US Senate Confirms James Danly as New FERC Commissioner

James Danly

Last October President Trump nominated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) attorney James Danly as the third Republican commissioner for FERC (see Trump Selects FERC Attorney James Danly as New Commissioner). Because the Democrats stall and delay anything they can to harass President Trump, a vote to confirm Danly didn’t happen by the end of last year, so Trump resubmitted Danly’s name a second time in January. The good news is that three Democrat Senators joined all the Republican Senators and yesterday voted 52-40 to confirm Danly as the newest FERC commissioner.
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Court Victory for Atlantic Coast Pipe Against Nelson County, VA

The 600-mile Dominion Energy Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project has completed about 35 miles of the project and that’s it. Why? Lawsuits, brought by Big Green groups. The biggest challenge the project faces is a lawsuit that ruled ACP could not cross under the Appalachian Trail. Dominion appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court where it now sits. By all accounts, the recent oral arguments before the Supremes went well for ACP (see Atlantic Coast Pipeline had Very Good Day in US Supreme Court). Although the Supreme Court case is the biggest obstacle, there are other, smaller cases ACP still must overcome.
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Antis Push Back Against PennEast Pipe Plan to Build in 2 Phases

In January PennEast Pipeline, a $1.2 billion new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to break the project into two phases (see PennEast Asks FERC to Break Pipeline Project into 2 Phases). The pipeline wants to build Phase One in Pennsylvania, and later on (after lawsuits are finished), build Phase Two in New Jersey. Of course, antis are flooding FERC with objections to the plan hoping to keep the project from ever getting built.
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Report: Marcellus & Utica Natural Gas Dilemma a Microcosm of U.S.

Enverus, a leading oil and gas SaaS and data analytics company, yesterday released its latest FundamentalEdge report, called “Marcellus Natural Gas Flows,” which is focused on natural gas production and pipeline flow patterns in the Marcellus and Utica formations in the Northeast, MidAtlantic, and Midwestern regions of the U.S. Enervus measures gas flows along pipelines and as part of the preview of their report has shared with MDN some fascinating information. Like this: Some 41% of the gas produced in the Marcellus flows to the Mid-Atlantic region. Who knew?!
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Aimless WV Antis Protest in Charleston Against Canadian Pipeline

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A group of radical anti-fossil fuel nutters who ostensibly oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) that runs from West Virginia into southern Virginia are apparently without enough to do since MVP is now 90% built and close to being done. So instead of conducting a protest against MVP, members of the Appalachians Against Pipelines (AAP) protest group decided to stage an illegal protest at another pipeline builder with an office in Charleston, WV–TC Energy. TC (formerly TransCanada) has nothing to do with MVP. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
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Despite Antis’ Best Efforts, More NatGas Coming to New England

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is reporting several natural gas pipeline upgrades are either planned or under construction in New England. Four pipelines are expected to increase compression in their systems by 2023, adding more than 350 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas pipeline capacity into the region, despite the best-laid plans of antis to resist any new supplies of natural gas from reaching New England. As near as we can tell, two of the four upgrades will flow more Canadian gas, but the other two are likely to flow Marcellus gas.
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Antis Use Jim Beam to Try and Block Pipeline Near Louisville, KY

Anti-fossil fuelers know no depths to which they won’t sink in efforts to block *any* new natural gas pipelines. Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) has state approval to build a new 12-inch, 12-mile pipeline near Louisville to supply gas to 62 homes and businesses that can’t connect to LG&E’s local natgas utility system. The local Bernheim Arboretum has resisted attempts to build across three-tenths of one percent (0.028%) of Arboretum land–along an existing cleared path where electric lines already go (see KY Utility Hints at Defunding Local Arboretum Blocking New Pipe). Now antis claim the only reason LG&E wants to build the pipeline is to feed the local Jim Beam production plant. Grab a shot glass and prepare yourself for the latest attack on this project…
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NETL: U.S. Needs More NatGas Pipelines to Power Electric Plants

NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory), one of our country’s treasured national lab facilities, recently released a report and case study that shows if we as a country want reliability in our electric grid (no blackouts), we need to build more natural gas pipelines to feed natgas-fired power plants. “As the electric power system relies more heavily on natural gas power generation, the reliability and resiliency of the Nation’s electrical system will become increasingly linked to the performance and capabilities of the natural gas delivery system.” How much more in the way of new pipelines are needed? “Conservatively, an investment of $470 million to $1.1 billion over that already entrained in the long-haul natural gas transmission system is identified to avoid even worse outcomes.” Start the backhoes!
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Williams CEO Armstrong Explains Why Constitution Pipe was Canceled

Alan Armstrong

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong participated in a panel discussion yesterday in Washington, D.C. at the Bipartisan Policy Center. The event was titled “America’s Energy Infrastructure: Where Do We Go From Here?” Following the panel Armstrong spoke to a reporter from S&P Global Market Intelligence. He had some very interesting things to say. One of the things Armstrong discussed was an explanation for why his company abandoned the Constitution Pipeline project into New York State, just when it seemed they may be winning the legal fight to build it.
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Appalachian Pipeliners Offer $50K in Scholarships – Mar 6 Deadline

Are you interested in a great career in the pipeline industry in the northeastern part of the country? We may be able to help. The Appalachian Pipeliners Associations (APA), with a mission to help grow and support the pipeline industry in the northeastern U.S., is offering up to $50,000 worth of scholarships for use during the 2020/2021 academic school year to students pursuing Associates, Bachelors and Graduate degrees, as well as students pursuing Vocational or Trade School degrees/certifications. That’s right! Let the APA help fund your education so you have a great job when you graduate! But there is a catch…applications must be filed by March 6th (this Friday).
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Judge Rules Against NY DEC to Allow Northern Access Pipe

While the Andrew Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) can claim a victory in stopping the much-needed Constitution Pipeline (see Sad Day: Williams Declares Constitution Pipeline Project Dead), an equally important pipeline project aimed at flowing PA’s fracked gas into New York State, being built by National Fuel Gas Company (NFG), just won an important court victory over the DEC’s disgusting efforts to block it too. An NY Supreme Court judge has ruled NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline is regulated (given permission to build) by the federal government, NOT by the DEC–and can now go forward.
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PA PUC Fines Mariner East 1 $200K, Orders “Remaining Life” Study

In April 2017 (almost three years ago) the Mariner East 1 pipeline sprung a small leak and spilled 20 barrels (~840 gallons) of ethane and propane in Berks County, near Philadelphia. Sunoco Logistics Partners, builder and maintainer of the pipeline, shut it down and fixed it over the next several days. Yesterday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced a “settlement” with Sunoco, to fine the company $200,000. Sunoco, as part of the settlement, must also conduct a “remaining life” study of the pipeline. After all, it is almost 90 years old.
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PA, Feds on Witch Hunt to Make Revolution Pipe Accident a Crime

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a leftist Democrat who wants to succeed Tom Wolf as governor, likes to investigate accidents related to the shale industry to see if he can turn them into crimes (see our lengthy list of stories here). Add one more to the list: Since last year Shapiro has been investigating the Revolution Pipeline blast in western PA for potential crimes. He now has company.
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More on Natural Gas Compressor Station Shut Down by Cyber Attack

Last week MDN told you about a U.S.-based compressor station facility that had to shut down operations for two days after sustaining a cyber attack that prevented personnel from receiving crucial real-time operational data from control and communication equipment (see Natural Gas Compressor Station Shut Down by Cyber Attack). While the specific facility that sustained the attack has still not been identified, the chatter is that the episode happened in December and the facility is regulated by (under the control of?) the U.S. Coast Guard. We have a few more details about the attack…
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline had Very Good Day in US Supreme Court

Yesterday the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) had its day in U.S. Supreme Court–and by all appearances, it was a very good day indeed. The right of the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail is the issue under consideration. In a case brought by environmentalist wackos, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled a permit granted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is invalid because the U.S. Park Service manages the trail and according to law, USFS does not have jurisdiction over “lands” owned/managed by the Park Service. In practice such a ruling, if upheld, creates a thousand-mile long barrier across which no pipeline can cross. All of the articles we read about yesterday’s oral arguments before the Supremes indicate a likely decision in favor of the pipeline and against the wackos.
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National Grid Report – There IS a Coming Gas Shortage in NYC/LI

National Grid yesterday released a report outlining how the utility is going to run out of natural gas for its customers within the next decade (maybe sooner) if new supplies of natgas are not made available to it. The company has scheduled public town hall meetings in NYC and Long Island to discuss the report and elicit feedback from the public. In the report, National Grid outlines three solutions to the problem. Guess which solution is the cheapest, quickest and best? That’s right–the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline.
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