Big Green Kills 1000s of WV Jobs via Atlantic Coast Pipe Lawsuit

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Groups like the Sierra Club are jobs killers. When was the last time you heard about a Big Green group actually creating new jobs–except for paying a few protesters? They NEVER create jobs, they ALWAYS kill jobs via lawsuits. And so it is with lawsuits that have stopped work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from West Virginia to North Carolina. Lawsuits launched by Big Green groups against ACP have resulted in thousands of people now out of work. Many of them worked for small companies.
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Chester County, PA Sues ME2 Pipe, Seeks to Block Construction

The sleazy elected commissioners of Chester County have just sued Sunoco Logistics Partners to try and stop construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline on two county-owned properties where the pipeline has a legitimate, legal right to build. One of the commissioners actually uses these lawsuits as fundraisers (see Chester County Commissioner Uses Pipeline Lawsuit as Fundraiser). Yeah, that’s sleazy.
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Ohio Court Rules Marketable Title Act Applies re Mineral Rights

There is an ongoing question of whether or not the Ohio Marketable Titles Act (MTA), which impacts Utica shale rights, can be used to return previously severed mineral rights back to a surface landowner, or whether the MTA is superseded by Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA). In February, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals said the MTA *does* still apply to mineral rights (see OH Court Says Marketable Title Act Applies to O&G Rights). The Seventh Circuit recently ruled in a second case reaffirming yet again that yes, MTA applies to mineral rights.
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Radical Groups Challenge FERC re Atlantic Coast Pipe in Fed Court

A group of radical leftist groups filed briefs in federal court last Friday asking the court to overturn the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision from 2017 that approves and allows the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The court case, before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is the next phase of the battle over ACP. We name names below for which non-profit agencies should have their tax exemption ripped away because of their overt political activities in opposing ACP.
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DC Circuit Court Slaps Down NY, NC Request to Block 3 Pipelines

In addition to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) slapping down the New York DEC this week (see our lead story), on Wednesday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down both New York and North Carolina regulators who tried to block three important Williams pipeline projects, all related to the mighty Transco Pipeline.
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Landowner Asks PA Supremes to Throw Out 150-Yr-Old Rule of Capture

Last November the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Briggs v. Southwestern Energy, that is hands-down the most important court case to ever happen regarding the Marcellus Shale in PA. And no, we’re not exaggerating. A blizzard of briefs by Southwestern and those supporting Southwestern were filed in February (see “Rule of Capture” Briefs Filed w/PA Supreme Court in Briggs Case). On Wednesday, it was the Briggs’ turn to file a brief, one in which they ask the Supremes to stop application of the 150 year-old “rule of capture” in PA when it comes to shale wells.
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Fed Judge Reverses Class Action in PA Landowner Lawsuit v. Shell

A notable development in a lawsuit that before now, we were unaware of. Several landowners in Venango County (northwest PA) filed a lawsuit against Shell’s SWEPI drilling subsidiary in 2013 claiming SWEPI had stiffed them out of lease bonus payments due under duly signed lease contracts. The landowners attempted to turn the lawsuit into a class action, claiming the same thing had happened for about 300 leases in the area. A federal judge has just ruled against converting the lawsuit into a class action.
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Cabot Settles Overtime Work Lawsuit by 80 PA Workers for $3.56M

A second lawsuit we’re reporting on today that had previously slipped by our usually good radar. A former Cabot Oil & Gas employee filed a lawsuit in October 2017 alleging that he and a number of other “employees” had been stiffed out of overtime payments by Cabot–that Cabot had treated them as independent contractors rather than as employees. The lawsuit was granted class certification.
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Judge Orders Grant Twp to Pay PGE $102K in Legal Fees

Pennsylvania towns that pass sketchy local ordinances that skirt state laws are on notice: It’s going to cost you. Big. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, PA that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. The ordinance was tossed by a judge, and now the town will have to pay $102,000 in legal fees incurred by the operator.
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Another Pipe Builder Plays Dirty – Liens on Lancaster Landowners

This stuff makes us angry. Just yesterday we told you about a contractor using the sleazy tactic of filing “mechanic’s liens” against landowners in western New York State because of a payment dispute with the company building a wind farm on their property (see Liens Filed Against W NY Landowners re Wind Turbines). Last year a contractor working on the Mariner East 2 Pipeline tried the same stunt (see Bankrupt Pipeline Contractor Leads to Liens Against PA Landowners).
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3rd Circuit Court Grants NJ Request to Pause PennEast Pipe

Last December a federal judge in New Jersey upheld eminent domain power for PennEast Pipeline for ALL of NJ, where there are 136 holdout landowners who have refused to allow PennEast surveyors on their property (see Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain). However, PennEast still isn’t totally out of the woods. The State of NJ appealed the decision because some of the land PennEast wants to build across belongs to the state (see NJ’s Dem AG Lectures Fed Judge re PennEast Eminent Domain).
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PA Commonwealth Court Keeps Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit Alive

In December 2017, a Bradford County, PA judge turned down Chesapeake Energy’s attempt to wiggle out of a royalty lawsuit on a technicality (see Bradford County, PA Judge Keeps Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit Alive). However, the judge punted the case to a higher court, Commonwealth Court, to settle what he calls “novel questions of law”–rather than spending more time and money on such issues at the county court level. On Friday Commonwealth Court ruled…
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Analyzing the Court Decision that May Allow Constitution Pipeline

In February MDN told you about an important decision by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that has the potential to override New York State and allow both the Constitution Pipeline and Northern Access Pipeline projects to get built (see Recent Fed Court Decision Gives NY Pipes Hope for Bypassing Cuomo). The Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC decision is still causing shock waves–especially among Big Green groups. We have some analysis below of that decision and how states like NY may now behave in light of the decision.
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