Ohio Ballot Initiative to Overturn Nuke Bailout Goes to Fed Court

The fight to overturn Ohio’s House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout (freebie) given to FirstEnergy to prop up its uneconomical nuclear power plants is getting nasty. Really nasty. We previously told you about FirstEnergy’s lying commercials that claim China controls the state’s natural gas industry–because a Chinese bank loaned some of the gas-fired plants money (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Somehow FirstEnergy got Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and got him to overturn the the language of the referendum, disqualifying it on a technicality (see Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum). Because of Yost’s action, there isn’t enough time to get enough signatures. So the matter has gone to federal court, asking for more time.
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Revised Ohio Regulations Reduce Utica Well Spacing Distance

regulations

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently revised its regulations governing the spacing of horizontal oil and gas production wells. The revised regs, which became effective on Oct. 10, loosen spacing requirements and “will bring Ohio’s horizontal well spacing regulations in line with what accepted science and drilling data indicates is a more efficient and productive spacing for horizontal wells in Ohio.” The setback (from boundary lines) was reduced from a previous 500 feet to 400 feet in some cases, and down to 150 feet in other cases.
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8 OH Counties Rake in $142M in Real Estate Taxes from Utica Shale

Eight of Ohio’s top Utica Shale development counties collected nearly $142 million in real estate property taxes on oil and natural gas production from 2010 through 2017, according to an updated report by Energy In Depth (EID) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA). The Utica Shale Local Support Series report titled, “2019 Update: Ohio’s Oil and Gas Industry Property Tax Payments” (full copy below) analyzes the economic impacts of oil and natural gas real estate property taxes (called “ad valorem” taxes) paid in eight counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble.
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Court: OH Marketable Title Act & Dormant Mineral Act Don’t Conflict

There is an ongoing question of whether or not the Ohio Marketable Titles Act (MTA), which impacts Utica shale rights, can be used to return previously severed mineral rights back to a surface landowner, or whether the MTA is superseded by Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA). In February, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals said the MTA *does* still apply to mineral rights (see OH Court Says Marketable Title Act Applies to O&G Rights). The Seventh Circuit then ruled in a second case in April, reaffirming yet again that yes, MTA applies to mineral rights (see Ohio Court Rules Marketable Title Act Applies re Mineral Rights). And now the Seventh Circuit has ruled in a third case to say YES, the MTA still applies!
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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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Ohio Landowners Lose Royalty Lawsuit Against Chesapeake Energy

A group of Ohio landowners sued Chesapeake Energy in 2015 in a class action, alleging that Chesapeake had shorted them on royalty payments (see OH Landowners File Royalty Class Action Lawsuit Against Chesapeake). Four long years later and an Ohio federal judge ruled yesterday…in favor of Chesapeake.
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OOGEEP Offers Free Training: “Responding to Oilfield Emergencies”

The hits keep coming from OOGEEP, the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program. In May we brought you OOGEEP’s top notch new resource to help workers discover new careers in the oil and gas industry (see 75+ Gas and Oil Related Careers in the Marcellus/Utica). In June OOGEEP parceled out 65 scholarships ($1,000 minimum award) to students pursuing careers in the oil and gas industry (see OOGEEP Hands Out Another 65 Oil & Gas Scholarships). And now, OOGEEP is conducting two free firefighter workshops, one in October, the other in November, to train first responders in how to respond in situations that involve natural gas and crude oil.
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Ohio Air Emissions Decrease Faster than Natl Average Thx to Shale

The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is calling attention to the “great untold story” in Ohio and across the nation, a story intentionally ignored over the past week of faux climate change protests by kids playing hooky from school. What is the untold story? That the United States in general, and Ohio in particular, is “leading the world in environmental stewardship and emission reduction.” How? Because of shale energy–specifically because of shale gas.
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Ohio Newspapers Call Out Pro-Nuke/Anti-Referendum Ads as Lies

Not even Ohio’s left-leaning news organizations can go along with the phony commercials being run by First Energy 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 was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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Ohio Issues New Form Landmen Must have Landowners Sign & Return

You may recall news from last year that an Ohio Supreme Court ruling requires landmen to have a real estate license in order to get paid–IF they are compensated via a commission and/or royalties for the deals they broker (see OH Supreme Court Rules Independent Landmen Need Real Estate License). However, IF a landman is paid a “day rate,” (flat rate by the day) or if the landman is an employee of the drilling company–someone whose compensation is not directly tied to the number and value of deals–that landman does not need a real estate license. But they do need landowners to fill out a new form and sign it in six places.
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Italy’s Snam Wants to Buy and Operate Rover Pipeline

In July rumors circulated that Energy Transfer is looking to sell its 33% ownership stake in Rover Pipeline, a project they worked so hard to build (see Energy Transfer Considers Sale of Rover Pipeline for $2.5B). Tongues are wagging once again. The rumor now is that Snam, an Italian natural gas infrastructure company, is interested in buying Rover and is, even as you read this, conducting due diligence to make it happen.
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Broader (Serious) Implications from NEXUS Pipe Court Ruling?

On Monday MDN told you that radical anti-fossil fuelers and the City of Oberlin, OH won a minor victory of sorts against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project (see DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe). We’d like to further unpack that decision and possible (serious) implications it may have for other pipeline projects. Let’s dig deeper.
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DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe

Since late last year we’ve tracked a lawsuit brought by radical antis and the City of Oberlin, OH against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project. Last Friday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that handles challenges to regulatory agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), refused to drop the case and told FERC to once again try to justify the project in light that some of the gas gets exported to Canada.
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FirstEnergy Asks OH Supreme Court to Block Bailout Referendum

FirstEnergy continues its desperate attempt to prevent a referendum measure from hitting the fall ballot in Ohio that would overturn a recently passed (very bad) law that bails out FirstEnergy’s failing nuclear power plants in the state to the tune of $1.5 billion. Earlier this week we told you FirstEnergy is running tinfoil hat commercials claiming China would soon control Ohio’s electric grid if the bailout bill is overturned (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Now FirstEnergy is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the ballot measure, denying voters the opportunity to vote.
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Ohio has Money, Needs Contractors to Plug Orphan Wells

It’s time to help the orphans in Ohio–orphan wells, that is. Ohio has some 1,000 orphaned/abandoned oil and gas wells. In early 2018 Ohio passed a new law making more funds available to plug orphaned wells–important because drilling a horizontal shale well through an old conventional/orphaned well can result in a disaster. Although Ohio now has plenty of money to plug their orphaned wells, there’s a shortage of contractors to do the work.
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Ohio Utica O&G Production in 2Q19: Oil Jumps 29%, Gas Up 11%

9/5/19 NOTE: ODNR’s original percentages were incorrectly calculated. A day after releasing the wrong numbers, ODNR fixed the wrong numbers in their 2Q19 update. Frankly, we should have noticed the original error, and didn’t. The raw production numbers were right there before our eyes, yet we simply relied on ODNR’s incorrect percentages and drew the wrong conclusions. See below for the corrected numbers.
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