Chester DA Charges Against ME Pipe Security Chief Tossed by Judge

Former Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan (RINO), and his successor Deb Ryan (Democrat) are 100% humiliated after a Chester County Magisterial District Judge dismissed the entire case against the local head of security for Energy Transfer in what the DA’s office lyingly calls a “buy a badge scheme.” Judge John Bailey dismissed all 54 criminal counts against Frank Recknagel over his hiring of constables as off-duty security guards for the Mariner East pipeline project. The DA’s office tried to criminalize moonlighting for the pipeline.
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Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U

We’ll try not to sound arrogant, but once again *only* MDN nailed it–which is why you subscribe, right? Yesterday we brought you the news that Chesapeake Energy has finally filed for bankruptcy (see Chesapeake Files for Bankruptcy – Debtors to Take Ownership). In our opening paragraph, we told pipeline companies according to the language we read in the press release, that Chessy is “looking to break existing contracts, using the bankruptcy filing as an excuse.” And guess what? That is exactly what happened, including a request to break a contract with Crestwood’s Stagecoach Pipeline in the Marcellus/Utica.
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NY’s Highest Court Approves Eminent Domain for NFG Pipeline

A landowner in Allegany County, NY who tried to block National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) from crossing her property with its Northern Access Pipeline to flow PA fracked gas into the Empire State, has failed. Last week New York’s highest court, called the State Court of Appeals, overturned a lower court ruling. The high court decision clears the way for NFG to use eminent domain to cross the woman’s property when (not if) the pipeline gets built.
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VA Regulators Want Assurances Before Approving VNG Pipe Project

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Virginia Natural Gas’ (VNG) Header Improvement Project wants to build 24 miles of new pipeline and two new compressor stations (expanding a third compressor), connecting to the mighty Transco pipeline system to flow Marcellus/Utica gas to the northeast Va. region (see Va. Turns Down Anti Request to Delay Hearing on VNG Pipe Project). The Virginia State Corporation Commission is saying before they will give the project its permission to build, the Commission needs certain ironclad assurances.
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Marcellus Gas Begins Flowing to Central PA Food Processing Plant

Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Investment Program (or PIPE) grants cover part of the cost of building new natgas pipelines to connect homes and businesses in rural parts of the state to homegrown Marcellus Shale gas supplies. We’ve written about many of the more-than-a-dozen (so far) PIPE grant projects in the past (see our PIPE stories here). One such grant issued in Centre County, PA (State College area) more than two years ago has just started flowing Marcellus gas to the Hanover Foods processing plant.
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Columbia Gas of Mass. Sentenced to $53M Fine, Probation, Sell Co.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) never quite recovered (reputationally) from a series of explosions in September 2018 that occurred with its local delivery pipelines north of Boston (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. Several class action lawsuits were filed against the company, which got settled last summer for $143 million (see Columbia Gas Pays $143M to Settle Lawsuit from Mass. Explosions). The company has reached a plea deal to (a) sell the company, and (b) pay the largest criminal fine ever imposed under the Pipeline Safety Act.
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Tennessee Gas Pipeline Plans Compressor Stn for N. New Jersey

In March 2019 natural gas utility Consolidated Edison, which supplies Manhattan, the Bronx and most of Westchester County, slapped a moratorium on new natural gas customers from hooking up to the grid in Westchester due to lack of gas supplies (see Moratorium on New Gas Hookups in Westchester County Begins Today). In April 2019 Con Ed announced a deal with Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) to flow more gas to Westchester (and NYC), but not until 2023 (see Con Ed Deal May End Westchester, NY Gas Moratorium…in 2023). We have more details about TGP’s plan, including a plan to construct a new compressor station in northern New Jersey. Good luck with that!
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ME2 Pipe Inspector Admits Falsifying Welding Records 77 Times

In March a worker hired to x-ray welds on sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania was charged with falsifying records–that he falsely claimed to have performed work when he didn’t (see ME2 Pipeline Worker Charged with Falsifying Welding Records). Yesterday the worker, via a video hearing, plead guilty to 77 counts of falsifying documents.
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FERC Approves Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Extension to NC

Equitrans Midstream’s 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project is now 92% complete and will be done and online in early 2021 (see Mountain Valley Pipe Will be Done and In-Service Early 2021). While Equtrans was building MVP a lightbulb went off and the company had a great idea. Why not extend MVP, which runs from West Virginia to southern Virginia, by another 75 miles into North Carolina? This new project is called MVP Southgate–and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just fully approved it.
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NJ Law Would Stop ALL New Energy Projects by Invoking Racism

Not even Andrew Cuomo, as grossly corrupt as he is, has thought up something this vile and evil–using the currently toxic environment of race relations across our country as a means to block all new fossil fuel energy projects–specifically pipelines, compressor stations and power generating plants–by declaring such projects racist by definition. That’s what will happen in New Jersey if a new bill, Senate Bill 232, becomes law.
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Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Lift NP12 Permit Ban

A perceptive MDN reader emailed yesterday to ask us the status of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit (NP) 12, blocked for all pipelines in May by a Montana federal judge appointed by Obama (see Obama Judge Blocks New Pipe Projects that Use NP12 Permit). We have an update on this important issue because it impacts ALL pipeline projects using NP12, including Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Asks FERC for Extra 2 Years to Build

On Monday Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) scored a major victory at the U.S. Supreme Court with a decision that allows the project to drill and install pipe underneath the Appalachian Trail (see Victory! Atlantic Coast Pipeline Wins US Supreme Court Case). Fighting the Appalachian Trail case plus other legal and regulatory battles have caused the project to be delayed–by years. On Monday ACP formally asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to extend the deadline to get the project done by an extra two years–until October 2022. We expect FERC will honor the request.
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Vallourec Innovates New Pipe Connectors for Shale Drillers

Vallourec, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, manufactures steel pipes used in the oil and gas industry. The company employs some 19,000 people in 20 countries, including the U.S. In fact, Vallourec employed (at least at one time, prior to recent layoffs) more than 750 at three Youngstown, Ohio units: Vallourec Star, VAM USA and Vallourec USA Corp. The company has just announced a new high torque connection for shale drill pipes, something they call “a technological breakthrough for the industry.”
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Victory! Atlantic Coast Pipeline Wins US Supreme Court Case

We finally have a major court victory over the forces of anti-fossil fuel evil, so let’s sit back and soak in the warmth and sunshine of this moment. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a decision we expected, a decision that allows Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 600-mile project from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina, to cross under the Appalachian Trail. The decision is not only a victory for ACP, which is only about 6% built, but also a victory for the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is 92% built. MVP also needs to pass under the Trail.
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NY PSC Must Decide by Jun 30 How to Handle Coming NYC Gas Shortage

Fossil fuel haters in New York successfully pressured New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline in May (see Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away). And, as we reported two weeks ago, the same antis now insist Cuomo not allow *any* new quantities of natural gas get delivered to the Long Island and New York City vicinity by non-pipeline means (see NYC Green Wackadoodles Meet Online to Oppose New NatGas Supplies). So what happens when gas supplies run out?
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Mountain Valley Pipe Will be Done and In-Service Early 2021

Equitrans’ 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project from West Virginia to southern Virginia is now 92% in the ground and complete. That final 8% is frustratingly delayed because of lawsuits and regulatory actions brought on by Big Green groups. But have no fear. In an announcement released yesterday by the builder Equitrans Midstream, MVP will be 100% done and operational in “early 2021.” The end is in sight.
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