Ruling Stands: States have 1 Calendar Yr to Review Water Permits

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear a case that challenged a ruling in the Hoopa Valley Indian Tribe case–a ruling/case that has HUGE implications for Williams’ Constitution Pipeline running through New York State. The Supreme Court rejection is a crushing defeat for Big Green groups Trout Unlimited and California Trout, and very good news for the Constitution project.
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Williams Currently Sends 1.5 Bcf/d of M-U Gas to Gulf Coast LNG

Williams, the pipeline giant, held its annual analyst day in New York City last Friday. The company’s top brass was there to wow and woo investors with the company’s plans for 2020 and beyond. In reading about the session, we picked up on some startling statistics. Stats like Williams now provides 30% of all LNG feed gas in the U.S. And most of that (all of it?) comes from the Marcellus/Utica.
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21 Industry Groups Ask US Supreme Court to Restore Pipeline Permit

Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) previously filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that judicially creates a new law stipulating pipelines can’t cross under the Appalachian Trail without (no kidding) an Act of Congress. The clown judges of the Fourth Circus (our name for that court) revoked a permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service. A list of 21 business and oil/gas industry groups filed a “friend of the court” brief yesterday supporting ACP, asking the Supremes to reinstate the Forest Service permit for the project.
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Nova Scotia Bear Head LNG Gets Lifeline – App. Extended to 2022

Bear Head LNG & pipelines to feed it
Bear Head LNG & pipelines to feed it (click for larger version)

For a number of years MDN has tracked an LNG export plant planned for the eastern shore of Nova Scotia–the Bear Head LNG project (see our Bear Head LNG stories here). In 2017, an official from the project said it was “shovel-ready” and could begin at any time (see Nova Scotia’s Bear Head LNG Sees Surge of Interest). However, not one shovelful of dirt has been turned. The project recently asked for and was granted permission to extend permits set to expire at the end of this year.
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DC Court to Rehear Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Eminent Domain Decision

Lawsuit aims to castrate FERC

Here we go again. In August a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had the right to approve Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, including the right to use eminent domain to build it before details are finalized over compensation to landowners (see DC Court Upholds FERC Authority in Approving Atlantic Sunrise Pipe). The Sierra Club and other Big Green groups, with endless mountains of money from people like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, kept pushing and finally convinced the entire DC Circuit (all of the judges, call “en banc”) to rehear and reconsider the case already decided by three of their number.
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Equitrans Cancels Trinity Energy Contract re Mountain Valley Pipe

Last week Equitrans subsidiary EQM Midstream Partners (formerly EQT Midstream) canceled a contract with Texas-based Trinity Energy to build portions of the now-stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. You may recall that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stopped all new construction on MVP in October, until a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit that passes muster with the courts can be issued (see FERC Shuts Down All Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction). We’re not sure what Trinity was doing in the meantime with a shutdown of construction in place, but Trinity reps expressed surprise that their MVP contract has now been canceled.
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2 Dozen Antis Protest at Weymouth Compressor Site – 4 Arrested

Weymouth protesters block entrance to compressor site (Credit: Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Earlier this week MDN told you the great news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has green lighted construction of a compressor station in Weymouth, Mass., and that Enbridge (the builder) said they will begin construction any day now (see Stop Press! Enbridge to Begin Construction on Weymouth Compressor). Indeed, crews are at the site getting things ready, and that brought out “more than two dozen” (according to a CBS report) anti-fossil fuel protesters. Some of the protesters couldn’t help themselves and tripped over into committing a crime by blocking the entrance to the facility so crews could not come and go with equipment. Typical.
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M-U Drillers Tell Pipeline Companies to Lower Fees, or Else

Today wraps up the Hart Energy Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference being held in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately MDN editor Jim Willis could not attend this year. But Pittsburgh Business Times‘ ace reporter Paul Gough did attend, and he’s reporting some interesting comments at yesterday’s sessions. Pipeline companies offered frank and sobering comments. Times are not good for Marcellus/Utica drillers right now due to low low prices, and that translates into times being not good for pipeline companies too. But, “we’ve been here before” said one speaker, and better days are ahead…when prices once again increase.
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Gov’t & Atlantic Coast Pipe File Briefs with U.S. Supreme Court

Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) previously filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that judicially creates a new law stipulating pipelines can’t cross under the Appalachian Trail without (no kidding) an Act of Congress. The Supremes get 8,000 such requests each year, and accept maybe 80 (or 1%). Lightning struck. The ACP case was accepted by the Supremes in October (see U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Atlantic Coast Pipeline Case). Briefs by ACP and the Trump administration were filed on Monday.
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Rover, NEXUS NatGas Exports to Canada Currently “Maxed Out”

For some time we’ve been concerned about competition for Marcellus/Utica gas coming from western Canada being piped to Canada’s East Coast (see TC Energy Plan to Move Western Canadian Gas to East Coast Approved). TC Energy’s (formerly TransCanada) plan to haul gas over 1,000 miles across the continent at steeply discounted rates seemed like it was working (see TC Energy Cuts Rates 3rd Time to Sell W. Canada Gas to New England). Maybe we worried for nothing. S&P Global Platts is reporting Canada’s net imports of U.S. gas at the Dawn Hub have surged.
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SEPA DA Charges Off-Duty Police w/Crime for Providing Pipe Security

Tom Hogan, Chester County’s “buy a DA”

In what has to be the outrage of the century, Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan, drunk on his own power, has falsely charged both Energy Transfer (Sunoco Logistics Partners) and several PA constables (essentially off duty police officers) with bribery and conspiracy because the off-duty officers had the gall to moonlight as security to protect Mariner East pipeline workers from anti-fossil fuel crazies and wackos.
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NEXUS and Rover Pipes Ask Stark County, OH for BIG Tax Cut

One of the selling points to make big interstate pipeline projects more palatable to the general public, at least in Ohio, has been the fact they pay annual property taxes. We can tell you from personal experience that a small pipeline in the Town of Windsor (NY, yes! NY) has meant lower property tax bills for MDN editor Jim Willis. Two very large pipeline projects in Ohio, Rover and NEXUS, are asking Stark County to reduce their assessments so they can pay less in taxes–up to 50% less.
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Is NESE Pipeline to NYC Dead? Williams Withdraws Final NJ Permit

In October, MDN reported that Williams had temporarily withdrawn three of four applications with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to build its Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project to offshore Long Island (see Williams Withdraws NESE Pipe Permit in NJ, Resubmit Soon). In September NJDEP gave Williams an extra month with the permits (see Williams Gets Extra Month to Refile NESE Pipeline Permits in NJ). Williams said it would refile the three permits “in the next few days.” Never happened. Now the company has pulled the fourth NJ permit.
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NY Post: Andrew Cuomo Stands with America’s Energy Enemies

We know, we know! You’re tired of MDN hammering man-child Andrew Cuomo, the tinpot dictator who styles himself “governor” of New York State, over his role in blocking pipelines and causing a natgas shortage crisis in the greater New York City area. But stick with us. If you read MDN (and Tom Shepstone’s Natural Gas Now website) you will have read all of the arguments in a blow-the-doors off article appearing in the New York Post, written by Bob McManus, former editorial page editor for the Post.
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Stop Press! Enbridge to Begin Construction on Weymouth Compressor

WOW, what a reversal of fortune! Barely a month ago MDN told you that two natural gas utility companies, National Grid and Eversource, had cut the legs out from under Enbridge by declaring they no longer need the Weymouth (Mass.) compressor station to supply them with incrementally more natural gas supplies for the Greater Boston area (see 2 Utilities Cut Enbridge Off at Knees re Mass. Compressor Station). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Black Friday granted Enbridge a final go-ahead to begin construction anyway. Christmas came early!
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FERC Authorizes Startup for Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline

click for larger version

The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Erie County, PA and from there across the border into Ashtabula County, OH, began construction in February. Risberg cost roughly $86 million to build and will flow 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas from the PA Marcellus to the northern tip of Ohio in Ashtabula County. In mid-November, RH energytrans, the builder, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1). FERC granted permission and as near as we can tell the pipeline is now up and running.
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