Olympus Energy (former H&H) Plans 2 New Wells in Upper Burrell

Upper Burrell Twp

Olympus Energy, the renamed Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration (HHEX), continues to make Upper Burrell in Westmoreland County, PA a key area of focus. Last April we told you about the company planning its twelfth well pad in Upper Burrell (see Huntley & Huntley Proposes Another Well Pad in Upper Burrell). We’ve since lost track of the number of pads Olympus/HHEX has built in the township, but we have two more to tell you about.

NOTE: Olympus emailed to say they currently have one well pad (not 12), the Zeus pad. That one well pad has three wells in production with three additional wells permitted. However, Olympus did recently apply to build two new pads (each with a single well). We thank Olympus for the correction!
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PA Republicans Outsmart Democrats re Petchem Investment Bill

Pennsylvania Democrats are complaining about State Senate Republicans using a political tactic against the Dems that they themselves use. Which we find hilarious. We’re referring to a recently passed House Bill (HB) 1100, a bill to encourage new petrochemical plant investment in PA (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Although the Senate passed the bill, the Senate has not (yet) sent the bill to Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. Gov. Wolf has pledged to veto the bill when he gets it (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). So why do Dems care when the bill hits Wolf’s desk if it’s going to get a veto stamp anyway?
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Jail Time for Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marcellus Trucks

In September 2018, MDN brought you the news that six men had been charged with conspiring to illegally alter emissions systems on 30+ trucks with heavy-duty diesel engines, trucks used to haul water and wastewater to and from Marcellus Shale wells (see 6 Charged with Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marcellus Trucks). All six eventually plead guilty (see Man Pleads Guilty to Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marc. Trucks). The wheels of justice grind sloooooowly. The first of the six to receive his sentence happened on Wednesday.
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PA DEP Releases Proposed Plan to Join RGGI Carbon Tax Scheme

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of its proposed rules for PA’s participation in what is called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). It’s a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business. PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to force PA to participate in RGGI, a collection of blue northeastern states (New England, NY and NJ) in an attempt to bolster his credibility with environmentalist wackos–to ingratiate himself with the wackos so he is more appealing as a Vice Presidential candidate.
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Gov’t Study Finds Marcellus Drilling Does NOT Affect PA Streams

A brand new study (full copy below) published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) looked at 25 small watersheds over the course of 2 years in northeastern Pennsylvania, looking for any possible correlation between fracking and local streams. Know what they found? There is NO impact from fracking on local streams. NONE. Those who worked on the study include researchers from the US Geological Survey, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
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Fed Court Nixes Landowner Compensation Claims re UGI PA Pipeline

UGI Corp. has just won a case on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that overturns an order by a lower court ordering UGI to pay more than $380,000 combined to two sets of property owners for taking their land as part of the Sunbury Pipeline in Snyder County, PA. The landowners who sued used a so-called expert whose testimony was, according to the judges, “speculation and conjecture” and “not good science.” Therefore the lower court award was overturned.

2/14/20 Update: We spotted a second article that does a good job of reviewing this case and the rebuke the Third Circuit handed a lower court judge. Click to read it below.
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PA’s Highest Ranking Senate Republican, Joe Scarnati, Retiring

Joe Scarnati

A couple of weeks ago MDN brought you the sad news that Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, a staunch ally of the Marcellus industry, is retiring at the end of this year (see Say It Ain’t So! PA House Speaker Mike Turzai is Retiring). Turzai is the top Republican in the Republican-controlled House. Now comes word that the top Republican in the Republican-controlled Senate, “President Pro Tempore” Joe Scarnati will also retire at the end of this year. Yikes! What’s going on?
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Time to Finish Mariner East 2 Pipeline Says SEPA Former Senator

In January the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after more than a year, agreed to lift a moratorium on new construction work for several Energy Transfer pipeline projects in the state, including the Mariner East 2 and 2X projects (see PA DEP Clears Way for ET to Complete Mariner East Pipelines). A few weeks later the DEP assessed a $1.95 million fine on the Mariner East 2 project (see PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2). Fine paid, permission granted…At least ET can restart work on ME2 now, right? Wrong.
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Anti-Fossil Fuel Judge Sells Philly Refinery to Chicago Developer

The fix is in. A bankruptcy judge in Delaware yesterday announced he is awarding the sale of the closed Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery to a Chicago developer that has plans to demolish the East Coast’s largest and oldest refinery–and replace it with big, smelly, noisy warehouses with trucks coming and going day and night. The judge’s remarks are telling, citing as one of his main reasons for dumping the refinery is the facility’s “numerous and repeated problems.”
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Explainer Video – The Case Against PA Joining Northeast RGGI

Our friend Mark Mathis from the Clear Energy Alliance has just hit another home run with his newest video explaining the battle in Pennsylvania to try and force the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). PA Gov. Tom Wolf, in a naked power-grab, intends to force PA to join RGGI, a group of northeastern states attempting to assassinate coal and gas-fired power generation by taxing it to death with an insane carbon tax (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Mark explains it all in this short, 4-minute video…
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You Know You’re Effective When Radical Antis Try to Get You Fired

Three cheers for Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler). Hip hip hooray! Metcalfe is the Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee. He’s not a big believer in the hoax/myth of man-made global warming, and he’s not afraid to say so. Because Metcalfe won’t bow down to the climate change worshipers and their twisted agenda, a cabal of “green” groups has colluded to demand House Speaker Mike Turzai fire Metcalfe from the Environmental Committee. When pigs fly my climate changer friends!
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PA Gov Wolf’s $4.5B Severance Tax Debacle Dead as a Doornail

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Santa Claus routine is wearing thin. As he has done year after year with his annual proposed budgets, Wolf once again is calling for a massive tax increase of $4.5 billion, assessed solely on the Marcellus Shale industry, in order to fund a panoply of projects (see Wolf Lies About 2020 Proposed Budget – Includes $4.5B Tax Increase). The PA House and Senate (both chambers controlled by Republican majorities) are standing firm against Wolf’s desire to tax the Marcellus out of existence. They recognize his tax would kill the goose laying economic golden eggs in the state.
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Dem Union Members Call Wolf Petchem Veto “Attack on Jobs”

Yesterday MDN brought you news about Democrat trade union members in Pennsylvania turning on one of their own–Gov. Tom Wolf (see Unions Push PA Legislators to Override Wolf Veto of Petchem Bill). Wolf has pledged to veto a bill recently passed by large bipartisan majorities in both the PA House and Senate that would attract new petrochemical investment (and jobs) to the state. In a followup to yesterday’s story, the union members have turned up the heat on Wolf (to boiling hot), including a mobile billboard running up and down the streets of Harrisburg.
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Bankrupt Phila. Refinery Owners Want Cheaper Sale – Why?

The sale of the bankrupt former Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery has officially become a soap opera. Last June a series of explosions and a massive fire at the facility, the East Coast’s oldest and largest oil refinery, closed it down (see Massive Explosion, Fire at Philadelphia Refinery). In pretty short order PES, which was already struggling financially, filed for bankruptcy. In January PES cut a deal to sell the site to a warehouse developer from Chicago (see Philadelphia Energy Solutions Oil Refinery Permanently Closed). The deal means over 1,000 refinery workers are permanently out of work. Yet there was a higher bid from another party that wants to keep the facility operating as a refinery. So why is PES is pushing the sale to the Chicago developer at a lower price?
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Snyder Bros Off the Hook for Penalties & Interest re Strippers

In December 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that so-called “stripper wells” (low-producing wells) can be taxed under the 2012 Act 13 law, slapped with an impact tax assessment if those wells produce more than 90 thousand cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) of gas in a single month, any month (see PA Supreme Court Rules Strippers Not Exempt from Impact Fee). Snyder Brothers, the driller whose stripper wells were the target of the lawsuit, asked the Supremes to reconsider their decision. They did, kicking elements of the case down to a lower court (Commonwealth Court). Synder still owes the impact tax, that’s not in question. But Snyder argued they shouldn’t also have to pay interest and late-payment penalties just because they challenged the original assessment.
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Unions Push PA Legislators to Override Wolf Veto of Petchem Bill

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was previously passed by the PA House, and last week, by the Senate (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Gov. Tom Wolf (liberal Democrat) says he will veto the bill anyway–denying the state billions of private economic stimulus it could receive (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The bill was passed by a large bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate. There’s a good chance Democrats will join Republicans to override Wolf’s veto.
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