Paid Protesters Present DRB Frack Ban Petitions to NY, NJ Govs

A small group of paid protesters from Big Green groups colluded with sycophantic liberal reporters in Albany and Trenton to stage a fake rally where they “delivered” form-generated “petitions,” supposedly with 100,000 signatures (no doubt many of them faked), given to Govenors Cuomo and Murphy, respectively, demanding that the governors support a permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. NY and NJ are two of five members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a rogue group that has pledged to permanently ban fracking in the Basin based on baseless fears fracking may contaminate New York City and Philadelphia drinking water supplies. Total bogus B.S.–but that’s the fearmongering used by people with no ethics. There’s one teeny tiny problem with the DRBC’s proposed ban: A U.S. District Court is currently considering whether or not the DRBC has the legal authority to ban fracking, even if it wants to (see Major Federal Court Decision Opens Door to Stop DRBC Frack Ban). The evidence strongly suggests the DRBC doesn’t have the legal power to block fracking, no matter what Cuomo and Murphy and the other voting members of the DRBC decide to do.
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NY, Other Lib States Try to Block Dominion New Market Pipe Project

New Market Project – click for larger version

Last July a small group of rich snobs from Cooperstown, NY calling themselves Otsego2000 sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court to try and stop Dominion Energy’s New Market Project (currently under construction), a VERY modest upgrade to an existing pipeline that runs through Upstate (see Otsego2000 Snobs Appeal FERC Approval of New Market Pipe Project). The false premise of Otsego2000’s lawsuit is that FERC did not consider mythical man-made global warming when it decided to approve the New Market Project. Unfortunately, the wildly left/radical New York Attorney General’s office has just entered the case by filing a “friend of the court” brief, along with the wildly left/radical AGs in Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington State, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. But wait…the pipeline doesn’t run through any of those other states (other than NY) and has zero impact on those other states. Doesn’t matter. The point is they want to redefine how FERC does its job by bastardizing our laws, and this case conveniently provides them with a way to do it.
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NFG Asks FERC for Extra 3 Yrs to Build Northern Access Pipe in NY

Click for larger version

Four years ago National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) proposed and filed to build the Northern Access Pipeline project–a $500 million project that includes building 97 miles of new pipeline along a power line corridor from northwestern Pennsylvania up to Erie County, NY. The project also calls for 3 miles of new pipeline further up, in Niagara County, along with a new compressor station in the Town of Pendleton (also in Niagara County). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the project in February of 2017 (see NFG’s Northern Access Pipe in NY/PA Gets FERC Approval). However, in April 2017, the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) ruled against granting the project stream crossing permits, effectively killing it, at least for now (see Cuomo’s Corrupt NY DEC Blocks NFG Northern Access Pipeline Permit).
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Was NY Gov. Cuomo’s Fast-Track Approval of Gas-Fired Plant Legal?

In reading through the story we share below, we feel dirty. Like we need a shower. New York State is deeply, deeply corrupt–at the highest levels. As in Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And every now and again, that corruption spreads to otherwise good projects, like converting a small coal-fired electric plant to burn natural gas. The Greenidge Generation power station in Yates County, located along the shoreline of Seneca Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate NY, is one such a project caught in the web of Cuomo’s corruption. Originally built in the 1930s, the operator of the plant, Atlas Holdings, wanted to convert it from burning coal to burning natural gas. After paying $120,000 to Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for reelection and more than $500,000 in payments to lobbyists, Atlas got a “fast track” approval and certain environmental exemptions from the Cuomo Administration. It’s a worthy project and should have been approved without such payoffs, but the project couldn’t get approved otherwise. Here’s the sordid story.
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Cuomo Driving the Final Nail in the Coffin of NY’s Oil & Gas Industry

Does the oil and gas industry in New York State even matter anymore? Well, yes, it does! It employs a number of people and produces oil and gas to feed our economy. Although Andrew Cuomo has single-handedly sentenced upstate residents to generational poverty by denying them the opportunity to allow shale drilling, there is a rich history of conventional drilling for oil and gas in the state. But now, even the conventional industry is under assault and attack by Cuomo and his lackeys at the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). How? The DEC has unveiled what IOGA of NY calls “devastating proposed air regulations”–regulations that will shut down many o&g operators in the Empire State. IOGA calls it a “regulatory assault.” We call New York State the Empire Crumbling State.

[UPDATE: MDN, in an attempt to draw attention to this issue, a very important issue, may have left the wrong impression with our headline. The conventional oil and gas industry in NY is far from dead, and IS worth fighting for! Which is the purpose of this post: To encourage those who care to fight. To make your voice heard in letting the DEC know their latest rules will harm an important industry/sector of NY, without actually improving the environment.]
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NY State Court Denies Northern Access Pipe Eminent Domain

Another bump in the road for National Fuel Gas Company and their Northern Access Expansion pipeline project. Not a major hurdle. Not an apocalypse. Not the end of the line. A bump. The Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court (in NY, Supreme Court is a low court, one step up from county court), overturned the decision of the lower Supreme Court granting NFG the power of eminent domain to build Northern Access, a project not scheduled to get built until 2022. The attorney who won the case against NFG proclaimed without eminent domain, “The pipeline is dead.” We say he’s dead wrong.
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NY Antis Prefer Burning Coal to NatGas at Ithaca Power Plant

The battle continues to rage in the lib Dem socialist utopia of Ithaca (Tompkins County), NY over a plan to convert a local coal-fired electric generating plant to use much better-for-the-environment and far-less-polluting natural gas. Yet local antis, who irrationally (and we mean clinically insane) hate fossil fuels, continue to object and preen themselves at county board meetings to object to converting the plant. They object to the conversion because natural gas is a “fossil fuel”–the modern form of eeeeevil in their eyes. And so (once again, demonstrating clinical insanity), they prefer to keep the plant burning coal. The plant will have to burn something. We don’t see any of these same antis volunteering to unhook themselves from the electric grid. The electricity flowing to their homes needs to get generated somehow, and it sure ain’t renewables doing it.
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NY Constitution Pipeline Not Dead Yet, FERC Grants 2-Yr Extension

Miracle of miracles, two (!) Democrat FERC commissioners (Cheryl LaFleur and Dick Glick), along with one Republican commissioner (Chairman Neil Chatterjee), voted unanimously to extend the time frame by another two years for Williams to build the Constitution Pipeline. As you may recall, the Constitution was stopped cold by corrupt NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his lackeys at the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Constitution is planned to run from Susquehanna County, PA up into, and mostly situated in, New York State. Cuomo won’t be happy with this decision because it’s a very loud and clear signal that FERC believes the project *will* some day get built.
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Con Ed May Stop Adding New NatGas Customers Thx to Cuomo

The actions of political leaders have consequences. Sometimes dire consequences. People like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo believe they can wave a magic wand and proclaim, “No more fossil fuels, we’ll just use solar and wind instead.” But proclaiming it doesn’t make it so. Proclaiming it doesn’t exempt you from the consequences of your actions. In recent years Cuomo has blocked new natural gas pipeline projects that would deliver Marcellus gas from Pennsylvania, claiming we need to move to so-called renewable energy. Now the chickens have come home to roost.
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Pipeline Relief Coming 2019? Trump Targeting States Like NY

We’re feeling better and better that President Trump is ready to take action to overrule states like New York that abuse the federal Clean Water Act in order to block interstate pipeline projects. We first picked up on comments by Energy Secretary Rick Perry back in May (see DOE Sec. Perry Hints Trump May Overrule States Blocking Pipelines). Then we spotted comments by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last week (see Interior Sec. Zinke Implies NY Doesn’t Have Right to Block Pipes). And now, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, has weighed in and said essentially the same thing.
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CPV Marcellus-Fired Elec Plant in Orange County Now Online!

Finally! Competitive Power Ventures’ 680-megawatt CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda (Orange County), NY is fully up and running and producing enough electricity to power 600,000 liberal NY homes. New York Gov. Cuomo tried his best to block the recently-completed (costing $900 million) Marcellus gas-fed plant from going online by instructing the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny renewing a permit they previously issued, but a judge saw right through that one and overruled the DEC.
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Con Ed Plans 2-5 CNG/LNG Storage Facilities in Westchester County

Clinton’s $1.7M Westchester County estate

Only in New York. Utility company Con Edison is proposing to build up to five compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage sites in Westchester County, NY–to increase the local supply of natgas available for customers. Con Ed wants to invest in “renewable” natural gas and “offer new incentives for Westchester customers who upgrade their heating equipment or install heat pumps to reduce natural gas usage.”
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Williams CEO Compliments PA Gov Wolf, Roasts NY Gov Cuomo

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong

On Friday Williams CEO Alan Armstrong addressed CEA’s Energy and Manufacturing Summit in Pittsburgh. Ahead of that address, Armstrong granted an exclusive interview to the Pittsburgh Business Times, an interview in which he had some flattering words for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (i.e. sucked up to him), and some rather unflattering words for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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Proposed Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Trouble

Manneken Pis – famous statue in Brussels, Belgium

MDN reported in April that a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi wants to build a huge, new $1.5 billion natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the Meadowlands (New Jersey), just outside of New York City (see Marcellus Electric Plant Proposed for Meadowlands to Power NYC). The North Bergen Liberty Generating Project, at 1,200 megawatts, will help replace some of the electricity lost when the Indian Point Nuclear plant located in New York along the Hudson River closes down in 2021. We suspect that since the mighty Transco pipeline, which flows mostly Marcellus molecules in the northeast, will feed the Meadowlands project, this plant will become an important new market for PA Marcellus production. The town where the plant will be located, North Bergen, is jazzed about the plant (see NJ Town Ready to Approve Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Power Plant). And wonder of wonders, liberal Democrat NJ Gov. Phil Murphy approved the first in a series of required permits in July (see Surprise! NJ Issues Permits for Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Plant). Yes, it did seem like things were going too well. The Sierra Club has been lobbying nonstop to defeat the project, and their efforts at spreading doom and gloom are, unfortunately, bearing fruit. Somehow the Clubbers have convinced the New York ISO (the electricity authority for NY, where the electricity from this plant will be sold) to claim it doesn’t really need the electricity after all. Even though 25% of its electricity will soon disappear from the grid when Indian Point closes. NY’s claim now means the project will be delayed and that the builders will need to produce a report proving NY really does need the electricity. An electric peeing match. The Clubbers have also spread rumors to neighboring towns, telling them the plant will poison their air, so some neighboring towns are now opposed to the project…
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New Williams Board Appointment Raises Ethics Question

On July 31 midstream giant Williams announced it had added a new member to its board of directors, Vicki Fuller. We didn’t think much of it at the time. We included a mention in our “best of the rest” section the following day (see Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Aug 1, 2018). Fuller is an accomplished woman–very smart. Prior to assuming her part-time role at Williams (for a cool $275,000 per year), she was the chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. That is, she decided how and where to invest the $207 billion worth of investments in the pension fund, put there by New York State workers (teachers and others), used to cover their retirement pensions. That’s a lot of responsibility riding on one person’s shoulders. And therein is the rub. Anti fossil fuel radicals have been pushing New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (a wildly left liberal himself) and Fuller (appointed by DiNapoli) to divest the Common Retirement Fund from fossil fuel companies–companies like Williams. To his credit, DiNapoli has resisted the political pressure to divest, realizing that millions of pensioners’ investments would fall by billions of dollars if that happens. And to her credit, Fuller did not cave to the pressure either. Liberal media (PBS) is now going after Fuller and her appointment to the Williams board, implying it’s some sort of quid pro quo–that Fuller got the job and a big salary for doing part-time work, in return for not divesting the pension fund from Williams stocks and bonds. Which is a stretch. A big stretch. However, the timing of her departure as CIO of the pension fund and her appointment to the Williams board (both in the same week) doesn’t look good…
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Corrupt: Dem Govs, AGs Sell Their Offices & Power to Big Green

Warning: Knowledge of what’s happening in the offices of governors like Jerry Brown (California) and Andrew Cuomo (New York), and their attorney generals, will make you want to throw up–at the overt corruption. A pair of research reports from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) shines a very bright light on what is major corruption at the highest levels of our state governments. One report, titled “Law Enforcement for Rent: How Special Interests Fund Climate Policy through State Attorneys General” (full copy below) details how Democrat Attorney Generals in various states, including New York and Maryland, are selling access to their offices to Big Green groups. AGs can only make so much mischief. They have budgets that control how many staffers they can hire. In order to circumvent those hiring limits, Big Green groups are funding lawyers and assistants to help AGs sue fossil fuel companies–they work right in the AG’s office! If it’s not outright illegal, it’s certainly unethical. State legislatures need to pass laws now to prevent this kind of abuse of our legal system to favor one side over another. The law is supposed to be blind and impartial, not weighted against one side or the other. If that weren’t bad enough, CEI published a second study titled “Government for Rent: How Special Interests Finance Governors to Pursue Their Climate Policy Agenda” (full copy below) showing how some Democrat governors are doing the same thing–allowing outside, paid-by-Big-Green staffers to be added to their operations in an attempt to slander and smear fossil fuel companies. Andrew Cuomo’s office is one of the offenders. THIS MUST STOP…
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