Beck Energy Lawyer Responds to Frivilous Munroe Falls Zoning Case

Beck EnergyEarlier this month MDN shared with you the news that Munroe Falls (Summit County), OH had filed yet another frivolous lawsuit against Beck Energy to prevent drilling–after already losing a similar case before the Ohio Supreme Court (see Munroe Falls Won’t Let it Go: Files New Lawsuit Against Beck Energy). MDN received a statement from Beck Energy’s lawyer which says, among other things: “the complaint the City of Munroe Falls recently filed lacks any good faith basis under existing law, and it is clear Munroe Falls’ intention in filing this complaint is to harass and maliciously injure Beck Energy.” Fighting words! Sounds like the taxpayers of Munroe Falls should get ready to open their pocketbooks to pay into a settlement with Beck after Beck wins again. Our question: When will Munroe Falls voters get rid of the obstinate jerks running the place? Here’s the statement from Beck’s lawyer…
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Munroe Falls Won’t Let it Go: Files New Lawsuit Against Beck Energy

Frozen - Let it Go“Unbelievably dense” is how we would describe the “leaders” of Munroe Falls, Ohio. Going back to 2012, Monroe Falls–a “city” with a population of 5,000–has been attempting to stop legally permitted wells from being drilled on private property within city limits. Munroe Falls ordered Beck Energy to cease and desist drilling activity claiming the driller had not secured permits from the city first (Mother May I?). The object was to never let Beck drill, to deny them the permits they would need to seek, so Beck took them to court and an Ohio appeals court struck down Munroe Falls’ “home rule” zoning ordinances as illegal (see OH Appeals Court Strikes Down Home Rule for Drilling). The case was appealed to the OH Supreme Court and the supremes ruled in favor of Beck Energy (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). For normal people that would be the end of it. However, it was a close decision (4-3) and the supremes left lots of wiggle room from municipalities to continue making life miserable for drillers (see Some Options Still Available After OH Court Strikes Down Home Rule). So even though Munroe Falls went all the way to the top and lost–once again they’ve just filed another zoning lawsuit against Beck Energy. Do they never learn?…
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Stark County, OH Judge Orders Sheriff to Assist NEXUS with Surveys

In Summit County, OH, a county judge has denied NEXUS Pipeline’s request to force recalcitrant landowners to allow surveyors on their property (see Summit County, OH Judge Denies NEXUS Request to Survey Properties). In neighboring Stark County, it’s the reverse. A judge in Stark County granted NEXUS a court order allowing them to survey properties where the pipeline may potentially run. And whereas in Wayne County (borders both Summit and Stark) the Wayne County Sheriff won’t let his deputies work as off-duty security guards for NEXUS (see today’s story questioning the legality of the Sheriff’s action), the judge in Stark County has ORDERED the sheriff there to enforce NEXUS’ right to enter properties to survey them. The Stark County sheriff is telling his on-duty deputies to accompany surveyors to protect them. Is your head spinning yet?…
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Summit County, OH Judge Denies NEXUS Request to Survey Properties

Last week NEXUS Pipeline filed court cases against landowners in Summit County to force them to allow NEXUS surveyors access to their property (see NEXUS Pipeline Files Lawsuits for Survey Access in Summit County). The City of Green and other municipalities have stirred up so much resentment against NEXUS that the pipeline company is forced to send armed security guards out with their surveyors, fearing for their safety (see NEXUS Pipeline Sends Armed Guards with Surveyors to Protect Them). Although NEXUS needs access to survey so they can complete their application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a Summit County judge yesterday denied the request by NEXUS, setting up a court battle in October…
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NEXUS Pipeline Files Lawsuits for Survey Access in Summit County

Yesterday MDN told you about the City of Green in Summit County, OH and their leaders’ opposition to (and lies about) the NEXUS pipeline (see NEXUS Pipeline Sends Armed Guards with Surveyors to Protect Them). NEXUS is sending out armed security guards with surveyors because they’ve been threatened. Apparently a number of landowners in Green are refusing to allow surveyors access to their property, so NEXUS is, today, filing lawsuits in Summit County to force landowners to allow surveyors on their property to make a simple survey for potential pipeline routes…
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NEXUS Pipeline Sends Armed Guards with Surveyors to Protect Them

The City of Green (Summit County), OH is proudly working to prevent a much-needed pipeline, the NEXUS pipeline, from crossing through any of its residents’ properties. Proudly ignorant, we’d day. It’s a shame, but these days workers doing their job–surveying for a pipeline–are sometimes threatened (see FBI Investigates Death Threats Against PennEast Pipeline Workers and Medina, OH Landowner Says He’ll Meet NEXUS Surveyors Packing Heat). So some pipeline companies, like NEXUS, now send armed security guards out with surveyors and pipeline workers–to protect them. City of Green officials seem to imply the armed guards are there to intimidate residents who don’t want to allow a survey of their property. Not true. The guards are there to protect the surveyors who feel threatened for simply taking measurements for a pipeline. What has this world come to?…
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Munroe Falls, OH Repeals “Home Rule” O&G Regulations

In March 2011 Beck Energy drove a bulldozer onto private property in Munroe Falls (Summit County), OH with the intent of building a road to a drill pad where Beck had proper permits and permission from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) to drill a well. Munroe Falls slapped Beck with a stop work order and said, in essence, “Uh uh uh, you need to jump through our municipal ‘Mother May I?’ hoops and get our permission for everything you do before you can proceed.” Beck pushed back and sued Munroe Falls and the case was appealed, eventually, all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. In February of this year, the Ohio Supremes ruled that Munroe Falls cannot impose so-called “home rule” laws over top of the ODNR’s rules with respect to oil and gas drilling (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). Last week Munroe Falls finally repealed their onerous oil and gas regulations, a fitting end to this years-long story…
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CORNy Effect on FERC: NEXUS Forced to Consider Alternative Route

The NEXUS Pipeline is a proposed 42-inch, now $2 billion natural gas pipeline that will carry Utica and Marcellus Shale gas spanning 11 counties in Ohio, 3 counties in Michigan, and eventually connect to the Dawn Energy Hub in Canada (see NEXUS Gas Pipeline Pre-Files with FERC, New Details Come to Light). MDN told you about a local anti-drilling group that’s trying to stop it or change it, flying under the acronym of CORN–Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (see CORNy Opposition to NEXUS Pipeline in Eastern Ohio). It looks like the CORNballs may have had an effect. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told Spectra Energy and the other companies building the NEXUS they’ve been getting a lot of complaints and FERC wants the companies to investigate an alternative route for the NEXUS, away from the CORNfields of Green (Summit County), OH…
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OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case

court gavelCases before the high courts of both New York and Pennsylvania in the past year have ruled that local municipalities can control oil and gas drilling within their borders–so-called “home rule” statutes. In the case of NY the high court went berserk and said towns can actually ban such drilling, which of course strips away private property rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. In PA it was a little better, but not much. PA’s high court gutted provisions in the state’s Act 13 law making for a crazy-quilt patchwork of local zoning regulations that PA’s drillers must now navigate through. One state’s high court, however, has gotten it right. Yesterday the Ohio Supreme Court issued its long awaited ruling in the Munroe Falls v Beck Energy case (for background, see Beck Energy & Munroe Falls Go to Court – Again). In a 4-3 ruling, the OH Supremes said the City of Munroe Falls cannot stop Beck Energy from drilling a well that was properly permitted by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR)…
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CORNy Opposition to NEXUS Pipeline in Eastern Ohio

A group opposed to the NEXUS gas pipeline met over the weekend in Oberlin (Lorain County), Ohio in a “private strategy meeting” to plan how they will stop the pipeline from coming through their area in eastern Ohio–Lorain, Medina, Fulton, Lucas and Summit counties. The NEXUS, you may recall, is a 42-inch, $1.5 billion natural gas pipeline that will carry Utica and Marcellus Shale gas spanning 11 counties in Ohio, 3 counties in Michigan, and eventually connect to the Dawn Energy Hub in Canada (see NEXUS Gas Pipeline Pre-Files with FERC, New Details Come to Light). The small group meeting in Oberlin is trying to get the pipeline re-routed. They call their group CORN–or Coalition to Reroute NEXUS from Lorain, Medina, Fulton, Lucas and Summit counties…
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Anti-Drillers Protest 2 RINO Governors at Fundraiser in OH

So two RINO governors walk into a fundraiser…. It may sound like the setup for a political joke, but there was no joking when Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie both attended the Summit County, OH GOP fundraising dinner on Sept. 29th. Protesters met the RINOs as they walked in–to complain about (yes) shale drilling and using fossil fuels. Agitated and backed by the odious Food & Water Watch, along with the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability and Protection (NEOGAP) and FaCT (Faith Communities Together for fracking awareness), the protesters on that day were specifically complaining about frack wastewater and Class II injection wells…
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Beck Energy & Munroe Falls Go to Court – Again

Munroe Falls, a “city” with 5,000 people located near Akron, OH (in Summit County) has a longstanding feud (and court case) with Beck Energy over Beck’s right to drill a shale well on private property within city limits. The drill site was evaluated and properly permitted by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) in 2012, but as soon as Beck started drilling, the city slapped them with a stop work notice for violating local zoning ordinances. That set off a court battle over “home rule” and the rights local municipalities have over oil and gas activity. An Ohio Appeals Court eventually stuck down home rule (see OH Appeals Court Strikes Down Home Rule for Drilling). The case was appealed and is now before the OH Supreme Court, awaiting a decision (see Home Rule Case Heads to Ohio Supreme Court). A new/second case was filed earlier this week by Beck Energy against the city of Munroe Falls. It seems about three barrels of oil were spilled at the site and the city is (unbelievably) preventing Beck from cleaning it up…
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The Tough Process of Breaking into the Utica Shale Supply Chain

A small, 24-person company in Akron, OH is looking to break into the Utica Shale supply chain. Excelsior Marking, a marking and engraving company, is looking to see if their existing services/products, or perhaps a new service/product, would be a match for the Utica Shale industry. But breaking in–landing that first oil & gas customers, is not easy.

Here’s a look at what Excelsior has done, and the things that have given them the most success (so far) in their quest to get connected to the Utica supply chain…
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Ohio Utica Shale Blog Takes Top Honor in Statewide Contest

A huge congratulations are in order for Bob Downing (whom we have met and like a great deal) and Jim Mackinnon (whom we’ve not met but are sure we would like) for winning the contest as the No. 1 newsblog in Ohio for 2012 for their Ohio Utica Shale blog (published by the Akron Beacon Journal). MDN editor Jim Willis reads a lot–every day–and one of his favorite “must read” websites (that we often quote from) is the Ohio Utica Shale blog/Akron Beacon Journal.

The award is well-deserved and we can’t think of a better pair who deserve the recognition from their peers in the Society of Professional Journalists, the organization making the award. So, “Way to go, guys!”…
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Home Rule Case Heads to Ohio Supreme Court

In February, Beck Energy won an appeal against Munroe Falls in Ohio’s Court of Appeals (Ninth District) which had the effect of striking down so-called “home rule” of oil and gas drilling (see OH Appeals Court Strikes Down Home Rule for Drilling). Ohio state law takes precedence over local laws when it comes to drilling, which was affirmed by the Ninth District judges. However, that mid-level court decision was appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court and the Supremes have just announced they’ve decided to take the case…
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Nexus NatGas Pipeline to Run Through Akron/Canton Area

Last September MDN told you about a newly announced major Utica Shale natural gas pipeline that would run from Ohio through Michigan and into Canada (see New Utica Shale Pipeline to Midwest Announced). The project, called the Nexus Gas Transmission system, is a joint venture between DTE Energy, Spectra Energy and Enbridge. Although details of its planned route have still not been disclosed, the Akron Beacon Journal is reporting the pipeline will run through several communities in the Akron-Canton area.

An update on the project from the Beacon Journal:
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