EQT Pauses Lawsuit Against Former Rice Employees

In February, EQT filed lawsuits in both Pennsylvania and federal courts against two former employees it had fired, claiming the employees, before they were fired, had systematically copied confidential information from company computers and took it with them when they left (see EQT Claims 2 Fired Workers Stole Confidential Information). In March, EQT alleged the employees “stole” the information to help Toby and Derek Rice in their bid to take over EQT via a proxy war (see EQT Accuses Fired Employees of Colluding with Rice Boys). At least one of those two cases has just been put on hold.

7/24/19 UPDATE: Below is new information about the paused EQT lawsuit. While EQT requested a 45-day pause/hold on the lawsuit, the judge paused it for 15 days instead–until Aug. 2nd.
Continue reading

Court Shoots Down Anti Lawsuit Against Pipe Thru NJ Scrub Pines

NJ protected scrub pines

New Jersey Natural Gas’ (NJNG) $130 million, 22-mile natural gas pipeline project called the Southern Reliability Link has been in the works since at least 2017. A 10-mile section of the project passes through “protected” scrub pines and swamps. The project is plagued by political opposition from NJ’s Democrat Party (now in charge of the state) and by lawsuits filed by leftist Big Green groups, including the Sierra Club. A NJ state appeals court has just shot down a lawsuit filed by the radical group People Over Pipelines. It’s rare we get to celebrate a victory like this, so let’s celebrate!
Continue reading

Fed Court to Otsego 2000: No Standing in NY Pipe Case, Get Lost

A radical anti-fossil fuel group (rich snobs) from Cooperstown, NY, in Otsego County (calling themselves Otsego 2000), sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court a year ago to try and stop a project to build a couple of compressor stations in upstate New York, using the argument global warming wasn’t factored into the decision-making process (see Otsego2000 Snobs Appeal FERC Approval of New Market Pipe Project). Because neither of the compressor stations are located in Otsego County, the court ruled Otsego 2000 had no standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place (see Fed Court Rules Against NY Antis in “Landmark” Dominion Pipe Case).
Continue reading

3 PA Senators Still Trying to Join Lawsuit Against DRBC Frack Ban

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 construction of a natural gas well (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). Last fall three PA State Senators asked the court to allow them to join the lawsuit on the side of the landowner (see 3 PA Senators Seek to Join Lawsuit Against DRBC Frack Ban). In May the judge turned them down. The three brave Senators have filed an appeal of that denial.
Continue reading

Ohio Lawsuits Continue re Long-Completed Rover & NEXUS Pipelines

Even though both the Rover Pipeline, built by Energy Transfer Partners, and NEXUS Pipeline, built by DTE Energy and Enbridge, have been in service for months (or years), lawsuits against the two projects continue to this day. Some of the lawsuits we understand–cases of landowner property being damaged by construction activities. Some of the lawsuits are politically motivated and funded by Big Green “environmental” groups. Ohio itself is in there too, with its own lawsuit. Ohio EPA’s Craig Bulter is still hunting his great white whale.
Continue reading

PA Landowners Seek Class Action Against EQT re Gas Storage

Last July a group of 100+ southwestern Pennsylvania landowners sued EQT for failure to pay them rental fees for storing natural gas under their properties (see 100+ PA Landowners Sue EQT re Gas Storage Field Payments). That same group has just filed a request in U.S. District Court to upgrade the lawsuit to class action status, potentially including thousands of affected landowners.
Continue reading

Rhode Island Indians Take FERC to Court re Massachusetts Pipeline

In March 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s (TGP) Connecticut Expansion project (see FERC Approves TGP Connecticut Expansion Pipeline Project). The project involves building 13.42 miles of new pipeline loops in three states: Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. When completed, the new looping will serve an additional 72,100 dekatherms of (mostly) Marcellus Shale gas to three utility companies in Connecticut.
Continue reading

LOLA Energy Sues EQT for Trespass, Drilling Wells Under LOLA Land

In another MDN exclusive, last Friday LOLA Energy filed a lawsuit in Greene County, PA against EQT for allegedly drilling shale wells under property EQT formerly leased, property for which the leases had lapsed and were subsequently scooped up by LOLA Energy (see LOLA Energy is Back! Scoops Up Rice Acreage EQT Let Expire). LOLA says they are now the owners of those leases and that EQT has drilled under some of their properties. LOLA tried to broker a deal for compensation but those talks broke down and hence a lawsuit was filed.
Continue reading

Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Court Case to Block Martian Drilling

It seems the door *does* swing both ways when it comes to Pennsylvania municipalities and the Act 13 lawsuit decision that allows municipalities to have a say in zoning in, or zoning out, shale drilling. In 2013 seven selfish PA towns won the right, from the PA Supreme Court, to impose their own zoning rules on oil and gas drilling (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). Since that time, Big Green groups have asked the court to rule the door only swings one way–that zoning can keep shale drilling out, but never allow *more* of it. That notion has now been put to rest. The door swings both ways.
Continue reading

DC Court Allows NEXUS Case (to Emasculate FERC) to Proceed

Yesterday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that handles challenges to regulatory agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), refused to toss out a case filed by the City of Oberlin, OH and a regional anti group (with the backing of Big Green lawyer$). The lawsuit challenges FERC’s approval of the NEXUS Pipeline project. Even though NEXUS is built and flowing, and even though Oberlin settled with NEXUS, meaning there is no longer a reason to sue, that doesn’t matter to antis. There’s a larger issue at play, and the D.C. Circuit played right into the hands of Big Green manipulators.
Continue reading

Another Supreme Court “Quick Take” Eminent Domain Case – Using MVP

Global warming fundamentalists certainly are a persistent lot. They can’t win elections, and they can’t force state or federal legislatures to pass laws banning pipelines (and shale drilling), so they do the next best thing. They twist our own court system against us in an attempt to block pipelines. Which has worked to some degree, at least in the northeast. The aim is to block all pipelines everywhere, eventually. Even in Texas. One of the ways antis attack the ability to build pipelines is by challenging what they pejoratively call “quick take” eminent domain–the right for a pipeline company to access and build a pipeline on property ahead of actually settling how much money the landowner will receive (in the case of landowners who refuse to negotiate).
Continue reading

Pipeline Delay Tactics Exposed – Strategy to Kill ACP & MVP

A recent article on the Forbes website helps crystallize and expose the strategy of a group we call global warming fundamentalists in their religious quest to block fossil fuels by blocking pipelines. That strategy works this way: Mount enough legal challenges to ramp up costs and ultimately convince pipeline builders to walk away from projects. “Ground zero” in pipeline wars right now is, according to the author, two projects: the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Both projects are right here in the Marcellus/Utica.
Continue reading

Enviro Judge Allows Weymouth, MA Compressor to Advance

Artists rendering of how the plant will look (click for larger version)

A compressor station planned for Weymouth, Massachusetts, part of the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge expansion project, has been stalled since 2017. The administration of MA Gov. Charlie Baker (RINO) finally issued an air permit for the project in January of this year (see Antis Outraged: Massachusetts Gov Approves Weymouth Compress Stn). Antis promptly challenged the Dept. of Environmental Protection permit, dragging out the process another six months. Yesterday a “hearing officer” (we’d call her a judge) for the DEP ruled the permit issued by the DEP “does not violate Massachusetts statutory and regulatory provisions.” The hearing officer recommends that the DEP issue a Final Decision affirming the air permit. Victory!
Continue reading

Mammoth Energy’s Puerto Rico Elec Work Gets it into Legal Trouble

Oilfield services company (OFS) Mammoth Energy Services, headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, operates in the Marcellus/Utica Shale, Permian Basin, SCOOP/STACK in Oklahoma, and in Canada’s oil sands region. Mammoth not only works in OFS, they also dabble in electrical transmission and distribution (“T&D”) work. Following the 2017 disaster when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Mammoth was hired to help rebuild the electric utility infrastructure on the island (see Mammoth Energy Wanders into Non-Shale Work in Puerto Rico). That dalliance in non-shale work has come back to bite the company.
Continue reading

US Supreme Court Decision Makes Shale Drilling in NY More Likely

We spotted a post last week by friend Tom Shepstone on the Natural Gas Now website about a recent, very important, U.S. Supreme Court decision that makes it easier for landowners to bring a “takings” lawsuit against government entities (see Take Notice DRBC: “Sue Me” Approach to the Takings Clause Is Untenable.). The Supremes ruled that a landowner can file a takings claim directly in federal court without having to file in state court first. Federal courts are more likely to grant a takings claim. The implications of the case are causing alarm among antis who have abused our court systems to block Constitutional property rights.
Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Pipe Officially Asks US Supreme Court to Hear Case

In February MDN told you that Dominion Energy planned to appeal a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit blocking an important permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline to drill under the Appalachian Trail directly to the U.S. Supreme Court (see Dominion Appealing Atlantic Coast Pipe Case to U.S. Supreme Court). Dominion was waiting on the U.S. Solicitor General to prepare an appeal as well, which would strengthen the likelihood that the Supremes will accept the case. On Tuesday both Dominion and the Solicitor General filed their requests.
Continue reading