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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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 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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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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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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Williams Donates $100,000 to Cuomo/Democrats? Say It Ain’t So!

It’s just coming to light (for us anyway) that earlier this year Williams donated $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association–a group that is devoted to electing more Democrats as governors, and a group that heavily supports Andrew Cuomo in his reelection bid here in the Empire State. Shame on Williams. Are they insane? Cuomo, who is CORRUPT, has blocked Williams project after Williams project in New York. But apparently he has not blocked all Williams projects. Less than three months after the Williams “donation,” the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which ONLY does the bidding of Cuomo, denied “without prejudice” a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, allowing Williams to submit a new application (i.e. keeping it alive). Oh, and Cuomo hired the lobbyist who was working on that same pipeline project…to run his reelection campaign. Sniff sniff. Do you smell something? We’re not accusing anybody of anything–least of all Williams, which has to do what they have to do in a state that’s run like a third world dictatorship. However, you have to admit the situation raises questions. And we still can’t get over the fact that Williams donated a hundred grand to the other side. That boggles the mind…
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Making Sense of Insane NY – How Radicals Pressure Cuomo re NatGas

If you live in New York State, as MDN editor Jim Willis does, you often shake your head at the stupidity of our political leaders. Especially people like Gov. Andrew Cuomo. How could he, in good conscience, turn against natural gas and block pipelines, electric plants and fracking? Is he obtuse? Is he getting paid-off by someone? There has to be a reason for his obviously irrational behavior. What is that reason? We have, perhaps, a better understanding now. The radical left is well-organized–think Saul Alinksy, Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idol. Taking a chapter from Alinksy’s “Rules for Radicals” book, the green radicals in NY have organized themselves to pressure Cuomo. We’d call it highly organized and well-funded. The radicals have weekly meetings, plan strategy, and motivate groups of blind followers to show up and heckle Cuomo at public events. And guess what? Cuomo caves–every time. Like a house of cards. The radicals have found the magic formula to pressure Cuomo into doing their bidding. Andrew Cuomo is actually weak-willed. He’s a patsy for the green movement because he fears them, fears a public shaming by them. And so they have their way with him–every time. None other than a liberal Gannett reporter has outed Cuomo as a Big Green patsy…
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NY Antis Gear Up to Oppose Zero-Emission Compressor Stn

As we reported in March, Empire Pipeline, the midstream (pipeline) subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build two new compressor stations along the Empire Pipeline–one in Tioga County, PA, the other in Ontario County, NY (see Empire Pipe Plans 2 Compressors in PA & NY to Move Marcellus Gas). Without building any new pipeline, the addition of these two compressor stations will allow an extra 205,000 dekatherms per day (205 million cubic feet/day) of PA Marcellus gas to flow through the Empire Pipeline system. The project, called Empire North Project, will provide much-needed natural gas for Upstate NY and Canada. It will also connect to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, so who knows? Maybe some Marcellus molecules will find their way into New England too. Anti-fossil fuelers in NY are ramping up to oppose the project. Nothing new about that, unfortunately. The thing is, the proposed compressor station in Ontario County will have zero (yes, zero) emissions. It will use electricity instead of diesel or natural gas or other fuels–so there’s no smoke stack and absolutely nothing going into the atmosphere. Completely benign. And yet, because the compressor station will flow more “fracked gas” from PA flow through the pipeline, irrational nutjobs are opposing it. Talk about stupid. These people will protest and oppose an emissions-less compressor station that helps flow more natural gas, but they won’t actually give up their own natural gas! They won’t stop grilling with natural gas. They won’t stop heating and cooking with natural gas. They won’t stop cooling with natural gas. They won’t stop buying clothes and shoes made, in part, from natural gas (plastics). No. Everyone else has to do those things–not these ignorant, wine-tasting snobs from the Finger Lakes who want to block this emissions-less compressor station…
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Cuomo Pipe Policies Put Thousands of Union Members Out of Work

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing yesterday to consider the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3303). Two weeks ago we told you about S. 3303, a bill that will “fix” the issue of states like New York using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which allows states to have a say in where interstate pipeline routes can pass through a state, from abusing that authority to block pipeline projects (see US Senate Bill Fixes States Blocking Pipelines via Water Permits). One of the people testifying at yesterday’s hearing was Brent Booker, the secretary-treasurer of North America’s Building Trades Unions. Brent represents some 3 million (!) union workers. He spoke passionately about the damage that has been done by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo in blocking new pipeline projects. Because of Cuomo’s actions, literally thousands of union workers (Democrat voters) are now out of work–people who could have been working all along but aren’t because Cuomo is abusing the federal Clean Water Act’s Section 401 to politically block new fossil fuel pipelines…
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Caithness Energy Sues PSEG for Blocking Long Island Gas-Fired Plant

Caithness Energy, a privately held company that specializes in buying or building (and operating) renewable energy and natural gas-fired power plants, owns a 350 megawatt natgas-fired power plant in Yaphank, NY–on Long Island. For more than four years Caithness has had a plan to build a second natgas-fired plant next to their first plant. The original plan was for a 750 MW plant, later scaled back to 600 MW. Local leaders in Brookhaven Town in which the existing and proposed power plant projects sit have been against the plan for a new power plant, passing restrictions in 2015 that tied the hands of Caithness, making the project impossible to build. But in July, the board reversed course and voted to repeal the 2015 restriction that limits the type of equipment Caithness can use in building the plant, clearing the way for the project (see Long Island Town Votes to Allow New Gas-Fired Elec Plant). However, the path is still not cleared. Newark, NJ-based PSEG (Public Service Enterprise Group), which provides electricity to Long Island, told the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) that the Caithness plant is not needed. It’s a case of one competitor unfairly trying to block another–according to Caithness, which has just filed a lawsuit against PSEG saying it has suffered “hundreds of millions of dollars of harm” because of PSEG’s actions to block the project. Looks like this one is going to get NY nasty…
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