FirstEnergy Loses OH Supreme Court Case to Block Referendum

The mafiosi at FirstEnergy lost their lawsuit filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in a bid to block a referendum aimed at giving all Ohio residents the right to vote to overturn an ill-conceived corporate welfare law passed that puts $1 billion into FirstEnergy’s pocket in order to keep two failing nuclear power plants open. Although they lost the case, FirstEnergy claims the Supreme Court decision is a “victory” for their attempt to keep their grubby hands on taxpayer’s money. How does that work?
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Nov. Cold Snap Prompts Switch from NatGas to Coal in NE, Midwest

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An interesting article from our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, points out the price sensitivity for electric power generators and their willingness to switch, on a dime, from using one form of fossil fuel to another. A cold snap in November prompted more demand for natural gas from homes and businesses to use in heating, which in turn caused a bit of a supply deficit–meaning prices for natgas went up (double and triple in some cases). Lickety-split power generators in the northeast and Midwest who had been using natgas switched to using coal because of the price change.
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Philly’s Nicetown Marcellus-Fired Plant Wins Appeal, Online Soon

It’s the end of the road for some not-so-nice folks in Nicetown, a Philadelphia neighborhood. In 2016, Philadelphia’s SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) announced plans to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant to provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines and a bus garage (see Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen). Antis, making wild claims of “racism,” opposed the plant because it will burn an evil, nasty, vile “fossil fuel.”
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PA House & Senate Republicans to Stop Wolf’s Insane Carbon Tax

Yesterday a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania House and Senate members held a press conference in Harrisburg to introduce parallel bills to prevent Gov. Tom Wolf from following through on his insane plan to tax carbon dioxide from natural gas-fired power plants–yet another attempt by Wolf to raise ~$300 million a year for Harrisburg politicians to spread around to voters in an effort to get themselves reelected. The proposed bills will prohibit the state from joining the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) without express permission from the PA legislature.
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Antis Go Criminal – 29 Arrested for Blocking Work on NY Power Plant

Anti-fossil fuel nutters who so often turn to criminal activity in the name of “protecting” the planet have struck again–this time at the Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dutchess County, NY. The natural gas-fired power plant is nearing completion and with every rivet punched and bolt that gets turned, it drives the nutters even more insane than they already are. Some 29 protesters, some of them not local, were arrested by Dutchess County sheriff’s deputies on Saturday for blocking the entrance to the facility. Four of them climbed a 275-foot smokestack to hang banners. We have the names and ages of all 29 who broke the law.
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Battle Begins to Build Another NatGas Electric Plant Near NYC

Before environmentalist wackos got really wacko in opposing *anything* remotely related to natural gas, including gas-fired powered plants, Competitive Power Ventures got their 680-megawatt CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda (Orange County), NY approved and (eventually) built and online (see CPV Marcellus-Fired Elec Plant in Orange County Now Online!). Valley Energy Center encountered a LOT of resistance near the end, including some from Gov. Cuomo himself, who tried to get the already-operating plant shut down (see Judge Refuses to Shut Down Orange County, NY Gas-Fired Plant). Now the nearby Town of Newburgh (also in Orange County) wants to retire an old gas-fired power plant and build a new one right next to it. The wackos are already in overdrive against the Danskammer Energy project.
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Moxie Energy CEO Aaron Samson Dies in Accident, Age 59

Aaron Teal Samson – Nov. 25, 1959 – Oct. 20, 2019

This one really hurts. A true titan in our industry and all-around superb individual, Aaron T. Samson, died on Oct. 20 at age 59 following a freak accident. Samson was CEO of Moxie Energy, a company we’ve written plenty about over the years (see our Moxie stories here). Moxie has built a number of Marcellus-fired power plants in Pennsylvania. Aaron was personally, using his own hands, building a house for a close friend (at no cost) in Michigan when he fell, injuring himself, ultimately resulting in his death.
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OH Lawmakers Plan to Block Foreign Ownership of Power Plants

We’re still feeling the fallout of FirstEnergy’s sleazy campaign to keep their $1 billion ratepayer bailout in Ohio. Last week we told you about FirstEnergy’s Mafia-like tactics in attempting to block petitioners from gathering signatures to overturn House Bill 6 that hands FirstEnergy $1 billion (see FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers). Part of FirstEnergy’s strategy was to gather signatures on a competing petition–aimed at confusing residents. It is that petition that is the subject of this post.
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Eco-Leftists Try to Stop Global Warming Debate at PA House Hearing

Some of those who attended the hearing and who believe in global warming wore tinfoil hats, which we find apropos

Kudos to Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Chairman of the PA House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, for being the adult in the room at yesterday’s hearing on so-called climate change (i.e. man-made global warming). Metcalfe, who is a “denier” that mankind is catastrophically causing the earth to toast, arranged a hearing on “Pennsylvania CO2 and climate.” He included six witnesses who testified they believe in the fairy tale of man-made global warming, and five witnesses who don’t, to offer their best evidence for/against. That’s about as even as it gets. Yet eco-leftists, like the executive director of PennEnvironment, compared those (of us) who hold an opinion other than his, to Nazis.
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Will CT Gov Cave to Extremists and Block Gas-Fired Power Plant?

The State of Connecticut’s “Siting Council” changed its mind in July and approved NTE Energy’s proposed project to build a 650-megawatt natural gas-fired electric plant in Killingly (see Connecticut Approves New Natgas-Fired Electric Plant in Killingly). The Siting Council recognized that some 6,000 megawatts of older, less-efficient power plants in the region are retiring and without new plants coming online to provide electricity, Connecticut and its neighboring New England states will begin to experience rolling blackouts if they don’t make up the difference with new supplies of electricity. However, CT Gov. Ned Lamont now sounds like he’s having second thoughts on approving the plant.
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The Real Costs of PA Gov. Wolf’s Carbon Tax by Joining RGGI

Opposition to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to have PA join with northeastern states in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) continues. Big opposition. Earlier this month Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf went completely off his rocker with a power-grab to force PA into a regional alliance to tax natural gas-fired electric plants out of existence (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). The reaction was swift–on both sides of the issue (see Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s Bonkers Plan to Strangle NatGas Elec Plants). Reaction against the plan continues. The Indiana County, PA Board of Commissioners recently adopted a unanimous resolution against Wolf’s foolish plan, laying out in dollars and cents the very high cost such a plan will have on the county (in lost taxes and lost jobs).
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FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers

All we can say is, shame on FirstEnergy. They hired people to block petition gatherers trying to get signatures for a referendum for the November ballot. The tactics used can only be described as bullying–sometimes physical. Workers are trying to get enough signatures on a petition to place a referendum on the November ballot. The referendum, if adopted, would overturn House Bill 6 which grants a $1 billion bailout to FirstEnergy’s economically failing nuclear power plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). FirstEnergy doesn’t want to give up that money.
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Ohio Ballot Initiative to Overturn Nuke Bailout Goes to Fed Court

The fight to overturn Ohio’s House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout (freebie) given to FirstEnergy to prop up its uneconomical nuclear power plants is getting nasty. Really nasty. We previously told you about FirstEnergy’s lying commercials that claim China controls the state’s natural gas industry–because a Chinese bank loaned some of the gas-fired plants money (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Somehow FirstEnergy got Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and got him to overturn the the language of the referendum, disqualifying it on a technicality (see Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum). Because of Yost’s action, there isn’t enough time to get enough signatures. So the matter has gone to federal court, asking for more time.
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Why Wolf’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is Disaster for PA

Earlier this month Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf went completely off his rocker with a power-grab to force PA into a regional alliance to tax natural gas-fired electric plants out of existence (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). The reaction was swift–on both sides of the issue (see Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s Bonkers Plan to Strangle NatGas Elec Plants). Following up, the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy has issued an analysis that exposes why joining the tax alliance is the wrong move for PA. And the Blank Rome law firm explains why joining the alliance is not likely to happen.
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Pittsburgh Intl Airport to Generate Electricity Using Shale Gas

In March 2018 MDN brought you the news that Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) was exploring the possibility of producing its own electricity (see Pittsburgh Airport Plans NatGas Microgrid to Attract New Business). You may recall that CONSOL Energy (now CNX Resources) previously drilled a bunch of wells on airport property and now produces a boatload of natgas every day. The plan would be to use some of that gas to power a microgrid to lower the cost of electricity at the airport complex–a complex where officials are attempting to attract businesses to locate. The possibility is becoming a reality.
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Duke Energy Plans Lots of New Gas-Fired Plants in NC/SC/Elsewhere

Duke Energy loves natural gas-fired electric plants. Duke plans to build up to 4.7 gigawatts (GW) of new natural gas electric capacity in North and South Carolina between 2029 and 2034. In Florida, Duke plans to increase the amount of gas in its electric generation mix to 77% in 2027, up from 64% in 2017. And in Indiana, Duke wants to build a new natural gas plant in 2028, and another in 2034. Duke’s VP of state energy policy, Diane Denton, recently sang the praises of natgas at an Energy Bar Association meeting–saying natural gas “is critical to decarbonization strategy.”
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