Two Lawsuits Filed Against Enbridge for KY TETCO Pipe Explosion

On August 1, Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Pipeline Company (TETCO) pipeline exploded in Lincoln County, Kentucky–killing one and sending six to the hospital (see TETCO Pipe Explodes in Kentucky Killing 1; Southbound M-U Gas Stops). Since that time one of the three TETCO pipes in the area has returned to service. We’re just now learning that at least two lawsuits have been filed against Enbridge and TETCO–one for wrongful death, the other by a couple severely injured and burned following the incident.
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Fed Court Tosses Claim New England Utilities Manipulated Gas Mkt

The radical Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) published a “report” (i.e. propaganda) in 2017 that made the preposterous claim that New England customers have overpaid utility bills by $3.6 billion due to collusion between the natural gas and electricity industries (see EDF Accuses New England Gas Utilities of $3.6B Market Manipulation). That false report led to a class action lawsuit against the two companies accused. After years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has just affirmed a lower court ruling that tossed out this sham lawsuit based on a sham report.
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The Tangled Web of Lawsuits Atlantic Coast Pipe Still Faces

Last week we brought you an update on outstanding litigation and the status for Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline project (see Dominion Confident Courts Will Restart Atlantic Coast Pipe). We attempted to simplify where things stand in relation to two court cases. Truth be told, there are multiple court cases in two different courts. It is a complex situation. We have a more detailed look at what’s blocking thousands of workers from returning to work on this critical project…
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Which Way will PA Supreme Court Rule on ‘Rule of Capture’ Case?

Last week MDN told you that oral arguments would be heard on Thursday at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in what we believe is one of (perhaps THE) most important shale cases ever in the Keystone State (see Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes). The case deals with whether or not the age-old oil and gas principle called “the rule of capture” applies in PA shale drilling.
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Worst Fears May Come True with PennEast Pipeline Court Decision

Yesterday MDN brought you news of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruling that disallows PennEast Pipeline from using the delegated power of eminent domain to cross properties either owned by, or with easements granted to, the state of New Jersey (see Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land). We expressed a grave fear that this ruling, which sets a precedent, may result in new pipeline projects in lefty states (like NY, NJ, MD, CA, etc.) getting blocked. Turns out we’re not the only ones who believe that may happen.
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Dominion Confident Courts Will Restart Atlantic Coast Pipe

What’s the status of Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 600+ mile pipeline that will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina? Only 35 miles of pipeline is currently built, and all construction, at the moment, is blocked by the U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals. Almost all of the workers for the project (thousands of them) have been laid off. Big Green groups with deep pockets have harassed the project from the beginning by filing lawsuits, blocking construction. Yet Dominion Energy, the primary partner and builder of ACP, remains “confident” the pipeline will, eventually, get built. When?
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Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land

Well, score a victory for the forces of evil. Sometimes Darth Vader wins–that’s life. Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that PennEast Pipeline cannot use the power of eminent domain to “condemn” (take possession of) land that is owned or otherwise controlled by the State of New Jersey because it violates the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the judges, the Eleventh Amendment says states have sovereign immunity from such actions.
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Orion Drilling Sued EQT for Canceling 2 Rigs, EQT Won

EQT contracted two drilling rigs from Orion Drilling in 2014 that later, in 2015 and 2016, experienced trouble–like a 50,000-pound drilling block slamming to the ground kind of trouble. EQT canceled the contract and would no longer use the two rigs. Orion sued claiming breach of contract. A jury decided EQT was in the right by canceling the contract. Orion asked a judge to overturn the jury decision and order a new trial. Yesterday the judge refused, meaning the jury decision stands and Orion now owes EQT $2.8 million to cover EQT’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Ouch, that didn’t go as planned.
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Broader (Serious) Implications from NEXUS Pipe Court Ruling?

On Monday MDN told you that radical anti-fossil fuelers and the City of Oberlin, OH won a minor victory of sorts against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project (see DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe). We’d like to further unpack that decision and possible (serious) implications it may have for other pipeline projects. Let’s dig deeper.
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Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes

This Friday Thursday the justices sitting on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear what we believe is the most important shale gas court case in the history of the state: Briggs v Southwestern Energy. We consider this case to be an existential threat to the future of shale gas drilling in PA should the decision go the wrong way. And no, we’re not exaggerating.
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Philly Dem Senator Loses Bid to Shut Down ME Pipelines

PA State Senator Andy Dinniman

In April 2018, a Chester County, PA (Philadelphia area) Democrat State Senator by the name of Andy Dinniman (who we think looks like Tony Soprano) filed a formal, legal complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), asking the PUC to shut down and keep closed all of the Mariner East pipeline projects–ME1, ME2, and ME2X (see Philly Dem Senator Tries to Shut Down ME2 Pipe Construction). It took long enough, but the PA Commonwealth Court, whom Sunoco appealed to, ruled yesterday that Dinniman’s complaint is meritless. The court ordered the PUC to dismiss Dinniman’s complaint.
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PA DEP Changes Sides, Says Marcus Hook Should Get 1 Big Air Permit

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which once supported (in court) Sunoco Logistics Partners method of requesting permits for the Marcus Hook facility (near Philadelphia), has just flip flopped and change sides, now siding against Sunoco and the permits the DEP itself issued for the Marcus Hook facility. DEP is now siding with the radical Clean Air Council demanding that all of the work at the Marcus Hook facility be done under a single emissions permit, not separate permits.
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PA Fed Judge Won’t Dismiss Landowner Royalty Case Against Range

Last October MDN brought to your attention a lawsuit filed by a Washington County, PA couple, Robin and Thomas Pflasterer, against Range Resources (see Range Resources Sued by PA Landowner re Post-Production Deductions). The Pflasterers maintain Range deducted post-production expenses not allowed under their lease. Range argued the Pflasterers didn’t have the proper paperwork to back up their claims and asked for the case to be dismissed.
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DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe

Since late last year we’ve tracked a lawsuit brought by radical antis and the City of Oberlin, OH against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project. Last Friday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that handles challenges to regulatory agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), refused to drop the case and told FERC to once again try to justify the project in light that some of the gas gets exported to Canada.
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EQT Drops WV Lawsuit re Post-Prod. Deductions on Flat Rate Leases

The new leadership at the top of EQT continues to have a major impact on the company and its relationship with landowners and (in this case) entire states. Last year EQT launched an effort to overturn WV’s Senate Bill (SB) 360 (see EQT Still Fighting WV Minimum Royalty Law for Flat Rate Leases). The new SB 360 law disallows post-production deductions for flat rate leases, ensuring landowners receive a minimum 12.5% royalty. In April 2018 EQT sued to overturn the original law (from 1982) on which SB 360 rests–the law that guarantees a 12.5% royalty. Get rid of the original law, and the later law (disallowing deductions) disappears too. Last week EQT filed a motion to withdraw its lawsuit.
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FirstEnergy Asks OH Supreme Court to Block Bailout Referendum

FirstEnergy continues its desperate attempt to prevent a referendum measure from hitting the fall ballot in Ohio that would overturn a recently passed (very bad) law that bails out FirstEnergy’s failing nuclear power plants in the state to the tune of $1.5 billion. Earlier this week we told you FirstEnergy is running tinfoil hat commercials claiming China would soon control Ohio’s electric grid if the bailout bill is overturned (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Now FirstEnergy is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the ballot measure, denying voters the opportunity to vote.
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