Maryland Asks Fed Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Questioning Pipe Rejection

A month ago 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). Earlier this week Maryland’s anti-fossil fuel Attorney General, Brian Frosh, asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit.
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ET Appeals PA DEP Order on Revolution Pipeline to Enviro Court

Energy Transfer continues to squabble with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) over the fate of the still-closed Revolution Pipeline in western PA. In May the DEP issued an order to Energy Transfer, builder of Revolution, to “identify and restore or mitigate all streams and wetlands that it illegally eliminated or altered during the construction” of the pipeline (see PA DEP Claims Energy Transfer Illegally Damaged Streams, Wetlands). DEP claims ET “illegally” eliminated at least 23 streams and changed the length of another 120 streams.
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PA Court Rules “On” Does Not Mean “Under” in Lease Payment Case

A Pennsylvania landowner thought he could finagle extra payments from XTO Energy after his land was drilled under from a neighboring property. The landowner had signed a lease, and the lease contains language that says if XTO were to drill “on” his property (i.e. install a well pad) the landowner would receive an extra payment. The landowner sued saying “on” also means “under” when XTO drilled under his property. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania disagreed, saying “on” means “on the surface” and “under” does not mean “on”.
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WV Supreme Court Rejects Nuisance Lawsuit Against Antero

In Feb. 2016, lawsuits filed by some ~200 West Virginia residents against Antero Resources were combined into a class action (see More People Pile on Antero, Seek to Join Mass “Nuisance” Lawsuit). The lawsuits are called “nuisance” lawsuits because, according to the plantiffs, Antero is a nuisance to them (truck traffic, noise, lights at night, etc.). The collective class action nuisance lawsuit was appealed all the way to the WV Supreme Court. On Monday, the Supremes rejected the nuisance claims, granting Antero a big victory.
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Dominion “Very Confident” Atlantic Coast Pipe WILL Get Built

Dominion Energy has laid 35 miles (so far) of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that will run from West Virginia to North Carolina to bring Marcellus/Utica gas to the South. However, the project has been stalled for months due to multiple lawsuits brought by colluding Big Green groups. We recently told you about a whispering campaign that says Dominion may abandon the project (see Whispers Begin that Dominion May Abandon Atlantic Coast Pipeline). According to Dominion’s senior VP of gas transmission, the whisperers are wrong.
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WV Supreme Court Tweaks Shale Well Property Tax Calculation

Last Wednesday the West Virginia Supreme Court issued a consolidated opinion lumping together seven similar lawsuits filed by Antero Resources and CNX Resources against the WV state tax commissioner and the Doddridge County Commission. The lawsuits take issue with the way gas well valuations are calculated for property taxes.
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PA Court Denies “Standing” for Grandma Fighting Range Well

A grandmother concerned that if Range Resources were to build a well pad three-fourths of a mile from her granddaughter’s school (in Washington County, PA) instead of building it a full mile from the school, tried to gain legal standing to challenge a permit granted to Range by Mount Pleasant Township. Grandma says her granddaughter has a sensitivity to benzene fumes. Yesterday a Commonwealth Court panel ruled she does NOT have legal standing to challenge the permit.
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Texas Court Strikes Down Obama WOTUS Rule

One of the worst examples of regulatory abuse under the Obama Administration was the EPA’s redefinition of what is called Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The Obamadroids redefined WOTUS to mean everything down to mud puddles–and no, we’re not exaggerating (see EPA Power Grab: Redefines Waters of the U.S. to Include Everything). When Trump took office, his EPA tried to rescind the Obama WOTUS damage, but liberal judges in various courts have done their best to protect the swamp (see Fed Judge Revives Obama Waters of US Tragedy in 26 States). We have some progress to report in overturning Obama’s WOTUS.
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WV Supreme Court Strikes Blow Against Shale Drilling in EQT Case

A West Virginia Circuit Court case in September 2017, Crowder and Wentz v EQT, found in favor of surface landowners ruling that EQT did not have the right to extend underground shale wells to adjacent properties where EQT also owned the mineral rights (see WV Surface Owners Win Important Case Against EQT re Drill Pad). The decision was appealed all the way to the WV Supreme Court. Yesterday the Supremes, in their “wisdom,” upheld the lower court ruling–which now threatens future Marcellus/Utica development in the state.
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Range, Others Paid SWPA Landowners $3M to Settle “Haney” Case

Three families who lived near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). Range eventually settled what became known as the “Haney” case with the three families in 2018. The settlement was, until yesterday, secret. Facing ongoing pressure from “media” outlets, Range released a copy of the settlement showing the families got a collective $3 million–minus 33% for overpaid lawyers.
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Court Gives Antis Hope re Forcing FERC to Consider Global Warming

Ever notice how leftists force their will on the American people via leftist judges–because they can’t win at the ballot box? It’s frustrating that we elected President Trump to do a job, and his administration is doing their darnedest, and at every turn there’s a lib Dem judge waiting to make life miserable. Such is the case with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which just rendered a decision (by three Dem-appointed leftist judges) in an Appalachian pipeline lawsuit that is actually a win for the pipeline–but also a warning shot that the lib Dem judges want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to bow to their demands that FERC consider mythical man-made global warming when evaluating future pipeline projects.
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Bucks County Residents Ramp Up Opposition to Adelphia Compressor

Adelphia Gateway map – click for larger version

Adelphia Gateway, a plan to convert an old oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook, is close to receiving final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The project recently received approval from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP).
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PA Supremes Allow Out-of-Town Hearsay in SWPA Zoning Dispute

It’s hard enough for drillers to get permits town by town in Pennsylvania, where the standards are all different thanks to the seven selfish towns that appealed the Act 13 law passed in 2012 (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). The PA Supreme Court has just made it even harder for drillers–by allowing antis from other towns to offer “testimony” in towns where they don’t live, essentially to trash talk a driller’s request for a permit. At best the “testimony” from other towns is hearsay, not substantiated. The Supremes, ruling in a case in Allegheny County, said towns can allow hearsay. Bad move.
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NY DEC Asks Federal Court to Overturn FERC Approval of NY Pipe

Last August the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a decision overruling the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to allow National Fuel Gas Company’s Northern Access Pipeline project to proceed (see Big News: FERC Overrules NY DEC to Approve Northern Access Pipe). The DEC subsequently asked FERC to reconsider the decision. FERC did, and ruled in April that they were right the first time–the DEC forfeited the right to issue permits for the project by taking too long (see FERC Overrules NY DEC on Northern Access Pipeline Rehearing). The DEC has just appealed FERC’s ruling to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Antero Resources Sues EnerQuest O&G Alleging Stolen Trade Secrets

Antero Resources sued EnerQuest Oil & Gas in a Texas court last year claiming EnerQuest had solicited and received trade secrets for a pair of landmen who live and work in Texas. A lower court dismissed the lawsuit based on a technicality (because the solicitation from EnerQuest came via email), claiming Texas does not have jurisdiction over the case. Antero disagrees and has just asked the Texas Supreme Court to review the case.
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