PA House Passes Bill Separating Conventional from Shale Regs

Yesterday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 790, a bill that restores sanity to regulations for conventional oil and gas drillers in the Keystone State. For years PA’s small, independent conventional oil and gas drillers have objected to the one-size-fits-all regulations concocted by the Gov. Tom Wolf Administration that applies the same regulations to them as to big shale drillers. The two types of drilling are apples and oranges. To make small conventional drillers jump through the same hoops as big shale drillers will bankrupt many of the smaller companies. SB 790 helps correct the situation.
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PA DEP to Push Onerous New Methane Regulations at Public Hearings

Last December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved onerous new regulations that supposedly will capture every last molecule of stray methane that leaks from shale drilling operations (see PA DEP Goes WAY Too Far in Approving New Methane Regulations). The new regs are unnecessary and will shut down even more shale drilling operations in the state. As part of the EQB’s final steps to ratify the onerous new regs they will conduct three virtual public hearings in June.
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SWPA Judge Rejects Anti Lawsuit re Murrysville Fracking Ordinance

Last time we wrote about a zoning ordinance in Murrysville Township (Westmoreland County) was three years ago, in May 2017, when the town and local drillers struck a compromise on the distance of setbacks (see Murrysville, PA Drilling Ordinance – Anatomy of a Compromise). Apparently the still-too-restrictive ordinance (in our opinion) that allows drilling wells on only 5% of the land in the town wasn’t good enough for local antis who want to block all shale drilling.
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CA & NY Attempt to Block WOTUS Redo from Taking Effect in June

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. It took years and fending off multiple lawsuits funded by Big Green organizations, but we finally we have a new, permanent redefinition of WOTUS–taking it back to what it was meant to be (see EPA & Army Corps Publish Final WOTUS Regs – Obama Overreach Fixed). The new WOTUS revisions are set to go into effect in late June. A group of radical Attorneys General with Trump Derangement Syndrome are trying to block it.
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PA Gov. Wolf’s Own DEP Doesn’t Want RGGI Carbon Tax

Big time opposition continues to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to force the state to participate in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business (see our RGGI stories here). Even Wolf’s own state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), an executive agency under his thumb, doesn’t want the state to join RGGI.
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Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away

Is it time to turn the gas off for New York City and let the people there reap the “benefits” of having a dictator, Andrew Cuomo, as their governor? On Friday the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation, thoroughly and completely corrupted by Cuomo, issued yet another rejection for the critically-needed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project. It was the last straw for Williams, the builder of the project, which has walked away from the project. Gas customers on Long Island, including parts of NYC, now face the real prospect of running out of natural gas (this is not an exaggeration). Andrew Cuomo is the grossest, most corrupt governor in NY’s history.
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Massive Hike in PA Shale Permit Fees Coming at June 3 Meeting

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 currently costs drillers $5,000 for a new shale well permit. Following an upcoming meeting by the state Independent Regulatory Review Commission on June 3, PA’s permit fee will zoom to the top of the M-U list: $12,500 (2 1/2 times the previous fee).
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FERC Tells Va. AG to Kiss-off on Request to Stop Pipe Approvals

Virginia’s radially left Attorney General, Mark Herring (Democrat), was among 11 other radically left Democrat AGs who recently sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting the agency just stop doing its job in approving pipeline projects until the COVID-19 pandemic is over (see 11 Democrat AGs Ask FERC to Stop Approving Pipes During Pandemic). FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee just responded to Herring with his own letter (copy below).
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Texas Gas Gives Up on Portion of M-U to Gulf Coast Pipe Project

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It’s been three years since we’ve written about Texas Gas Transmission’s (TGT) Northern Access Supply Project. TGT is a big pipeline network owned and operated by Boardwalk Pipeline Partners. Originally built from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the upper Midwest, the purpose of the pipeline system was to supply Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio with natural gas. Then the Marcellus/Utica Shale happened and TGT needed to change strategies.
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Big Green Scared – NRDC Tries to Horn in on DRBC Fracking Lawsuit

In May 2016, a landowner in Wayne County, PA filed a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) asking a judge to declare that the DRBC does not have jurisdiction to prevent the construction of a natural gas well (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). The case bounced around various courts and is now back in federal court in Scranton, PA where a judge will decide whether shale drilling is a “project” under regulations that govern the DRBC. Anti-fossil fuel haters at the National Resources Defense Council (aka Rockefeller family) are terrified the judge is about to rule against the DRBC (and them), and so has filed a friend of the court brief to try and snow (or intimidate) the judge.
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PA Trade Unions Break with Democrats Over Power Plant Carbon Tax

It becomes more obvious every day that the rank and file (even the leaders) of trade unions are breaking with their Democrat Party bosses over issues like insane taxes on natural gas. The divide is particularly acute in blue states like Pennsylvania, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and likely will again in 2020 because the Dems keep shooting themselves in the head with stupid taxes and regulations that kill jobs. The PA AFL-CIO issued a statement yesterday thanking the PA Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, part of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, for listening to the union’s concerns about Gov. Wolf’s proposed carbon tax at a recent hearing.
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FERC OKs WV Storage Field to Increase Tariff, Keep More Gas

Here’s an interesting aspect of the natural gas business you may not have heard about before (we hadn’t). As you may know, not all gas produced gets used immediately. Some gas gets stored, typically in underground caverns, and later extracted for use when needed. Buyers (like utility companies) contract with storage fields to park the gas they’ve purchased until they need it. What you may not know is that not 100% of the molecules that go in come back out again.
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PA DEP Accuses ET’s Revolution Pipe of 680 Violations Since Jan 1

This is getting ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that a single pipeline project already built and now getting a redo could possibly have racked up 680 “violations” during construction work over the past five months? We certainly don’t believe it. Yet that’s what the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) alleges. Energy Transfer (ET), the builder and fixer of Revolution, has their own allegation: The DEP itself is “not in compliance with its own guidelines.” Who inspects the inspectors for compliance?
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11 Democrat AGs Ask FERC to Stop Approving Pipes During Pandemic

Rahm Emanuel (Democrat), former Mayor of Chicago and former Chief of Staff in the Bill Clinton White House, once famously quipped, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Emanuel’s fellow Democrats who control 10 states plus the District of Columbia are taking his advice. The AGs from each of those states sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday asking FERC to delay approving any new pipeline projects until the virus pandemic is over.
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Va. Turns Down Anti Request to Delay Hearing on VNG Pipe Project

Two weeks ago MDN told you about Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) and their request for state permission 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 southeast Va. region (see Antis Worried Pandemic Means They Can’t Stop Va. Pipeline Project). Big Green groups tried to hoodwink the state into delaying an upcoming virtual hearing on the permit request scheduled for May 12.
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