New York Landfill Accepting Pa. Drill Cuttings Plans Expansion

Last summer MDN brought you the news that the Sierra Club lost a lawsuit aimed at blocking a landfill in New York State from accepting oil and gas drill cuttings from Pennsylvania (see Sierra Club Loses Court Case to Block Drill Cuttings in NY Landfill). The C&D Hakes Landfill in Painted Post, NY (near Elmira, located in Steuben County) continues to accept PA drill cuttings, although we’re not sure if those cuttings come from Marcellus drillers. At any rate, Hakes has filed a request to expand the landfill by another 43 acres (to 122 acres), to continue accepting PA drill cuttings for an extra 8-10 years.
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OH Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Overturn Nuke Bailout Law

There is finally movement in Ohio to repeal an odious law passed by Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature called House Bill 6, which funnels over $1 billion from Ohio ratepayers to FirstEnergy Corporation in order to keep the company’s unprofitable nuclear power plants running (while disadvantaging other power sources, like gas-fired plants). FirstEnergy is accused of bribing legislators to pass, and keep passed, HB 6 by paying out $60 million in bribes (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law).
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Why PA Gov. Wolf’s RGGI Carbon Tax Needs Legislative Approval

Whether or not you agree with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s idiotic plan to join something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon tax that will force PA residents to pay $2.36 billion in higher electric costs over a 10-year period (and shut down coal and gas-fired power plants), there is one thing we can all agree on: The way Wolf is attempting to enroll the state in RGGI is wrong. Wolf is denying the state legislature (controlled by Republicans) a role in approving whether or not this new carbon tax will be assessed on PA citizens.
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PA DEP Finally Allows Revolution Pipe to Restart – After $125K Fine

Some two and a half years after Energy Transfer’s (ET) Revolution Pipeline entered service in western Pennsylvania and exploded following a landslide, the pipeline finally returned to service yesterday. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a press release to say it had extracted another $125,000 from ET and has allowed the pipeline to resume service.
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Bill to Ease WV Oil & Gas Storage Tank Inspections Gets Pushback

In the closing hours of the 2014 West Virginia legislative session, the legislature passed SB373, the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (see Fate of 3 WV Laws that Impact Marcellus/Utica Drilling). The bill, which was signed into law, was in response to a chemical leak that affected the drinking water for 300,000 WV residents. Even though the leak was not related to oil and gas drilling (it was related to coal mining), the new rules governing above ground storage tanks for chemicals affect a number of industries, including the Marcellus Shale drilling industry (see Impact of WV’s New Chemical Tank Law on Marcellus Drillers). Over the years several attempts have been made to relax the over-restrictive new rules for the oil and gas industry. Another such attempt is underway this year.
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DRBC Jumps Off Cliff – Votes to Permanently Ban Fracking

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a quasi-governmental organization composed of four states (NY, PA, DE, NJ) plus the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, voted yesterday to permanently ban fracking within the boundaries of the DRBC’s jurisdiction, which includes Wayne and Pike counties in Pennsylvania where there is abundant Marcellus Shale deposits. But don’t despair. The DRBC is in the midst of two legal challenges and one (or both) is sure to win, reversing the illegal action taken yesterday. Chin up! The sun will rise again.
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Biden Breaks “No Frack Ban” Promise to PA 5th Week in Office

Remember the statement, uttered by then-candidate Joe Biden as he stood in Bucks County, PA (which sits in the Delaware River Basin) when he emphatically promised PA residents and union workers, “I’m not banning fracking in Pennsylvania or anywhere else!”? It took him slightly less than five weeks to break that promise. Yesterday the Biden administration, in the form of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (which is an Executive Branch agency) abstained and then voiced moral support for the DRBC’s vote to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin. That action bans fracking in two northeastern PA counties where there are frackable shale deposits (see today’s lead story). FIVE WEEKS. Still happy you voted for lyin’ Biden?
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FERC Gives OK for NFG’s FM100 Pipeline to Begin PA Construction

Some good news to share on this Friday. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) the green light to begin construction on its FM100 pipeline project. The FM100 Project will beef up and extend an existing pipeline network in northwestern Pennsylvania to flow an extra 330 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Marcellus gas to Williams’ mighty Transco Pipeline (see NFG FM100 Pipe Project in NW PA to Feed Marcellus Gas to Transco).
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PA DEP Picks Pocket of Sunoco Another $497,000 for ME2 Pipe

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is sticking its sticky fingers into the pocket of Energy Transfer/Sunoco one more time, and this time drawing out nearly half a million dollars to pay for a series of small spills of nontoxic drilling mud in Snitz Creek in Lebanon County. It isn’t the first time the DEP has fined ET for Mariner East 2 (ME2) work. We’ve lost track of how many millions of dollars ET/Sunoco has paid in various fines–some of it legit, some of it (in our opinion), not legit.
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Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub Reapplies for Permits, Building Soon?

Last fall Mountaineer NGL Storage, a $500 million project in Monroe County, OH to build underground storage for ethane and other NGLs, asked Ohio regulators to cancel a key permit for the project (see Mountaineer Asks Ohio to Cancel NGL Storage Hub Permits). Our understanding was that until PTT Global Chemical makes a final investment decision (FID) to build an ethane cracker in nearby Belmont County, OH, Mountaineer would not be ready to proceed. The two projects will move along together. We thought Mountaineer would wait to reapply for the permit after PTT announces. PTT has not announced, yet according to statements from Mountaineer’s CEO, the company is now waiting on permits to proceed and hopes to begin construction “later this year.” Ergo they have already reapplied.
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PA Legislators Strongly Disapprove Ch. 105 Water Permit Changes

In December MDN brought you the news that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing and seeking comments on changes to the state’s Chapter 105 (water obstructions and encroachments) permit (see PA DEP Proposes Changes to Ch. 105 Water Permits). It’s a fundamental permit almost all outdoor construction projects in PA are required to obtain, including the drilling of shale wells. Republicans on the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted yesterday to send a letter to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) expressing their strong disapproval of the proposed changes.
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MVP Asks FERC to OK Final Water Crossings, Antis Get Desperate

Yesterday Equitrans Midstream issued its 4Q and full-year 2020 update (see today’s lead story). There was discussion during the Q&A portion of yesterday’s Equitrans conference call referring to the company’s recent request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to change the type of stream crossing process it can use at 120 locations to cross 181 water bodies and wetlands so it can complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project this year.
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PA Joining RGGI Carbon Tax Will Result in Texas-Style Blackouts

You have to hand it to Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw, he sure knows how to set off the crazies in the Keystone State. Yesterday Yaw issued a fantastic op-ed saying if Gov. Wolf gets his bizarre Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon tax adopted, Pennsylvanians can look forward to power outages like those recently experienced in Texas, which happened in large part because of the failure of “renewable” energy sources like windmills. Yaw’s comments have the lefties yammering away to “correct” Yaw’s non-standard and non-approved speech.
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FERC Considers Canceling Already Built/Running Weymouth Compressor

There’s nothing like changing the rules of the game after the game is done and over. Sounds like something a petulant child would do, but in this case the petulant child is the Democrat-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) potentially rewriting rules (after the game was played) in an attempt to shut down a brand new, state-of-the-art, fully functional compressor station that’s delivering 133 MMcf/d (million cubic feet per day) of extra natural gas supply to New England and beyond. Welcome to the dystopian world of Joe Biden and Dick Glick.
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FERC’s Dick Glick Tees Up Policy Change to Reject New Pipelines

Newly appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard “Dick” Glick continues to wreak havoc on the natural gas pipeline sector. Since he was first appointed by Donald Trump more than three years ago, Democrat Glick has voted against every new pipeline project to come before him. Now he wants to rewrite the rules so future FERC commissioners will be handcuffed, binding them to a policy that requires them to reject new pipeline projects long after Glick has exited stage left.
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U.S. Senator Wants NatGas Price Spikes Investigated – Econ 101

It really is frightening how stupid some of our nation’s leaders really are. They don’t even understand basic economics 101 (they likely never took the class in college). Example: U.S. Sen. Tina Smith from Minnesota (Democrat) who wants federal regulators to investigate the recent spike in natural gas prices, which soared to record levels–into the hundreds of dollars per Mcf. Smith apparently doesn’t understand simple economics and the law of supply and demand.
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