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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National Grid Struggles to Respond to Cuomo’s Petulant Demands

Acting like a petulant baby whose binky was taken out of his mouth, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to put giant natural gas utility National Grid out of business in New York State by canceling their franchise, their right to operate, and giving it to another company (see Psychotic Cuomo to Cancel National Grid Gas Franchise in 2 Weeks). Why? Because Cuomo himself denied National Grid new supplies of natural gas via pipelines, causing National Grid to ban new customers from connecting from fear there won’t be enough gas (their downstate territory covers all of Long Island and parts of New York City). The political fallout from the ban has been swift and harsh–against Cuomo. So he blames the victim (National Grid) instead of himself. How is National Grid handling the crisis?
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KY Regulators Side with Enviro Wackos in Blocking Tiny Pipeline

In September MDN told you about environmentalist wackos at the Bernheim Arboretum (about 25 miles from Louisville, Kentucky) who refuse to grant an easement for 4,000 feet of land they bought *after* the Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) already had a state-approved plan to build a new pipeline over that land as part of tiny 12-inch, 12-mile pipeline (see KY Utility Hints at Defunding Local Arboretum Blocking New Pipe). The Arboretum’s refusal, along with a few other property owners, means 62 homes and businesses have been denied the right to connect to LG&E’s local natgas utility system. Unfortunately the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (state agency) has just sided with the wackos.
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U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey Floats Resolution to Block Dem Frack Ban

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, from Pennsylvania, introduced a resolution two weeks ago that he (and other sane individuals) want to adopt to prevent people like “Crazy” Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren from banning fracking, should they ever get elected president. (Sanders or Warren as president is a truly nightmarish prospect, meaning the country has officially gone to Hades.) Best put some protections in place now before frothing-at-the-mouth socialist/communists like Sanders or Warren get elected.
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Psychotic Cuomo to Cancel National Grid Gas Franchise in 2 Weeks

Man-child Andrew Cuomo, “governor” of New York State, is a truly desperate man. And desperate, corrupt politicians like Cuomo do desperate, mean, vicious and corrupt things–especially to protect their own backsides. Cuomo is following through on a recent threat he made to de-certify National Grid’s natural gas utility service that serves all of Long Island and parts of New York City. Just take it away from National Grid and (very corruptly) give it to another company (no doubt with lots of kickbacks to Cuomo’s campaign to follow).
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Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Ready to Start Dec. 1

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 (see Construction Begins on “Massive” PA to OH Risberg Pipeline). In October RH energytrans, the builder, said the project would be ready by Dec. 1 (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Project Almost Done, Ready by Dec. 1). And by golly, it is! Earlier this week RH energytrans asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start it up by Dec. 1.
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WVONGA Fall Meeting Wraps Up with Talks on Pot, Petchem

Last week the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) held its two-day 2019 Fall Meeting in Morgantown. We previously reported talk about WV’s new co-tenancy laws dominated the first day (see WVONGA Meeting: New Co-Tenancy Law Working, Still a Few Kinks). One of the key topics for the second day was the state’s medical cannabis program and how those in the oil and gas industry deal with it next year when a new state law goes into effect. The other key topic of the day was downstream (petrochemical) plants.
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WVONGA Meeting: New Co-Tenancy Law Working, Still a Few Kinks

West Virginia’s new co-tenancy law is working, according to speakers at the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) 2019 Fall Meeting held yesterday and today. Several speakers from major WV drillers, including Antero Resources and CNX Resources, sang the praises of the new co-tenancy law. WVONGA executive director Anne Blankenship also sang its praises, but said there’s still a few things to work out before the new law is “fully understood.”
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Energy Transfer 3Q – Mariner East Shines, Revolution Back Soon

Energy Transfer (ET), the big pipeline company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, issued its third quarter 2019 update yesterday. ET is the builder of the Rover Pipeline in the Utica Shale, the Mariner East trio of pipelines in the PA Marcellus, and the Revolution gathering system in southwestern PA. With Rover built and fully operational, our interest was in locating information/updates on the ME and Revolution projects. We hit paydirt in yesterday’s update.
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Ohio Commission Recommends Changes to Law re Fracking Public Land

In 2011 Ohio Gov. John Kasich (RINO) signed into law a provision to create the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, a group to oversee drilling and fracking on state-owned land. Then Kasich refused to appoint members to the five-member commission, effectively skirting the law and imposing his own whacked moratorium on drilling on state-owned land. Why? Punishment for the industry refusing to endorse his obscene high severance tax rate. In 2017 under threat by the Republican legislature, Kasich finally relented and appointed the five members (see Ohio Gov Kasich About to Lose Power to Stop Drilling on State Land). The Commission just held its first meeting under new Gov. Mike DeWine (also a RINO). Commission members are proposing changes to the commission structure and to the law governing it.
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With “Backs Against Wall” Rhode Island Approves LNG Facility

Do Rhode Island regulators read MDN? Maybe! On Monday we brought you a post about the coming natural gas outages like that experienced last January in the People’s Republic of Rhode Island, due to eco-socialist pressure to ban new natural gas infrastructure (see Rhode Island Eco-Socialists Threaten State with NatGas Outages). Yesterday the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board waived a licensing requirement for a “temporary” LNG storage facility in Portsmouth to prevent another January episode from happening again. Board members complained they had no choice, that “we have our backs against the wall” and “people’s lives could be in danger” if they don’t approve the LNG facility.
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Reps “Optimistic” Building Resumes Summer ’20

Yesterday MDN reported on Dominion Energy’s third quarter update from last Friday, a session in which CEO Tom Farrell commented the company’s commitment to building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is “unwavering” (see Dominion Energy 3Q – Commitment to Atlantic Coast Pipe “Unwavering”). Last Thursday a pair of ACP representatives gave an update to Upshur County, WV commissioners at one of their scheduled meetings. The reps did a deep dive into the details of what is currently blocking construction, and gave their best guess about when construction (in Upshur and elsewhere) will resume.
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2 Utilities Cut Enbridge Off at Knees re Mass. Compressor Station

With friends like these, who needs enemies? Two utility companies–National Grid and Eversource, both operating in Massachusetts–are the primary customers for the gas that flows through the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge pipeline project. The last piece of that project is to build a compressor station in Weymouth, MA. National Grid and Eversource now say the Weymouth compressor is not necessary–they have enough gas without it. Thanks guys! You just screwed Enbridge royally.
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PA DEP Fines Equitrans $650K for SWPA Gas Storage Field Violation

Equitrans (nee EQT Midstream) owns a natural gas storage field in Greene County, PA, in the southwest corner of the state, called Swarts Field. Natural gas storage fields are an important, but often overlooked, part of the natgas ecosystem. Last December the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) threatened to shut down Swarts Field because of coal mining in the area, saying Equitrans had not properly mapped old/abandonded conventional gas wells in the area (see PA DEP Threatens to Close Equitrans Gas Storage Field in SWPA). The good news is the DEP threat is now over. The bad news is that Equitrans has to pay a $650,000 fine.
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