NY, Other Lib States Try to Block Dominion New Market Pipe Project

New Market Project – click for larger version

Last July a small group of rich snobs from Cooperstown, NY calling themselves Otsego2000 sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court to try and stop Dominion Energy’s New Market Project (currently under construction), a VERY modest upgrade to an existing pipeline that runs through Upstate (see Otsego2000 Snobs Appeal FERC Approval of New Market Pipe Project). The false premise of Otsego2000’s lawsuit is that FERC did not consider mythical man-made global warming when it decided to approve the New Market Project. Unfortunately, the wildly left/radical New York Attorney General’s office has just entered the case by filing a “friend of the court” brief, along with the wildly left/radical AGs in Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington State, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. But wait…the pipeline doesn’t run through any of those other states (other than NY) and has zero impact on those other states. Doesn’t matter. The point is they want to redefine how FERC does its job by bastardizing our laws, and this case conveniently provides them with a way to do it.
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Big Green Nightmare: WV Sen. Joe Manchin Ranking Mbr Energy Ctte

Although the Democrats will seize control of the House of Representatives come January, putting Nancy Pelosi in charge, fortunately the Senate will remain under Republican control. However, as happens each two years, a number of committee assignments and chairmanships and ranking member assignments will change. One of those changes is in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (Democrat) may become the ranking (longest serving) Democrat on the committee, and because of tradition, he would then assume the role of Ranking Member of the committee. That prospect doesn’t sit well with the radical children of the Big Green movement–because Manchin is from WV and he loves and supports the coal industry and he loves and supports natural gas. Worse yet, Manchin sometimes (not often, but sometimes) votes with Donald Trump (gag). The petulant children of Big Green groups like “Friends of the Earth” are stomping their feet, demanding that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer deny Manchin the Ranking Member position.
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Mariner East Defends Itself Before Same Judge Who Once Blocked It

In May of this year, Elizabeth Barnes, an administration law judge for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), unilaterally ordered Sunoco Logistics Partners to “cease and desist all current operation, construction, including drilling activities on the Mariner East 1, 2 and Mariner East 2X pipeline” in West Whiteland Township in Chester County, PA (Antis Get Lib Judge to Shut Down All Mariner East Pipes, Dems Rejoice). The judge also shut down all operations of Mariner East 1 across the entire state, ruling that she was “enjoining Respondent from operating Mariner East 1.” It was a breathtaking display of arrogance and seizure of power that does not belong to her. Barnes’ closure of ME1 and ME2 was later overturned by the full PUC (see PA PUC Overrules Lib Judge – Mariner East 1 Returns to Service and PA PUC Allows ME2 Pipeline Work to Restart Near Philly). Last week a ginned up “emergency relief petition” was aired before Barnes. Same deal. Antis want to shut down ALL of the Mariner East projects–permanently. Barnes was the judge hearing the “testimony” of the antis, along with a vigorous defense by Sunoco. Did she learn her lesson the first time?
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Allegheny Twp Antis Ask PA Supremes to Consider Frack Ban via ERA

In November 2015, MDN first reported on a zoning court case in Westmoreland County, PA that’s still playing out (see 3 Western PA Antis Weigh Appeal of Court Ruling in Zoning Case). Three ladies brought a lawsuit against Allegheny Township because the town approved a permit for CNX Gas to drill a well on a farm owned by John and Anne Slike. Since the farm is about 1,200 feet from where the ladies live, they objected. The ladies’ legal argument is that fracking is a violation of the state’s Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA). After losing in lower courts, they eventually lost their case in PA Commonwealth Court in October (see PA Antis Suffer Crushing Defeat in SWPA Zoning Case re ERA). Which should have been the end of it. But it seems the pockets of Big Green groups (which are funding the lawsuit) is bottomless. The ladies and their Big Green lawyers have just appealed the case to the PA Supreme Court. Will the Supremes accept it?
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Norfolk Antis Try to Discredit Competing Pipeline Safety Report

Ever notice how the antis apply a different set of rules and standards to those who support fossil fuels than they do to themselves? Here’s a great example. Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) wants to complete a decades-old project by building the final nine miles of the project from Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake, VA–called the Southside Connector Project. Those who oppose the project paid big bucks to “consultants” to write a report smearing the project as unsafe (see Norfolk Pipeline Foes Pay Former NTSB Execs to Bash Project). A couple of former NTSB executives sold themselves out for God knows how much money to attack the pipeline. The city itself hired some independent consultants to evaluate and study the proposed route. One of the consultants hired by the city previously did some work for VNG, and antis are jumping on that fact to try and discredit the findings of the independent report.
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Desperation: 7 Philly Antis Ask PA PUC to Stop ME1, Block ME2

Seven antis from Greater Philadelphia, with money and lawyers from Big Green groups backing them, on Monday asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to shut down Mariner East 1 pipeline (which has operating for more than a year), and to block the startup of Mariner East 2 pipeline. The chutzpah of these people is breathtaking. To put it in perspective, Chester and Delaware Counties, which is where the seven antis hail from, has a combined population of 1,083,989 people (as of 2017). Seven people represents .0006% of the population. Meaning 99.999% of the population either don’t care, or are not against these pipeline projects. Both ME1 and ME2 carry natural gas liquids (NGLs)–meaning ethane and propane–from the western side of PA across the state to Delaware County and the Marcus Hook refinery. From the very beginning there have been a committed few (with the help of Big Green) fighting the ME2 project every inch of the way. They’ve thrown everything they have at it–multiple lawsuits, pleas to regulatory agencies, legislative hearings, illegal protests–you name it, they’ve done it. This latest action appears to be a last gasp, “Hail Mary” attempt at convincing a regulatory agency to stop both pipelines. Which isn’t going to happen.
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Massachusetts Antis Demand Gov Baker Block New NatGas Projects

You know that new housing development that just sprung up in a Massachusetts city suburb? Don’t buy a house in it, because chances are they won’t be getting new natural gas pipes run to them any time soon. That is, if a group of local boards of health have anything to say about it. A group of 77 local boards recently sent a letter to Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker asking him to stop cold any new natural gas projects until after a full blown study is done on the “safety” of natural gas infrastructure. They’re attempting to use the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts tragedy north of Boston in mid-September to block new gas infrastructure (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). It’s a naked attempt to shut down new natgas pipelines–anywhere, for any reason. And that includes small delivery lines to local homes and businesses. Fascism raises its ugly head once again in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.
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Va. Air Pollution Control Bd Delays ACP Compressor Station Vote

If there’s one more black person living in a given rural community than white, and if a pipeline company wants to put a compressor station in that community as the best location to push gas through the line, the very act of building that compressor station in that community is racist. That’s the horse manure being pedaled in Buckingham County, Va. Last week the State Air Pollution Control Board held two days of public hearings where antis, detecting they may lose the battle to stop a compressor station for Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, trotted out their so-called “environmental justice” argument. Last Friday the board decided to delay a vote on whether to approve the compressor station, until their meeting on Dec. 10.
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The War to Build PennEast Pipeline Continues

It’s been almost a year since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). DTE Energy’s NEXUS Pipeline, a 255-mile pipeline from Columbia County in Ohio to Southern Michigan, received its FERC approval around the same time. NEXUS is already built and flowing, PennEast hasn’t turned the first shovelful of dirt yet. What’s going on?
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NJ Antis Rally Against Williams NE Supply Enhancement Compressor

Stop compressor station rally in NJ

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). There are a number of components to NESE, 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 pipeline offshore. Williams wants to build a compressor station on the Jersey side to help push the gas through. Antis rallied yesterday just prior to a NJ DEP public hearing on the project, to express their opposition to the Franklin Township (Somerset County) compressor station.
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Anti Group Loses Penn Twp Frack Ban Case in PA Commonwealth Court

The last time we checked in (June) on a brewing frack ban in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA, a challenge to a local ordinance which allows Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley to drill and operate wells rested with a county judge. Things have since rapidly progressed. We’re guessing the local judge ruled in favor of allowing the wells to be drilled because the case was appealed to PA Commonwealth Court. Late last week the judges in Commonwealth Court issued a ruling in favor of Penn Township’s “special exception” permits awarded to Apex Energy, allowing them to drill shale wells.
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Philly Antis Furious that ME2 Pipe Going Online by Christmas

Last week MDN picked up on news shared by top management for Energy Transfer that their long-delayed Mariner East 2 pipeline system will be up and running by the end of the year (see Energy Transfer 3Q18: Mariner East 2 Pipeline Online by Christmas). In order to get the full pipeline running, they’ve had to patch together substitute pipelines in a few areas where construction of the final pipeline is stalled due to problems like sinkholes. Antis have now picked up on the fact that ME2 will be live “by Christmas” and are furiously crying foul–that they couldn’t stop the project. They claim the “patchwork” of substitute pipelines will be dangerous and unsafe. Their complaints amount to a lot of spitting and sputtering.
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NY Antis Prefer Burning Coal to NatGas at Ithaca Power Plant

The battle continues to rage in the lib Dem socialist utopia of Ithaca (Tompkins County), NY over a plan to convert a local coal-fired electric generating plant to use much better-for-the-environment and far-less-polluting natural gas. Yet local antis, who irrationally (and we mean clinically insane) hate fossil fuels, continue to object and preen themselves at county board meetings to object to converting the plant. They object to the conversion because natural gas is a “fossil fuel”–the modern form of eeeeevil in their eyes. And so (once again, demonstrating clinical insanity), they prefer to keep the plant burning coal. The plant will have to burn something. We don’t see any of these same antis volunteering to unhook themselves from the electric grid. The electricity flowing to their homes needs to get generated somehow, and it sure ain’t renewables doing it.
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9th Circuit Temporarily Halts Global Warming Lawsuit by 21 Kids

Last Friday the supremely disappointing U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop a lawsuit brought by lawyers (ab)using a group of 21 children against the United States for not doing enough about mythical man-made global warming (see U.S. Supreme Court Allows Climate Lawsuit by 21 Kids to Proceed). Both the Obama and Trump Dept. of Justice have asked various courts to stop this lunacy. The lawsuit aims to force the end of using all fossil fuels in the United States, to address so called man-made global warming. It would plunge our country back into the Stone Age, with people living short, brutish lives, should such a thing occur. But we digress. That case survived numerous challenges and was set to go to trial Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon when it was briefly paused by the Supremes. The case, as of last Friday, was back on. But now this: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stepped in and temporarily stopped the lawsuit again–for the next 15 days.
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House Flipping Democrat Portends Trouble for O&G Industry

The results of Tuesday’s elections, with the House of Representatives flipping to Democrat control, is a disaster. That is our considered opinion. And not just because we’re died-in-the-wool conservatives and believe in freedom and the rule of law. But for what it portends for the oil and gas industry. Some on our side, the pro-fossil fuel side, think everything’s just fine with Dems in control of the House. They say the oil and gas industry likes “divided government” because it ensures any changes that happen will happen slowly. We’re not convinced. Why? We look at the actual words of those seizing (and we use that word intentionally) power come January. The House, under Democrat tyranny, is gearing up to hold hearings on everything, including so-called “climate change” and Trump’s efforts to roll back egregious Obama regulations related to “climate change.” Dems plan to use the power of subpoena to try and stop efforts to right-size and eliminate unnecessary regulations in agencies like the EPA. We think the oil and gas industry, whether they admit it or not, is in for the fight of its life come January 1. We hope we’re wrong. We fear we are not.
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CELDF Now an 8-Time Loser re Youngstown Frack Ban Ballot Vote

Virulent anti-drillers in Youngstown, OH have now tried eight times to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights ballot measure–and have failed all eight times, most recently on Tuesday. The local yokels from Youngstown working on the initiative are pawns, useful idiots, for an ultra-radical group from Pennsylvania called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). The CELDF is behind dozens of such efforts, none of which has been successful. The Youngstown ballot measure sought to ban fracking and ban any company related to the extraction of fossil fuels from operating in the city. The CELDF is also behind a number of bizarre lawsuits–like the one claiming that an ecosystem is a “person” with rights (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). Truly nuts.
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