PA DEP Targeting NatGas Storage Operators Using Act 13 Law

In October MDN reported that Equitrans (formerly EQT Midstream) had settled an outstanding issue with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) over the company’s failure to produce a “verified statement” that proves they have turned over every rock and branch looking for old conventional wells that are not mapped in a natural gas storage field in Greene County, PA (see PA DEP Fines Equitrans $650K for SWPA Gas Storage Field Violation). According to law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, gas storage is “no longer under the radar” in PA.
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Is NESE Pipeline to NYC Dead? Williams Withdraws Final NJ Permit

In October, MDN reported that Williams had temporarily withdrawn three of four applications with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to build its Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project to offshore Long Island (see Williams Withdraws NESE Pipe Permit in NJ, Resubmit Soon). In September NJDEP gave Williams an extra month with the permits (see Williams Gets Extra Month to Refile NESE Pipeline Permits in NJ). Williams said it would refile the three permits “in the next few days.” Never happened. Now the company has pulled the fourth NJ permit.
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Stop Press! Enbridge to Begin Construction on Weymouth Compressor

WOW, what a reversal of fortune! Barely a month ago MDN told you that two natural gas utility companies, National Grid and Eversource, had cut the legs out from under Enbridge by declaring they no longer need the Weymouth (Mass.) compressor station to supply them with incrementally more natural gas supplies for the Greater Boston area (see 2 Utilities Cut Enbridge Off at Knees re Mass. Compressor Station). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Black Friday granted Enbridge a final go-ahead to begin construction anyway. Christmas came early!
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FERC Authorizes Startup for Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline

click for larger version

The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Erie County, PA and from there across the border into Ashtabula County, OH, began construction in February. Risberg cost roughly $86 million to build and will flow 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas from the PA Marcellus to the northern tip of Ohio in Ashtabula County. In mid-November, RH energytrans, the builder, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1). FERC granted permission and as near as we can tell the pipeline is now up and running.
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FERC Pushes Back Deadline to Review MVP Southgate to Feb 2020

Latest proposed route for MVP Southgate (click for larger version)

Last November Equitrans (nee EQT Midstream), filed plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project *another* 70 miles south, into North Carolina, called the MVP Southgate project (see EQT Makes it Official, Files with FERC to Extend MVP into NC). The Southgate project has been under review at FERC since that time. The original schedule called for FERC to issue a final environmental impact statement (EIS) on Dec. 19. That date has just been pushed back.
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Philly’s Nicetown Marcellus-Fired Plant Wins Appeal, Online Soon

It’s the end of the road for some not-so-nice folks in Nicetown, a Philadelphia neighborhood. In 2016, Philadelphia’s SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) announced plans to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant to provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines and a bus garage (see Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen). Antis, making wild claims of “racism,” opposed the plant because it will burn an evil, nasty, vile “fossil fuel.”
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33 Energy Groups Ask Trump Admin to Finish Energy Reg Overhaul

Some 33 industry associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Petroleum Institute, sent a letter to White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Mary Neumayr last Friday asking the agency to “expeditiously proceed” with efforts to “modernize” National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. What is NEPA and why should you care?
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Non-U.S. Big Oil Companies Want EPA to Regulate Methane Emissions

Here’s something that really bugs us. The Donald J. Trump Administration is doing its best to try and roll back some of the smothering overregulation foisted on the oil and gas industry during the Obama reign of terror. Example: The EPA is looking to reverse direct regulation of oil and gas methane (created by Obama) because the EPA already regulates methane emissions via regulations for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Yet a few oil “majors” (biggest oil companies in the world) want the EPA to continue its onerous methane regulations. Thing is, the oil majors that want this insane overregulation are NOT American-based companies.
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Andrew “Don Corleone” Cuomo Extorts National Grid, Wins Pipe Battle

Sometimes the bad guy wins. That’s life. It’s just happened in New York State. National Grid has caved–bowing to the extortion demands of an autocratic governor (Cuomo) in order to stay in business. New York’s system of justice is now fully, completely, 100% corrupted by Cuomo. A very sad day here in New York. Cuomo has claimed victory over National Grid and any other utility that would dare to challenge his autocratic, dictatorial authority in the state by getting National Grid to not only give up its demand for a new pipeline (Northeast Supply Enhancement, NESE) to provide natural gas supplies, but to actually pay a $36 million fine (i.e. bribe) in order to stay in business. Democracy is gone. Hello tyranny.
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FERC’s Dick Glick a Sore Loser re St. Louis Marc/Utica Pipeline

Once again we call on President Trump to remove Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) member Richard “Dick” Glick from the commission for abrogating his duties as commissioner. He refuses to approve *any* new natural gas pipelines based on his twisted view of man-made global warming. Two weeks ago St. Louis (MO) utility company Spire requested permission to begin service on the Spire STL pipeline which will flow Marcellus/Utica gas from the Rockies Express (REX) Pipeline to the St. Louis area (see Spire Pipeline Ready to Flow Marcellus/Utica Gas to St. Louis). Two of three FERC commissioners agreed, which didn’t sit well with Glick.
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Ohio Approves Duke Energy 14-Mile Cincinnati NatGas Pipe

Credit: Duke Energy

Duke Energy has a plan to build a critically-needed natural gas pipeline near Cincinnati, OH to replace an old pipeline built in the 1950s. Duke needs to replace the pipe or some of the half million Duke customers in the region won’t get natural gas any more. A group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension, tried their best to defeat the project. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extension. The good news is that the DOPEs lost. Yesterday the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) gave Duke final approval to build the alternative route proposed by Duke for the project.
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PA AG Continues NatGas Witch Hunt – 2 Dozen DEP Workers Testify

Last week Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro sat down to talk with the editorial board/reporters of the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter. He refused to confirm or deny he’s actively conducting a witch hunt of the PA Marcellus Shale industry, including trotting dozens of people before a grand jury–even though the media has been reporting on his grand jury fishing expedition since February (see PA AG Continues Marcellus Witch Hunt, Impanels Grand Jury). No worries. None other than the Deputy Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (head of the DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas Management) has confirmed he appeared before Shapiro’s witch hunt grand jury.
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Unloads on Radicalized Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is a radicalized, far left “environmental” group that seems to have endless mountains of cash to finance frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit against any project or company with the moniker “fossil fuel” attached to it. The Clubbers have made trouble for both Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, and now for Equitrans’ Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) by convincing lefty judges in a federal court to overturn previously issued permits from the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Equitrans has had enough of the Clubbers and their interference and recently unloaded on the group in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
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EPA’s Wheeler Pledges Clarity with Simplified WOTUS Rule

As a country, we’re still struggling to correct the great harm done by the Obama Administration when it comes to fixing messes like the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. What is and what is not a “water” that comes under federal jurisdiction? In the Obama years everything down to mud puddles (we’re not kidding) could be considered WOTUS (see EPA Power Grab: Redefines Waters of the U.S. to Include Everything). Current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says a landowner should be able to stand on his own land and know, for himself, what is and what is not WOTUS–without an army of lawyers to assist him.
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PA House & Senate Republicans to Stop Wolf’s Insane Carbon Tax

Yesterday a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania House and Senate members held a press conference in Harrisburg to introduce parallel bills to prevent Gov. Tom Wolf from following through on his insane plan to tax carbon dioxide from natural gas-fired power plants–yet another attempt by Wolf to raise ~$300 million a year for Harrisburg politicians to spread around to voters in an effort to get themselves reelected. The proposed bills will prohibit the state from joining the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) without express permission from the PA legislature.
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U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) Pushes Radical NRDC Attorney for FERC

Shame on Joe Manchin, who once considered leaving the leftist Democrat Party to become a Republican (but didn’t). Now he’s showing his true colors by pushing a far far far left radicalized candidate for an empty seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)–a former “senior attorney” for the odious National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). No way, no how Joe.
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