Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 16-20

Last week Pennsylvania issued 11 new shale well drilling permits, all but one of them in the northeastern (dry gas) part of the state. Ohio issued one new permit, and West Virginia issued 2 new shale well permits.
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Hell Freezes Over – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Endorses Trump!

We’re speechless (which doesn’t happen often). The liberal, anti-shale Democrats who write and manage the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have endorsed Donald J. Trump for president! They had plenty of criticism for Trump in their lukewarm “endorsement,” but the fact they did endorse Trump is, well, big news. The Post-Gazette editors, who haven’t endorsed a Republican for president since 1972, say “Mr. Biden is too old for the job, and fragile.” We agree.
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Town Rejects Permit to Drill Shale Well at Pittsburgh Steel Mill

In June MDN told you that the East Pittsburgh Borough Zoning Board, bullied by anti-fossil fuel radicals, had revoked a permit allowing a series of Marcellus Shale wells to be drilled on the property of U.S. Steel Corp.’s Edgar Thomson steel mill, the oldest still-operating steel mill in the country (see Town Revokes Permit to Drill Shale Well at Pittsburgh Steel Mill). The Zoning Board voted last Thursday 3-2 against an appeal by the driller to reissue the revoked permits. The driller has promised to take it to court.
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Joe Biden Briefly Appears in Pittsburgh, Lies About No New Fracking

Joe Biden in Pittsburgh (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Joe Biden is not well, that much was obvious yesterday as he made a brief appearance in Pittsburgh to falsely claim he never said he would ban fracking, and to falsely claim President Trump is to blame for ongoing riots and crimes in Democrat-blue cities across the country (like Portland).
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Marcellus E-Fracking Company Evolution Well Sued for Overtime

Evolution Well Services, headquartered in Houston with a regional office in Pittsburgh, specializes in “electric” fracking–using natural gas from the well pad (instead of diesel fuel) to power turbines to create electricity that drives fracking pumps. Evolution fracks for at least one Marcellus/Utica E&P (see Another Marcellus Driller Converts to Electric Fracking). Earlier this week an Evolution worker filed a lawsuit against Evolution in Allegheny County court claiming the company owes him (and others, if he can turn it into a class action) back pay for overtime the company forced them to work.
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McCandless Twp Tries to Block Shale Drilling with New Zoning Law

McCandless, a township in Allegheny County, PA (near Pittsburgh) is attempting to block any and all shale drilling within its borders by getting creative. The town is in the process of adopting changes to its zoning laws that make it illegal to drill a well in land zoned for commercial development. Since towns have to allow drilling in at least one zone, McCandless will allow it only in “institutional districts.” That means drilling will only be allowed on land with schools, hospitals, universities, and parks. Fat chance any drilling will ever happen in those places!
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Plum Injection Well Back On – Boro Ends Legal Fight

In April of this year, MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had finally, after more than two years of evaluation, granted a permit to build a shale wastewater injection well in Plum Boro in Allegheny County (see Miracle! PA DEP Approves Plum (Pittsburgh) Injection Well Permit). The Boro’s mayor and other Boro officials are opposed and have tried their best to stop the project. However, they’ve just thrown in the towel and have admitted the well is going to get built.
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Town Revokes Permit to Drill Shale Well at Pittsburgh Steel Mill

Edgar Thomson Steel Works (credit: Craig Sturge)

In early 2018 MDN told you that Pittsburgh’s oldest still-operating steel mill, U.S. Steel Corp.’s Edgar Thomson steel mill, is looking to drill shale wells on its property in order to supply natgas for the mill (see Marcellus Wells to be Drilled at Pittsburgh’s Oldest Working Steel Mill). Following delays from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in ironing out permit conditions, the local town zoning board has capriciously revoked a conditional use permit that allows the wells to be drilled.
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Chevron Dumping Pittsburgh Office Space – 90,000 Sq Ft for Lease

Last December Chevron announced it was writing down the value of its Marcellus/Utica assets and putting those assets up for sale (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All). Prior to the pandemic lockdown, Chevron said it would begin cutting 320 jobs in the M-U beginning in early April (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th). The cuts continued in May with another 80 employees getting a pink slip (see Chevron Cuts Another 80 Jobs in M-U; Still Looking for Buyer). It shouldn’t come as a surprise with all the layoffs that Chevron is now advertising most of their Pittsburgh HQ office space for sublease.
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PA DEP Accuses ET’s Revolution Pipe of 680 Violations Since Jan 1

This is getting ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that a single pipeline project already built and now getting a redo could possibly have racked up 680 “violations” during construction work over the past five months? We certainly don’t believe it. Yet that’s what the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) alleges. Energy Transfer (ET), the builder and fixer of Revolution, has their own allegation: The DEP itself is “not in compliance with its own guidelines.” Who inspects the inspectors for compliance?
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ET & DEP Still Squabbling over Revolution Pipe, New Violations

Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline runs through Bulter, Beaver, Allegheny, and Washington counties in southwest PA. The 24-inch gathering pipeline shifted and exploded in September 2018, just as it was entering service (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). What happened that led to a landslide and explosion of the pipeline? ET says historic, unprecedented rain caused the problem. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) says ET took shortcuts and performed work without getting permission–work not up to code. The two sides squabbled until January of this year when the DEP levied a record-high $30.6 million fine (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine).
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Plum, PA Injection Well Questionable Even with Final Permit

Yesterday MDN told you that miracle of miracles, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has finally, after more than two years of evaluation, granted a permit to build a wastewater injection well in Plum Boro in Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh (see Miracle! PA DEP Approves Plum (Pittsburgh) Injection Well Permit). Penneco Environmental Solutions, the company that received the permit, now says with the collapse of oil prices and Marcellus/Utica production being questionable, “all bets are off” with respect to the injection well project.
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Miracle! PA DEP Approves Plum (Pittsburgh) Injection Well Permit

In early 2018, the federal EPA approved a new Marcellus wastewater injection well for the Pittsburgh suburb of Plum Boro (see Federal EPA Approves Permit for Plum, PA Wastewater Injection Well). The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) also needs to approve it. They held a public hearing in October 2018 to elicit input, a hearing where every single person who spoke was against the project (see Plum Injection Well Hearing Draws Solid Opposition). Following that hearing a lawsuit challenging the project was filed in March 2019 (see Court Challenge to Plum Zoning Against Injection Well Proceeds). Now, more than two years after the federal EPA approved it, the PA DEP has also given its blessing. It’s a miracle!
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CNX CEO Backs New SWPA Group to Counter “Elites and Extremists”

Credit: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (click for larger version)

Some 500 people from labor unions and industry met in Pittsburgh yesterday to launch an organization called Pittsburgh Works Together, dedicated to fighting back against those who want to end southwest PA industries including steel, natural gas, and petrochemicals. Among those who attended and spoke was CNX Resources CEO Nick Deluliis who said he wants to create a future for everyone, not just “elites and extremists.” Deluliis also said the new Pittsburgh Work Together group “is about one thing in the end, and that’s fighting for the soul of this region.” Nick is on a tear!
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PA, Feds on Witch Hunt to Make Revolution Pipe Accident a Crime

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a leftist Democrat who wants to succeed Tom Wolf as governor, likes to investigate accidents related to the shale industry to see if he can turn them into crimes (see our lengthy list of stories here). Add one more to the list: Since last year Shapiro has been investigating the Revolution Pipeline blast in western PA for potential crimes. He now has company.
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Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th

By the end of this year, Chevron will have eliminated 320 jobs in its Marcellus/Utica operation. Some 288 of those positions will be gone from the company’s regional headquarters in Moon Township (Allegheny County, PA), and another 32 will be gone from the company’s Mount Braddock location (Fayette County, PA). The company says it will try to find new assignments for as many people as possible. The layoffs begin on April 6.
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