Fed Judge Upholds Maryland Decision to Block Pipe Under Potomac

In May, Columbia Gas Transmission was forced to haul the State of Maryland into court over the state’s refusal to grant an easement to drill a tiny 3.5-mile pipeline under the Potomac River (see Columbia Gas Sues Maryland to Allow Pipeline Under Potomac). In June, Maryland’s anti-fossil fuel Attorney General, Brian Frosh, asked a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit (see Maryland Asks Fed Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Questioning Pipe Rejection). Yesterday a liberal judge with the U.S. District Court in Baltimore sided with Frosh, sadly.
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Fed Court OKs OH Class Action Royalty Lawsuit Against Cheseapeake

In 2017 a group of Ohio landowners did what others had previously done in Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere–they filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy claiming Chessy had screwed them and about 1,000 other Ohio landowners out of a collective $30 million in royalty payments (see OH Landowners File Royalty Class Action Lawsuit Against Chesapeake).
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Fed Court Shoots Down Riverkeeper’s Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Case

THE Delaware Riverkeeper has lost yet another frivolous lawsuit that attempted to overturn Williams’ now long-completed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. We’ve lost count of how many lawsuits Riverkeeper (and other anti groups) have lost against Atlantic Sunrise. Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s decision to issue a federal Clean Water Act “Section 401” water permit for the project.
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Radical Greens Ask 4th Circus to Block MVP re Endangered Species

Hoping that lightning strikes twice with the “judges” at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (4th Circus) who read children’s books like The Lorax and use them in their decisions, deep-pocketed Big Green groups have filed a new lawsuit with the quirky judges asking that they overturn federal approvals issued to Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Big Green hopes the clown judges will overturn approvals for MVP the same way they did for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project.
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Chester Co. DA Abuses Office, Arrests ME2 Pipeline Security Guards

Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan has sunk to a new low. We told you back in January Hogan and his highly-paid staff, motivated by politics, were investigating Energy Transfer, their Sunoco Logistics division and anyone/anything to do with ET’s Mariner East pipeline projects, looking for “crimes.” All he found were minor violations by two off-duty PA constables (see Chester County DA: Using Off-Duty Police as ME2 Security a Crime). Yesterday Hogan’s office, in an act of supreme shame, arrested those two off-duty officers for having the gall to moonlight as security guards for the ME project.
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DC Court Upholds FERC Authority in Approving Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

In March 2017, radical green groups, including the Sierra Club, Lancaster Against Pipelines, Lebanon Pipeline Awareness, Allegheny Defense Project, Clean Air Council, Concerned Citizens of Lebanon County, and Heartwood, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in an attempt to block construction of the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project in Pennsylvania (see Radical Green Groups File Fed Court Case to Stop Atlantic Sunrise).
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Landowners Continue to Push NY to Allow Propane Fracking

A small group of New York landowners in Tioga County, NY continue to pressure the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to allow them to drill and frack a single Utica well using LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas (i.e. propane). The DEC under the direction of Andrew Cuomo continues to purposely drag its feet in approving the project. The landowners are not giving up and hope to prove that fracking in NY can happen. They’re keepin’ the dream alive.

8/7/19 UPDATE: Big Green groups are petrified NY will allow this test and have submitted a bullying letter to the DEC opposing it. See the letter below.
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New York Group Launches to Sue Cuomo/State re Frack Ban

A new group has formed in New York State with the aim of using a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision as ammunition to sue NY over its ban on hydraulic fracturing. The new group, called Landowner Advocates of New York (LANY), was started by MDN friend Vic Furman. Could this finally be the solution to force Andrew Cuomo to allow fracking?
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Dominion 2Q Update: The Battle to Build Atlantic Coast Pipe

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Dominion Energy, a huge company with its fingers in many energy pies (pipelines, LNG exports, power generation, utility company) issued its second quarter update yesterday. Although the company is large and yesterday’s update spanned many different initiatives, there was no escaping the fact that much of yesterday’s conversation revolved around the company’s stalled Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project.
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OH Court Says Internet Search to Find Mineral Owners Not Required

How much “due diligence” must a landowner engage in when it comes to locating a long lost mineral rights owner in Ohio? According to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA), the landowner who wants to reclaim mineral rights that were severed must (a) send a certified letter to the last known address of the rights owner, and (b) if that doesn’t work, publish a notice in local newspapers to try and find the long lost rights owner. After that, the landowner can reclaim the mineral rights (an oversimplification, but you get the idea).
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Philly Anti Pushes to Make Pipe Info Public that Terrorists Can Use

The actions of one man seeking access to confidential risk assessments and plans for the Mariner East pipelines in the Philadelphia area will, if successful, put information into the public domain that terrorists can potentially use. Note we don’t believe it is the intent of this man to grant access to sensitive information to terrorists. But that is the consequence, the outcome, the result of his actions–if a court now reviewing the case grants his request.
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Columbia Gas Pays $143M to Settle Lawsuit from Mass. Explosions

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) continues to recover (physically and reputationally) from a series of explosions last September in its local delivery pipelines north of Boston (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas–for months. Several class action lawsuits were filed against the company. News is breaking today that Columbia has settled all of the class action lawsuits for $143 million.
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Clown Judges from 4th Circus Block Atlantic Coast Pipe…Again

The same U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals judges who quoted from Dr. Seuss’ book “The Lorax” in a previous decision against Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) have, once again, delivered another blow to ACP. In a very poor decision issued on Friday, the clown judges overturned reissued permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for the project, claiming the permits don’t do enough to protect bumble bees and bats.
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Federal Judge Approves EQT $53.5M WV Class Action Settlement

In February MDN brought you the news that EQT had settled a class action lawsuit in West Virginia with landowners and rights owners ending EQT’s practice of post-production deductions from royalty checks (see EQT Settles WV Class Action Royalty Lawsuit for $53.5M). EQT agreed to pay $53.5 million into a settlement fund that will disburse payments to each individual litigant–unless they elect to opt out of the settlement and continue on with a private lawsuit against EQT. Courts take a looooooooooong time to do anything, including putting a stamp of approval on this settlement.
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Landowner Wins Fed Case to Get More $ from Pipeline Using PA Law

A landowner in Pike County, PA called King Arthur Estates LP, challenged Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) over the amount of money they should receive to have a pipeline cross its land–and has won the right to use PA’s more generous laws on compensation rather than the federal government’s more stingy laws on “just” compensation. The decision sets a precedent for all PA landowners.
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PA Court Delivers Split Decision in Remaining Ch. 78a Regs Case

Mainstream media, via a single Associated Press story, is reporting a decision by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court yesterday is largely a “win” for the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection with respect to Chapter 78a regulations. The AP story de-emphasizes what we consider the larger story–that the drilling industry already won most of the case last year (see PA Supreme Court Gives Drillers Victory in Chapter 78a Regs Case). In yesterday’s court ruling, the judges split the final pieces of the case, awarding victory to the DEP in some areas, and the Marcellus industry in others. We sort it all out below.
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