9th Circus Upholds Obama Judge’s Block of Nationwide Pipe Permits

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (i.e. Cirus), located in California, has struck again. We previously told you about an Obamadroid judge in Montana who illegally blocked the use of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 for oil and natural gas pipelines (see Obama Judge Blocks New Pipe Projects that Use NP12 Permit). The judge’s ruling was appealed to the clowns at the Ninth Circus and they have refused to overturn the Montana judge’s bad ruling.
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PA Supremes Hear Oral Arguments in Can of Worms Royalty Lawsuit

On Wednesday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging whether or not the state Attorney General’s office has the right to use a consumer protection law to prosecute companies like Chesapeake Energy and Anadarko over royalty payment shenanigans. The law the AG’s office wants to use has never been used that way before. According to legal experts, drillers are very concerned if the AG’s office wins this one, as we reported last November (see Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit at PA Supreme Court – Can of Worms?).
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OH Landowner Loses Post-Production Royalty Case to Chesapeake

Chesapeake Energy keeps winning Ohio royalty lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In March the company beat a lawsuit by a group of Ohio landowners who claimed Chessy had cheated them out of a collective $30 million in royalties (see Chesapeake Energy & Total Beat Class Action Royalty Lawsuit in OH). In April Chesapeake won a second lawsuit that claimed the company had fraudulently concealed information on royalty statements dating back to 1993 (see Chesapeake Beats Another OH Royalty Lawsuit in Federal Court). And now, a third royalty lawsuit has gone Chessy’s way too. Strike three for landowners.
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SWPA Judge Rejects Anti Lawsuit re Murrysville Fracking Ordinance

Last time we wrote about a zoning ordinance in Murrysville Township (Westmoreland County) was three years ago, in May 2017, when the town and local drillers struck a compromise on the distance of setbacks (see Murrysville, PA Drilling Ordinance – Anatomy of a Compromise). Apparently the still-too-restrictive ordinance (in our opinion) that allows drilling wells on only 5% of the land in the town wasn’t good enough for local antis who want to block all shale drilling.
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CA & NY Attempt to Block WOTUS Redo from Taking Effect in June

One of the worst overreaches and offenses of the Obamadroids was to redefine what “waters of the United States” (or WOTUS) actually means. As they were getting ready to leave power, the Obama EPA redefined WOTUS as everything down to large mud puddles–no lie (see EPA Power Grab: Redefines Waters of the U.S. to Include Everything). When Donald Trump took over, he set out to correct Obama’s conceit by bringing the WOTUS definition back into the realm of reality. It took years and fending off multiple lawsuits funded by Big Green organizations, but we finally we have a new, permanent redefinition of WOTUS–taking it back to what it was meant to be (see EPA & Army Corps Publish Final WOTUS Regs – Obama Overreach Fixed). The new WOTUS revisions are set to go into effect in late June. A group of radical Attorneys General with Trump Derangement Syndrome are trying to block it.
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Judge OKs Class Action Royalty Lawsuit Against 3 NEPA Drillers

On October 3, 2016, landowner James Slamon filed a lawsuit against Carrizo and Reliance Industries in the Susquehanna County (PA) Court of Common Pleas. Slamon alleged Carrizo and Reliance underpaid royalties on oil and gas leases to him and a class of other landowners “exceeding one hundred members.” The drillers got the case moved to federal court on October 31, 2016. Fast forward to this past Monday and a judge in the federal court case has certified (in part) the class-action request. The lawsuit will now move forward.
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Obama Judge Blocks New Pipe Projects that Use NP12 Permit

Obama Judge Brian Morris

A Montana federal judge appointed by Lord Barack Hussein Obama–Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris–ruled in April that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are too stupid to know whether or not using a Nationwide Permit 12 (NP12) will harm so-called endangered species in the building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the Midwest. But Judge Morris didn’t stop there. He later ruled that NP12 permits for ALL pipelines (not electric power lines or other construction using NP12, just pipelines) are not allowed. The ruling stops cold pipeline construction across the country that uses NP12 permits, including Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) here in the M-U.
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Lawsuit Seeking to Gut FERC Eminent Domain for MVP has Failed

Yet another lawsuit trying to emasculate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by attacking its right to delegate eminent domain authority to pipeline builders has been tossed in federal court. Several of these cases have been tried using Marcellus/Utica pipeline projects. This latest case was brought by uppity, privileged landowners in Virginia against the Equitrans Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project.
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Penn Twp Frack Ban Case Strikes Out at PA Supreme Court

A leftist anti-fossil group calling itself Protect PT, in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA, backed with big money from Big Green groups, has for years challenged Penn Township ordinances that allow Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley (now Olympus Energy) to drill and operate shale wells. Protect PT has finally struck out, permanently, at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
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Big Green Scared – NRDC Tries to Horn in on DRBC Fracking Lawsuit

In May 2016, a landowner in Wayne County, PA filed a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) asking a judge to declare that the DRBC does not have jurisdiction to prevent the construction of a natural gas well (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). The case bounced around various courts and is now back in federal court in Scranton, PA where a judge will decide whether shale drilling is a “project” under regulations that govern the DRBC. Anti-fossil fuel haters at the National Resources Defense Council (aka Rockefeller family) are terrified the judge is about to rule against the DRBC (and them), and so has filed a friend of the court brief to try and snow (or intimidate) the judge.
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Antis Sue to Block 2.1 Miles of Local Gas Pipe in Massachusetts

A tiny 2.1-mile pipeline looping project in western Massachusetts has been fought tooth and nail for over two years by anti-fossil fuel zealots. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project, subsequently refused to “rehear” its decision, and now Big Green groups (with loads of money) have colluded to sue FERC in federal court in an attempt to emasculate the agency because it won’t consider mythical man-made global warming when approving projects like this one.
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LOLA Energy II Says 26 EQT Shale Wells Trespass on Their Leases

Last July MDN broke the news that LOLA Energy had filed a lawsuit in Greene County, PA against EQT for allegedly drilling shale wells under property EQT formerly leased, but property for which the leases had lapsed and were subsequently scooped up by LOLA Energy II (see LOLA Energy Sues EQT for Trespass, Drilling Wells Under LOLA Land). We also broke the news about a second LOLA lawsuit against EQT for the same thing (see LOLA Energy Files 2nd Lawsuit Against EQT for Trespass in SWPA). LOLA is now “ramping up” litigation having filed (or in the process of filing) seven lawsuits. LOLA claims EQT has infringed on 26 of its leases.
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Ohio Supreme Court Accepts AG Case Against Rover Pipeline

In Nov. 2017 the Ohio Attorney General’s office under then-AG Mike Dewine (RINO swamp dweller, now governor) sued Energy Transfer at the prompting of the Ohio EPA claiming the company’s Rover Pipeline project was guilty of “polluting state waters while constructing a natural gas pipeline across Ohio” (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). A Stark County judge threw the case out in March 2019 (see OH Judge Tosses AG’s Lawsuit Against Rover Pipe Enviro Violations).
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DC Circuit Skeptical of FERC Tolling Orders re Atlantic Sunrise

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (DC Circuit) heard oral arguments yesterday in a case of major importance to the future of all federally-approved pipeline projects. The case revolves around the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) use of something called a tolling order in approving Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (in the PA Marcellus). Big Green groups launched the lawsuit in an effort to strip away FERC’s right to use tolling orders when considering requests to “rehear” decisions to approve pipelines.
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Court Rejects Stanford Prof’s Lawsuit Against Renewables Critics

A Standford University professor who sued another scientist who dared to criticize his wacky views on renewable energy in a journal article sued the scientist and the journal for defamation. It took a while for the lawsuit to play out (two years), but a judge in the case recently ruled the Standford prof was wrong in filing the lawsuit and must now pay the attorney’s fees for those whom he sued. Sweet justice.
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Mountain Valley Pipe Permit in Va. Delayed After Montana Decision

Disgusting anti-fossil fuel lunatics have hassled the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the Midwest with frivolous lawsuits for years. Last week an Obama-appointed liberal judge serving in Montana, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, vacated a permit for the Keystone project, once again stopping construction. The permit vacated was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is called a Nationwide Permit 12–the equivalent of a Section 401 permit under the Clean Water Act–allowing projects like pipelines to be built across or under streams, rivers and “wetlands” (swamps). The problem with the judge’s action is that it potentially affects all pipeline projects across the country using an NP12 permit–including the delayed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a 303-mile Marcellus/Utica gas pipeline from West Virginia to southern Virginia.
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