Virginia Grants Key Permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Although the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was federally approved a year ago, in October 2017 (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects), the $6 billion pipeline from Dominion Energy running from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina had not yet secured all state-required permits. The remaining holdout has been Virginia. Late Friday afternoon the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) finally issued a “401” permit for crossing streams and rivers, which clears the way for ACP construction to begin in the Old Dominion.
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Sham “Risk Assessment” of ME2 Pipeline Released by Philly Antis

MDN told you in July that Philadelphia antis were paying $50,000 to a “consultant” to produce a faux report that will say the Mariner East 2 (ME2) natural gas liquids pipeline is dangerous, a nightmare waiting to happen (see Philly Antis Commission Faux “Risk Study” Targeting ME2 Pipeline). Sure enough, Quest Consultants–a company that sells itself to the highest Big Green bidder–has released their “report,” and it says exactly what Big Green told them to say.
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Columbia Gas Already 80% Done Replacing 48 Miles of Exploded Pipes

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) continues to try and recover from a series of explosions in its local delivery pipelines north of Boston in mid-September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas–for months. In early October, Columbia said it would replace all ~48 miles of natural gas mains, and all 6,100 affected service lines, by Nov. 19 (see Columbia’s Master Plan to Restore Gas Service in Mass. by Nov 19). To Columbia’s credit, 80% of the mains are already done, and over half of the service lines.
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Utilities Now Depend More on Pipelines, Less on NatGas Storage

A recurring theme (broken record) over the past few months has been, “Natural gas storage is too low, far lower than last year and far below the five-year average–prices will have to skyrocket any day now!” That’s been the meme by traders and industry watchers. We keep saying things have fundamentally changed–that drillers can open the spigots any time they want and let it flow. Don’t believe us? Then maybe you will believe the American Gas Association.
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Kinder Morgan Cancels UMTP – Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline

Once again it seems environmentalists in Kentucky have won–stopping yet another NGL (natural gas liquids) pipeline. On Wednesday Kinder Morgan, one of (perhaps the) largest pipeline companies in North America, announced it is canceling plans to convert part of its Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) that currently flows natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast, to reverse the pipeline and flow natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf Coast. The project, called Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP), would have cost $4 billion. Instead, Kinder says it will still seek to reverse a big portion of TGP, but will instead flow M-U natgas south, instead of NGLs.
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Rumor: FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre to Step Down

Kevin McIntyre – FERC Chairman

Kevin McIntyre, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) missed his second consecutive monthly FERC board meeting yesterday. McIntyre disclosed in March that he was diagnosed in summer 2017 with a brain tumor, but that it had been found early and successfully treated. When McIntyre missed last month’s FERC meeting due to “health issues,” tongues started to wag. Now that he’s missed a second meeting, “sources” in the swamp are saying he could potentially step down–soon. McIntyre’s chief of staff said his boss will issue a statement “in the coming days.” It certainly looks as if McIntyre will be leaving, which we find very sad.
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Will There Ever be a New Pipeline from Marcellus to New England?

Year after year New England sees historic price spikes and shortages of natural gas during the winter. It got so bad last year that several LNG cargoes from Russia were delivered (see 2nd LNG Tanker with Russian Gas Coming to Boston?!). Gas from the Russian Arctic is the ultimate insanity given that the Marcellus Shale is a few hundred miles away and our gas could easily supply all of New England’s growing needs. Yet New England refuses to allow new pipelines. It’s insane! As we ask the question in our headline, Will there ever be a pipeline built to New England? Answer: It all depends on politicians in New England.
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Dominion Officially Axes Compressor Station Plan Near Mt. Vernon

In July MDN told you that Dominion Energy had decided, at least unofficially, to abandon a plan to build a compressor station across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon–the home and estate of our illustrious first president, George Washington (see Dominion Surrenders to Mt. Vernon – Relocating Compressor Station). Mount Vernon caretakers said the station would junk up their pretty view, which Dominion disputed. Regardless, Dominion said it would work with Mount Vernon on a plan to locate the compressor somewhere else that wouldn’t interfere with the view. Dominion has just made it official. On Monday they said they won’t build the station where originally planned.
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Va. Governor Refuses to Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline Work

Va. Gov. Ralph Northam

The pressure DC swamp dwellers and anti-fossil fuelers from across the country (indeed from across the world) have put on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (a Democrat) has been intense. They want Northam to abuse his executive authority, in contravention of the law, and block both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) projects in his state. Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe (also a Democrat) created the state’s first Environmental Justice Advisory Council. That Council, packed with anti-fossil fuelers, has advised Northam to block ACP and MVP. Northam has just given his own Council a polite but firm, NO.
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The Winners of the PA DEP $12.6 Million ME2 Hunger Games Are…

Que the music with dramatic drums, cymbals and trumpets. Camera A, zoom in on Secretary McDonnell. The whole state is watching. It’s time for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to announce the winners of PA’s Hunger Games-style contest to grab a piece of the $12.6 million “fine” paid by Sunoco Logistics Partners for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction).
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Mountain Valley Pipe Keeps Building Despite Court Action re Permits

Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project of EQT Midstream, continues to work on constructing its 303-mile long project from West Virginia into Virginia–despite a recent court order overturning some of the permits for the project (see Court Overturns MVP WV Permit; FERC Shutdown Coming Again?). The fact that MVP is working as fast as they can despite a partial shut down has antis fit to be tied. Which puts a broad smile on our face.
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FERC Gives Atlantic Coast Pipe Permission to Cut Trees in Va.

In September the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lifted a stop-work order for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that stretches from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit took further action to overturn permits that affect about 21 miles of the project (see 4th Circuit Again Blocks NPS Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). However, most of ACP remains under construction. Yesterday FERC granted ACP permission for tree cutting in Buckingham County, Va.
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FERC Commissioner LaFleur Admits She’s a Global Warming Activist

Cheryl LaFleur

For some time we’ve noticed that both of the Democrat members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have been voting against natgas pipeline projects using the excuse of mythical man-made global warming (euphemistically labelled “climate change”). It used to be, under Lord Obama, that Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur didn’t use the climate change excuse when deciding about projects. But something happened. Someone got to her. Maybe Chuck Schumer? Nancy Pelosi? Somebody has told LaFleur if she ever wants another job in the DC swamp after she leaves FERC, she needs to start vetoing pipeline projects. And so she does. Using global warming as the excuse. LaFleur talked about her new-found penchant to use global warming in FERC decision making at the North American Gas Forum this week in DC.
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Sections of Mountain Valley Pipe Wash onto Landowner’s Property

It’s one thing for mud and sediment to wash away from a pipeline drilling site due to heavy and relentless rains–as we have experienced in the northeast these past few months. But it’s another thing entirely when actual sections pipeline sitting at the construction site float away! That happened in Franklin County, Virginia last Thursday. The landowner, who was (and is) opposed to the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline from slicing through his property, has complained repeatedly about erosion and sediment from the construction path spilling over onto his farmland. Friday morning he woke up to MVP pipes washed onto his cornfield following torrential rains and wind, the leftovers of Hurricane Michael.
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The Fight to Install Last 9 Miles of 200-Mile Pipeline in VA Beach

Here’s a project we have not actively tracked in the past–but recently popped up on our radar. Virginia Natural Gas’ “Southside Connector” project is a roughly 9-mile pipeline from Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake, VA that company officials say will fill a gap between two main supply lines. A 24-inch pipe will be installed at least 3 feet deep and cross under the Elizabeth River, which has prompted the owner of a shipyard on the river to object. As is typical of these things, antis are involved. Virginia Natural Gas’ president has responded to that opposition (i.e. lies) with a letter to the editor to defend what is the final leg of a 200-mile project begun back in 1992.
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Senators Urge EPA to Fix Pipeline Project Abuses by States Like NY

Hey Andy Cuomo: Your days of blocking pipeline projects are numbered. There’s momentum building in Washington, D.C. to address the issue of rogue politicians like Cuomo from blocking federally-approved interstate pipeline projects, as Cuomo has done with several such projects (Constitution Pipeline, Northern Access, Millennium). There’s talk among Team Trump to fix this problem (see Pipeline Relief Coming 2019? Trump Targeting States Like NY). A bill was floated in the U.S. Senate this summer to fix “loopholes” in the Clean Water Act (CWA), the federal law states like NY are using to block pipeline projects (see US Senate Bill Fixes States Blocking Pipelines via Water Permits). And now, five U.S. Senators have sent a letter to EPA’s Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, asking him to either tweak existing regulations or suggest new laws to fix the situation, asap.
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