PA Landowners Push for “Royalty Check Stub” Law at NARO Conf

The National Association of Royalty Owners’ national convention has been under way this week in Pittsburgh, wrapping up today. One of the big topics at the event has been a push to get a “royalty check stub” bill passed in Pennsylvania. What’s that? It’s a bill that forces drillers to do a better, more detailed job of breaking down royalty statements so landowners/rights owners can see what expenses have been deducted from their royalty checks. Such a bill passed and went into law in West Virginia last year (see WV Royalty Transparency Law Sheds New Light Beginning June). PA landowners want the same kind of transparency that WV landowners get.
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Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s Bonkers Plan to Strangle NatGas Elec Plants

Yesterday MDN told you that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has gone completely off his rocker with a power-grab to force PA into a regional alliance to tax natural gas-fired electric plants out of existence (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). The reaction to his breathtaking power-grab has been swift–on both sides. The radicals at Big Green groups like the Sierra Club are praising Wolf, and PA Republican legislators are threatening to block Wolf’s reckless executive order.
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NY Tries to Change the Game re Hudson Valley Gas-Fired Plant

In October 2012, after a rigorous review by New York’s Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dutchess County was accepted and approved. Construction of the 1,100 megawatt plant (to fed by PA Marcellus gas) began in July 2017 (see Second NY NatGas-Fired Elec Plant Breaks Ground in Hudson Valley) and is due to be completed early next year. Now New York State is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game and undercut the new plant by running huge, ugly new above-ground transmission lines to feed “renewable” power to downstate, bypassing (in part) the electricity that will come from the Cricket Valley plant.
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Trump EPA Proposes New/Modified Air Emissions Rules for O&G

In May 2016, the out-of-control Obama EPA issued new methane air emissions rules as a back-door way to try and regulate the oil and gas industry (see EPA Does it Again: Tries to Destroy O&G with New Methane Rule). In pretty short order several states sued to stop the order, which eventually turned into 15 states (see 15 States File Lawsuits to Block EPA O&G Methane Rule). When President Trump assumed office, the Trump EPA set about working to undo some of the damage (see Trump Rolling Back Obama’s Wild Overregulation of Methane). There is finally light at the end of the tunnel.
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PA DEP Hires Private Lawyers to Defend Against Atty General Probe

Really? Is this what it’s now come to? Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is so desperate to make a criminal case against someone, anyone, in the shale industry, he’s even going after state employees–workers at the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). In a bid to raise his visibility among state voters (so he can run for governor), Shapiro launched an investigation in January looking for environmental “crimes” committed by Range Resources and other shale drillers (see PA AG Investigates Shale Drillers for “Enviro Crimes”).
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Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax

PA Gov. Tom Wolf

The worst Pennsylvania governor in our lifetime continues to wreck the PA economy. Tom Wolf previously made noise about dooming PA’s economy by forcing the state to adopt a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan for carbon dioxide–the stuff every living animal, including humans, breathes out with every breath (see PA Gov. Wolf, Dem Legislators Release Even Worse “Climate” Plan). Wolf also threatened to issue an executive order to require 30% of electricity be produced by so-called renewables by 2030 (see PA Gov. Wolf Threatens to Issue Order on Power Plants). In a breathtaking display of power madness, he’s just done both.
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FirstEnergy Spends $1M/Week on Ads Claiming Chinese Grid Takeover

Ohio’s major newspapers continue to push back against phony commercials being run by FirstEnergy in a desperate attempt to block a referendum to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). HB 6, a corporate welfare bill, was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants, soaking ratepayers in order to feed the FirstEnergy beast (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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Long Island Dem Senators Break with Cuomo, Urge Pipeline Approval

In New York State it’s not popular–frankly it’s not safe–if you’re a Democrat who opposes mob boss Andrew Cuomo for any reason/any issue. Yet six Long Island State Senators, all Democrats, are doing just that. The six sent a letter to Basil Seggos, who runs the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and does whatever Cuomo tells him to do, asking Seggos to provisionally approve the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project.
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NY DEC Asks FERC to Reconsider Ruling to Allow Constitution Pipe

DEC goads FERC

You can’t say we didn’t warn you. In August the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled that the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) took too long to deny a federal Clean Water Act “Section 401” water crossing permit for the Williams Constitution Pipeline project (see Victory! FERC Overrules NY DEC to Allow Constitution Pipeline). Which means the project is now back on, approved by FERC itself. The DEC, thoroughly corrupted and politicized by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said it will “fight” FERC’s ruling (see NY DEC Will “Fight” FERC over Constitution Pipeline Decision). The fight has begun, with an appeal by the DEC to FERC itself.
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Trump Selects FERC Attorney James Danly as New Commissioner

James Danly

On Monday The White House announced President Trump intends to nominate (which we take to mean he will nominate) attorney James Danly as the third Republican Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Danly is currently FERC’s General Counsel (i.e. main attorney). Danly knows the agency, its work, and its personalities. Who better to appoint? Of course Democrats are already griping and moaning that President Trump should also name a Democrat to the final open seat at the Commission. The Dems argue the two currently open FERC Commissioner seats should be considered together, or not at all. Whatever.
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PA DEP Gets Ready to Issue 401 Water Cert for Leidy South Pipe

Last December Williams announced its Leidy South Project, a new expansion of the Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania (see Williams Unveils “Leidy South Project” to Expand Transco in PA). In early August Williams officially filed a full application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build Leidy South (see Williams Files Leidy South Project with FERC to Expand PA Transco). However, FERC is not the only agency with a say in whether or not the project moves forward. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) must grant Leidy South a federal Clean Water Act Section 401 water/stream crossing permit.
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PA DEP Still Blocking Some Permits to Restart ME2 Pipe Work

Sunoco Logistics Partners, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, is still on the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environment Protection’s (DEP) naughty list. In February, PA Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the DEP to suspend all reviews of clean water permit applications and other pending approvals for ALL of ET/Sunoco’s pipeline projects in the state–including the Mariner East and Revolution pipeline projects. The ban on approving reviews has not yet been lifted and means that in 33 locations across the state (most of them in the Philadelphia area) Sunoco can’t complete underground horizontal direction drilling (HDD) work for its Mariner East pipeline projects.
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New Trading Platform for “Responsibly Produced NatGas” Launching

Last September MDN reported that Southwestern Energy was the very first driller to earn the label of producing “responsible gas” from the Independent Energy Standards Corporation (IES)–what they call their TrustWell™ Responsible Gas Program certification (see Southwestern Sells 1st Certified “Responsible Gas” to NJ Resources). In April, a driller in the Rockies became the second company to earn the designation (see “Responsible Gas” Certification Expands, Gains Another Driller). Now there’s a way for those who buy and sell natural gas to tell if the gas they’re buying and selling is “responsibly produced.”
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Williams Gets Extra Month to Refile NESE Pipeline Permits in NJ

Most of the drama surrounding Williams’ Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project has centered on New York State and its corrupt Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who denied a federal Clean Water Act Section 401 water crossing permit for the project (see NY Gov. Cuomo Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipeline to NYC). However, a similar situation is also playing out in neighboring New Jersey, where its liberal Democrat Governor, Phil Murphy, is doing the same thing (see NJ DEP Rejects Williams NESE Pipe Permit, but Allows a Do-Over).
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PHMSA Issues 3 New Regulations to Beef Up NatGas Pipeline Safety

Detractors of the Trump Administration pretend the only thing the Administration does is “roll back” safety and environmental regulations, lowering protections for citizens, making it more dangerous to live and work anywhere in our great country. In fact the Trump Administration has done an excellent job in correcting some of the wild over-regulation from the Obama Administration. But it’s grossly inaccurate to say the current Administration has only repealed regulations. Case in point: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has just transmitted three significant new final rules (regulations) to the Federal Register that will strengthen the safety of more than 500,000 miles of onshore gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines throughout the U.S.
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Franklin Twp, PA Wants Law to Ban All Fracking

Franklin Twp, Allegheny County

You may recall that once-upon-a-time seven selfish towns in Pennsylvania sued the state after the legislature passed the Act 13 law that would create uniform zoning regulations to govern shale drilling. The towns (Robinson, Nockamixon, South Fayette, Peters, Cecil, Mount Pleasant, and the Borough of Yardley) eventually won their case, in 2013 (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case).
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