrats are threatening private landowners that their property, if it belongs to a drilling unit along with BLM auctioned land, will be subject to a full National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. Enough! It’s time to put an end to unelected DC swamp dwellers blocking Utica drilling in WNF…
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