Northeast Natural Energy Settles $7.9M Lawsuit with PA Landowners

Last November MDN told you that Northeast Natural Energy, a small-to-midsized driller headquartered in Morgantown, WV, had lost an arbitration battle and owed a group of landowners in central Pennsylvania $7.9 million in payments for NOT drilling on their land (see Fed Judge: Northeast Natural Energy Owes $7.9M to PA Landowners). NNE continued to fight the arbitrated settlement–until Monday. Apparently both sides have agreed on a new settlement.
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Equitrans’ Mountain Valley Pipeline Becomes Belle of the M-U Ball

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On Monday MDN brought you the tremendously sad news that Dominion Energy has canceled plans to build the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina (see Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B). However, there is a silver lining in that news and other news from this week for a somewhat competitive project, Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
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EIA: Gas Price Avg <$2 in 2020, 110 LNG Export Cargoes Canceled

Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) yesterday. We’re interested mainly in the natural gas numbers. The expert number crunchers at EIA predict the price of Henry Hub traded gas will average $1.93 for all of 2020 (although EIA predicts the price will rise in Q420 to $2.46). The report also says U.S. LNG exports are taking a nosedive this summer. From June through August at least 110 LNG cargoes have been canceled–meaning a decrease in 75% of our LNG exports. That will have a big impact on gas drillers.
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Actions by “Environmentalist” Groups are Harming the Environment

Environmentalist groups don’t get a pass here on MDN for their so-called good intentions. Groups like the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, Environmental Defense Fund, National Resources Defense Council, and others are actually *harming* the environment with their actions to block natural gas and oil pipelines. They are demonstrably making the environment worse! Why does mainstream “media” allow them to get away with harming the very thing they profess to love and want to protect?
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Supreme Court Restores Nationwide 12 Permits for MVP, Other Pipes

In May a Montana federal judge appointed by Barack Obama capriciously blocked the use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit (NP) 12 for all pipeline projects across the country (see Obama Judge Blocks New Pipe Projects that Use NP12 Permit). In June the Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the judge’s ban (see Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Lift NP12 Permit Ban). Late yesterday the Supremes did just that–lifted the ban. NP12 can now be used for pipeline projects other than the Keystone XL project.
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PA Nuke Industry Loves Wolf Carbon Tax Shutting Down Gas Plants

Are you surprised that Pennsylvania’s big money nuclear power lobby loves PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to tax nuke plants’ biggest competitor, natural gas-fired plants, out of existence? We aren’t surprised. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, lobbying group for PA’s nuclear power plants, is urging PA legislators to drop a bill that will block Wolf’s insane attempt at forcing the state to join a group of liberal northeastern states in something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI forces its members to slap high taxes on energy that produces carbon dioxide–the stuff you breathe out with every single breath you take. Ludicrous.
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PA Sen. Daylin Leach (Democrat) Introduces Bill to Ban Fracking

PA Sen. Daylin Leach

Incest. It’s a dirty word. It sometimes applies to the world of politics. The word “incest” aptly describes what’s happening in Pennsylvania with Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s false/fake/ginned-up report bashing shale fracking and the predictable response from his fellow leftist Democrats, including PA Sen. Daylin Leach who introduced a bill to ban fracking across PA using Shapiro’s fake grand jury report as the basis to do so. Political incest.
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Biggest Casualty in Canceling ACP is Stunted M-U Growth; MVP Helps

Brian Lego, research assistant professor in the West Virginia University (WVU) Bureau of Business and Economic Research, says while canceling the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project is a blow to WV because of lost jobs, the even bigger impact will be less new markets for Marcellus/Utica gas, meaning growth in M-U drilling will be stunted.
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Why Chesapeake Likely Won’t be Able to Cancel Pipe Contracts

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 (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is saying “not so fast, you need our blessing first” before those contracts can be altered.
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Obama Judge Orders DAPL Operating Pipeline to Shut Down

We’ve had enough of activist leftist judges attempting to shut down the will of the people by using obscure legal loopholes as their justification–when the real reason for the action is to block President Trump and fossil fuels. A U.S. District Court judge appointed by Barack Hussein Obama, Judge James Boasberg (D.C. Circuit) has ordered the Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest to stop flowing oil because he doesn’t like it.
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Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B

Dominion Energy has decided to exit the natural gas pipeline and storage business, selling off its vast network of pipelines in the Marcellus/Utica (and beyond) to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway for $9.7 billion ($4 billion in cash, the rest in assumed debt). In a related announcement, Dominion said it is throwing in the towel and canceling the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that would have stretched from West Virginia to North Carolina. We are in grieving. This is a tremendously sad day–not only for Marcellus/Utica drillers and landowners, but for the families of pipeline workers who will now remain out of high-paying jobs. You have the Sierra Club and other radicalized green groups to thank.
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Chesapeake Bankruptcy Puts PA Landowner Royalty Lawsuits on Hold

On Sunday a week ago (June 28) Chesapeake Energy 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 pipeline companies (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). We’re just now learning the company’s filing also puts on hold lawsuits brought by landowners against it over Chessy’s royalty shenanigans. The cases on hold include a case brought by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office argued before the PA Supreme Court in May (see PA Supremes Hear Oral Arguments in Can of Worms Royalty Lawsuit).
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Northeast PA Landowner Settles with Williams for Big Bucks

In 2016 MDN told you about the Holleran family who didn’t want the much-needed Constitution Pipeline to cross their land in Susquehanna County, PA (see Maple Syrup Farm in Path of PA Pipeline, Antis Make Most of It). Hollywood actor James Cromwell and other anti-drillers heard about it and visited to add their shrill voices to the protest (see Actor James Cromwell Admits He’s Clueless, Fights Pipeline Anyway). The protesters tried to stop Williams from clearing trees on the property. A judge got tired of their shenanigans real quick (see Judge Tells NEPA Family to Let Williams Cut Maple Trees, Or Else).
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New Study Shows No Leaks in Utica Shale Gathering Pipelines

It’s such a breath of fresh air (and so rare) when we spot actual, in-the-field, real science being done. So many times the “studies” we see published are nothing more than rehashed interpretations, speculation, and outright fabrications parading as scientific inquiry. We spotted a new study published just yesterday in the journal MDPI Atmosphere by researchers with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh. In 2019 researchers flew specially outfitted drones with methane sniffers over 73 kilometers (45 miles) of Utica Shale gathering pipelines and associated infrastructure. Know what they found? There were ZERO methane leaks from the pipelines.
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