FERC Wants U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Pipes & Bankruptcies

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would like the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on whether it (FERC) or the bankruptcy courts have the final say in whether or not drillers can wiggle out of long-term pipeline contracts by declaring bankruptcy. Chesapeake Energy is trying to do so now, attempting to shed several contracts including some in the M-U region (see FERC Sides with Energy Transfer Against Chesapeake re Pipe Contract).
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Second Lawsuit Filed Against Cabot Claiming Securities Fraud

Here we go again. Just last week we told you that a New York City law firm couldn’t find enough interest to make a class action lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas using a sham indictment from the highly political Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, so the law firm pulled the plug on the case (see Law Firm Withdraws Class Action Against Cabot re Securities Fraud). Another law firm is now trying the same thing…
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Big Green Group Files Notice to Sue Sunoco re ME2 Pipe Permits

Based on the suspect testimony of a “whistleblower,” the radical Clean Air Council (CAC) has filed a notice of its intent to sue Sunoco Pipeline claiming the company prevented professional geologists working on the project from properly inspecting and investigating environmental conditions, including subsidence, near the pipelines. Yet another sham lawsuit by a sham organization.
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MVP Gets Another Permit, Still Waiting on FERC to Resume Constr.

Almost two weeks ago Equitrans Midstream sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting they be allowed to restart construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, construction which has been suspended since October 2019 (see Equitrans Asks FERC to Allow MVP Construction Restart This Week). So far FERC has not granted the request. However, we have one more (minor but important) permit issued for the project.
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NEPA Landowners Meet to Discuss Equinor Lawsuit, Chesapeake Ch. 11

Northeastern Pennsylvania landowners who are leased either with Equinor (formerly called Statoil) or Chesapeake Energy met last night in an open-air pavilion at the Wyoming County, PA Fairgrounds. They were there to discuss a lawsuit against Equinor for shorting landowners on royalties, and to discuss Chesapeake Energy’s bankruptcy.
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OH Supremes Say ODNR Guilty of Takings re Trumbull Injection Well

Here’s a story we haven’t written about in two years. American Water Management Services (AWMS) owns a wastewater injection well in Trumbull County that supposedly caused a low-level earthquake (that nobody could feel) in 2014. Actually there are two injection wells located at the site, both operated by AWMS. They were both “temporarily” shut down by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources following the quake nobody could feel (see ODNR Temporarily Shuts Down Injection Wells After Low-Level Quake).
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Big Green Lawsuit Targets Cracker Plants, Incl. Shell PA Cracker

Shell cracker as of March 2020

Once again big money is being funneled to Big Green groups by secretive sources to finance a lawsuit attacking American infrastructure. The latest attack by Big Green, including a PA-based “environmental” group, seeks to overturn a recently-updated rule by the U.S. EPA governing air emissions from ethane cracker facilities.
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Fish & Wildlife Service Reissues Permit for Mountain Valley Pipe

Anti-fossil fuel zealots like the nutty Sierra Club have successfully delayed completion of Equitrans Midstream’s 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline from West Virginia to southern Virginia with lawsuits. The project is now 92% done and in the ground. The zealots successfully convinced Democrat federal judges to overturn key permits issued by several government agencies. One of those overturned permits, issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for endangered species, has just been reissued. Score a victory for the good guys.
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FERC Says NEXUS Approval in Public Interest re Exports to Canada

In late 2018 a fringe environmental group called the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN), along with the City of Oberlin, Ohio, filed yet another lawsuit (with the D.C. Court of Appeals) to nullify the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) original decision to approve the NEXUS Pipeline project that runs through Ohio (see CORNballs Return, Ask DC Court to Shut Down NEXUS Pipe). Their argument is that if any of the gas flowing through a pipeline gets exported (to Canada, in this case), the project is not in the (American) public interest and therefore it should not get approved.
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Gulfport, OH Landowner Settle Royalty Lawsuit re Monster Utica Wells

Back in 2012 Gulfport Energy drilled a pair of exceptional Utica wells in Belmont County, Ohio–both on the same pad. The first was the Shugert 1-1H which had an initial production (IP) rate of 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (Mmcf/d). It also produced an initial 144 barrels of condensate per day, and 2,002 barrels of natural gas liquids per day (see New ‘King’ of Utica Wells? Gulfport Shugert Well @ 20 Mmcf/d). The second was the Shugert 1-12H well, with an IP rate of 28.5 MMcf/d (see Gulfport’s New Utica Well Produces Mind-blowing 28.5 Mmcf/d!). Somewhere along the way, the Shugert family claimed Gulfport was making post-production royalty deductions it should not have taken.
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Fed Court Restores Weymouth, MA Compressor Permit – For Now

In early June an Obamadroid federal judge vacated a permit for the Weymouth compressor station, the last piece of Spectra Energy/Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge pipeline project–a project which took years to build (see Obama Judge Overturns Air Permit for Weymouth, MA Compressor Stn). Even so, Enbridge kept on building the plant (see Weymouth Compressor Continues Construction Despite Judge’s Ruling). It’s a good thing Enbridge kept building because a panel of judges from the same court (First Circuit Court of Appeals) yesterday reversed the earlier decision. The court said the permit is reinstated (at least for now) because Enbridge will likely win its lawsuit to complete the project.
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FERC Sides with Energy Transfer Against Chesapeake re Pipe Contract

click for larger version

On Sunday, June 28, Chesapeake Energy, with major operations in the northeast Pennsylvania Marcellus, filed for bankruptcy (see Chesapeake Files for Bankruptcy – Debtors to Take Ownership). As part of the filing, the company asked the bankruptcy court to allow it to break existing, legal, enforceable contracts with several pipeline companies, including Energy Transfer’s Tiger Pipeline (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is siding with Energy Transfer against Chessy.
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Big Green Fumes as PA Refuses to Stop State Forest Shale Drilling

In June 2017, the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) won a case at the PA Supreme Court by the skin of their teeth (see PA Supreme Court Hands Antis Partial Victory re State Land Drilling). The case dealt with the issue of how PA can spend revenue raised from drilling for oil and gas under state-owned land. A divided court ruled that money from royalties (not lease signing bonuses) must be used only for “environmental” purposes. Since that time the governor and the legislature have ignored the ruling and interpreted it to mean money can be used to (for instance) fund operating expenses of the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), something PEDF claims is not allowed. Ignoring the ruling year after year has the radicals at PEDF fuming.
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Marcellus E-Fracking Company Evolution Well Sued for Overtime

Evolution Well Services, headquartered in Houston with a regional office in Pittsburgh, specializes in “electric” fracking–using natural gas from the well pad (instead of diesel fuel) to power turbines to create electricity that drives fracking pumps. Evolution fracks for at least one Marcellus/Utica E&P (see Another Marcellus Driller Converts to Electric Fracking). Earlier this week an Evolution worker filed a lawsuit against Evolution in Allegheny County court claiming the company owes him (and others, if he can turn it into a class action) back pay for overtime the company forced them to work.
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Colluding Big Green Groups Sue to Stop Ohio NGL Storage Hub

A group of far-left, so-called environmental groups, including, Earthjustice, Buckeye Environmental Network, Concerned Ohio River Residents, Freshwater Accountability Project, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Club, are suing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in an attempt to overturn permits issued by ODNR to build an underground NGL storage hub in Monroe County, Ohio.
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