Finally! EPA, Army Corps Releases Final ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule

One of the worst overreaches and offenses of the Obamadroids was to redefine what “waters of the United States” (or WOTUS) actually means. As they were getting ready to leave power, the Obama EPA redefined WOTUS as everything down to large mud puddles–no lie (see EPA Power Grab: Redefines Waters of the U.S. to Include Everything). When Donald Trump took over, he set out to correct Obama’s conceit by bringing the WOTUS definition back into the realm of reality. That happened yesterday.
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FERC Delays Action on PennEast Pipe Eminent Domain Ruling

There have been a number of twists and turns for the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1.2 billion new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. The project has not yet moved one shovel of dirt due to ongoing delays from lawsuits by (disgusting) Big Green groups and their colluders, mainly the Democrats who now run the state of New Jersey. Here’s one more twist–the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delayed weighing in on a request by PennEast for help regarding clarification on the use of eminent domain.
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NY’s Largest Landowner Group Opposes Cuomo’s Permanent Frack Ban

As we reported earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to take full advantage of a far-left, Democrat-controlled state legislature, in order to pass a permanent (for all time) ban on fracking (see NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wants to Make Frack Ban Permanent). New York’s largest landowner rights group, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, has just issued a statement warning Cuomo not to pass such a ban.
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FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee Stepping Down in June, Unless…

Bernard McNamee

This is a major disappointment. Bernard McNamee, the former head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, was approved to be the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) newest commissioner in December 2018 (see U.S. Senate Confirms McNamee to FERC with 50-49 Vote). He is one of two Republican FERC commissioners currently serving. Yesterday McNamee said he will not seek reappointment to his position in June of this year, when his initial term expires. Unless…
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EPA Fines Gulfport $1.7M for Clean Air Violations in Ohio Utica

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it has reached a settlement with Gulfport Energy over alleged air emissions violations found at 17 well pad locations Gulfport operates in the Ohio Utica. The violations happened in 2015. The settlement includes Gulfport paying $1.7 million in fines and spending another $2 million in “improvements” to cut down on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at the 17 well pads.
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Rover Pipe Wants to Flow Extra 175 MMcf/d – No Extra Cost/Equipment

The $4.2 billion, 713-mile Rover Pipeline system that flows Marcellus/Utica natural gas from western PA and eastern OH all the way to Canada, placed the final two pieces of the system online in November 2018 (see FERC OKs Final 2 Rover Pipeline Laterals – Now 100% Online). The mainline Rover pipeline flows 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Rover wants to expand that capacity without any new equipment and without any additional cost. How do they plan to pull that rabbit out of their hat?
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PA AG Josh Shapiro Bashes Marcellus with Anti-Pipe Lawsuit Support

PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is no friend of the Marcellus industry, and frankly, he’s no friend to PA landowners either. At every turn, Shapiro investigates and attempts to block the Marcellus industry in the state. The latest evidence: Shapiro has used the full weight of the entire state in signing on to an amicus (friend of the court) brief in a federal court case that challenges the approval of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline–a Williams PA pipeline that’s been in the ground and operating since 2018.
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PA Enviro Quality Board Approves Massive Hike in Shale Permit Fee

In Ohio, it costs drillers $5,500 to file for and receive a permit to drill a new shale well. In West Virginia, the cost is $10,150. In Pennsylvania, it has (until now) cost drillers $5,000 for a new shale well permit. Following a vote yesterday by the state Environmental Quality Board (EQB), that number is zooming to the top of the M-U list: $12,500 (2 1/2 times the previous fee). With current low gas prices, it’s pretty easy to predict new drilling permits in PA are going to crash and burn in 2020. The received wisdom is true: You always get less of what you tax more.
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PA Big Green Supports Lawsuit to Gut FERC re Pipe Approvals

The sleaziest of Pennsylvania’s Big Green groups–THE Delaware Riverkeeper and PennFuture–have filed a “friend of the court” (amicus) brief in a federal lawsuit hoping they can help gut the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by denying FERC the only way the agency has of combating these sleazy groups–something called a tolling order.
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NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wants to Make Frack Ban Permanent

Andrew Cuomo makes us puke. Literally. Cuomo, Governor of New York, became a dictator and stripped away the property rights of citizens living in NY in 2015 when he autocratically decided to prohibit shale fracking throughout the state (see It’s Official: Cuomo Bans Economic Opportunity & Prosperity in NY). He knows he won’t be the dictator of NY forever. Someday there will be a Republican governor who can unilaterally lift the frack ban in the same way Cuomo unilaterally imposed it. Yesterday Cuomo, in his so-called State of the State address, said he wants the legislature to pass a law permanently banning fracking in NY. Forever.
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PA DEP OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

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Dominion Energy’s West Loop Project will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant being built there. We first noticed this small (but important) project in June 2019 (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued final approval for the project in December (see FERC OKs Dominion Pipeline to Feed PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). And now, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the project.
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Adelphia Gateway Pipe Files to Upgrade 13 Sites in Southeast PA

It’s full speed ahead for the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline project in southeastern Pennsylvania. In December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the project (see FERC Issues Final OK for Southeast PA Adelphia Gateway Pipeline). Last week Talen Energy sold the actual pipeline to New Jersey Resources so the project can commence (see Talen Energy Sells PA Pipeline to Adelphia Gateway for $155M). NJ Resources/Adelphia has just filed a request with PA for permits to move dirt around at 13 locations. We have the list.
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PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2

Two weeks ago the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the largest fine for a single company/project in its history. DEP slapped Energy Transfer (ET) with a $30.6 million fine for the construction and subsequent explosion of the company’s Revolution gathering pipeline in western PA (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine). As part of the fine, DEP said ET could restart construction to fix Revolution. DEP also said ET could restart construction for another project: Mariner East 2 (ME2). Yesterday the other shoe dropped when DEP announced a new fine related to ME2 work–for $1.95 million.
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PA Rep. Metcalfe Calls Wolf “Rogue Governor” – Can’t Force RGGI

The gloves are off in Harrisburg. We previously told you about Gov. Wolf’s plan to have PA join with northeastern states in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional alliance to slap a carbon tax on natural gas-fired electric plants (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (Republican from Butler County, PA), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent a letter yesterday to the RGGI Executive Committee saying PA has a “rogue Governor” (his exact words) who lacks the authority to force PA to participate in RGGI without legislative approval.
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