PA Senate Votes to Pass Resurrected Petchem Bill in Record Time

Wow! That was fast! Last week we brought you the rumor that a bill to allow incentives for petrochemical plants willing to build new facilities in Pennsylvania (generating hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of investment in the state) appears to be back on after the bill was previously vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year (see Bill to Bring Cracker-Type Investment to Northeast PA Resurrected). The radicals at PennFuture sounded the alarm over the weekend that House Bill (HB) 1100 is back on and that Wolf is ready to sign a revised version (see PennFuture Wages War Against Fossil Fuel Jobs in PA re HB 1100). Actually, the bill has been renamed to HB 732 and it already passed a vote by the full PA Senate yesterday!
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NJ DEP Stops Construction of Southern Reliability Link Pipe

Southern Reliability Link map (click for larger version)

New Jersey Natural Gas’ (NJNG) $130 million, 22-mile natural gas pipeline project called the Southern Reliability Link (SRL) pipeline project to connect NJNG’s distribution system serving customers in Ocean, Burlington and Monmouth counties (in NJ) has been under construction for a year. Construction has continued even during the virus pandemic (see Pipeline Thru NJ Scrub Pines Continues Building During COVID-19). The odious Sierra Club (anti-fossil fuel nutters) has finally succeeded in convincing the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection to shut down construction on the project–at least temporarily.
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Leftist “Investors” Demand PA DEP Clamp Down on Methane Leaks

Last December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board 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. Perhaps sensing the DEP is wavering on adopting these nonsense regs, a group of woke lefty investors representing trillions of investment dollars are pressuring the DEP to get the new regs live. More leftist bullying.
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Huge Bipartisan Majority in PA House Votes to Block Carbon Tax

Yesterday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 130 to 71 (with overwhelming bipartisan support) to pass House Bill (HB) 2025 which would block Gov. Wolf’s attempt to force PA into a northeast carbon tax scheme. We’ve written plenty about Wolf’s plan to force the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax).
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PA Nuke Industry Loves Wolf Carbon Tax Shutting Down Gas Plants

Are you surprised that Pennsylvania’s big money nuclear power lobby loves PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to tax nuke plants’ biggest competitor, natural gas-fired plants, out of existence? We aren’t surprised. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, lobbying group for PA’s nuclear power plants, is urging PA legislators to drop a bill that will block Wolf’s insane attempt at forcing the state to join a group of liberal northeastern states in something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI forces its members to slap high taxes on energy that produces carbon dioxide–the stuff you breathe out with every single breath you take. Ludicrous.
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PA Sen. Daylin Leach (Democrat) Introduces Bill to Ban Fracking

PA Sen. Daylin Leach

Incest. It’s a dirty word. It sometimes applies to the world of politics. The word “incest” aptly describes what’s happening in Pennsylvania with Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s false/fake/ginned-up report bashing shale fracking and the predictable response from his fellow leftist Democrats, including PA Sen. Daylin Leach who introduced a bill to ban fracking across PA using Shapiro’s fake grand jury report as the basis to do so. Political incest.
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Chesapeake Sues FERC in Bid to Break Pipeline Contracts

Earlier this week MDN brought you the news that Chesapeake Energy is asking a bankruptcy court in Texas for permission to break valid and legal contracts with several pipeline companies as part of its financial reorganization plan (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). Just coming to light (for us) is that as part of the bankruptcy filing, Chessy is challenging (suing) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prevent FERC from making Chessy live up to its contractual agreements.
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Sad Day: Federal Court Strikes Down FERC’s Use of Tolling Orders

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (DC Circuit) handed down a decision that was expected, but sad nonetheless. The court told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) it can no longer use “tolling orders” to stretch out the time to respond to a “rehearing” request when a FERC decision has been challenged. It sounds complicated. The simple version is FERC no longer has the ability to prevent anti-fossil fuel Big Green groups (with loads of money) from challenging each and every pipeline decision FERC makes in court, tying up those decisions for years at a time. Antis now have free rein to game the system and shut down new pipelines from getting built.
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VA Regulators Want Assurances Before Approving VNG Pipe Project

click for larger version

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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McCandless Twp Tries to Block Shale Drilling with New Zoning Law

McCandless, a township in Allegheny County, PA (near Pittsburgh) is attempting to block any and all shale drilling within its borders by getting creative. The town is in the process of adopting changes to its zoning laws that make it illegal to drill a well in land zoned for commercial development. Since towns have to allow drilling in at least one zone, McCandless will allow it only in “institutional districts.” That means drilling will only be allowed on land with schools, hospitals, universities, and parks. Fat chance any drilling will ever happen in those places!
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PA Antis Pack Virtual Hearing on Wolf’s Onerous New Methane Regs

regulations

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 are conducting three virtual public hearings this month. Yesterday’s hearing (the second hearing) was packed with 32 anti-fossil fuel radicals who support Wolf’s plan. Gee, color us surprised.
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PA Senate Virtual Hearing Blasts Gov. Wolf’s Carbon Tax Plan

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a virtual hearing on Gov. Wolf’s plan to bypass the state legislature and force the state to join the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a group of northeastern states attempting to assassinate coal and gas-fired power generation by taxing it to death with an insane carbon tax (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Committee Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw (Republican) slammed RGGI in his opening/closing remarks. So too did a number of business leaders who addressed the hearing, telling Senators RGGI will be an economic disaster for the state.
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PA Gov. Wolf Gives DEP Extra Time to File Carbon Tax Plan

Last October PA Gov. Tom Wolf, in a naked power-grab, said he would try to force PA to join the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a group of northeastern states attempting to assassinate coal and gas-fired power generation by taxing it to death with an insane carbon tax (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Wolf signed an Executive Order (EO) tasking his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the job of concocting a plan by July 31. Yesterday Wolf tweaked his original EO and extended the deadline for DEP by an extra six weeks–to Sept. 15.
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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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FERC Orders New Fortress to Explain Unauthorized PR LNG Facility

New Fortress Energy, which likes to build and own as much of the LNG supply chain as possible, has built and recently finished an LNG import terminal in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Just one teeny, tiny problem: New Fortress didn’t get permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before building it. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and subject to U.S. laws and regulations, including the regulation that requires FERC approval *before* building such a facility. Luuuucy, you have some ‘splainin to do!
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PHMSA and Fed Railroad Admin Publish Final LNG by Rail Regs

In April 2019 President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Transportation to write a new rule allowing specially constructed tanker cars for railroads (DOT-113 tank cars) to ship LNG, i.e., liquefied natural gas (see Here Come the “Bomb Trains” – Trump to Allow LNG by Rail). It took a while, but after a year-long process the final regs are ready, and soon after they are published in the Federal Register, they go into effect. Hallelujah!
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