Sunoco Tricks Radicalized Protester – Returns and Cuts More Trees

Last week MDN told you about the daughter of a Huntingdon County, PA landowner radicalized by Big Green groups–as evidenced by her association with well known protesters previously arrested–who took to a tree on her mom’s property in order to illegally stop crews working on tree clearing for the Mariner East 2 pipeline (see PA Anti Literally Goes Up a Tree to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipeline). Even though she was breaking the law–and a judge’s order–local law enforcement couldn’t be bothered with climbing the tree to arrest her (see ‘Wackos in the Trees’ Protest Continues in Huntingdon County, PA). Nor, does it seem, did they arrest her after she came down on April 1. She stayed up a tree until April 1 because crews can no longer clear trees for fear of harming the threatened Indiana bat species that sometimes hangs out in those trees. Or at least, that’s what we thought. In a very clever move, tree clearing crews returned to the property this week, after April 1, and cleared more trees previously inhabited by the nutty landowner’s daughter. Don’t worry, they got permission…
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‘Wackos in the Trees’ Protest Continues in Huntingdon County, PA

Yesterday we told you about a Big Green effort to stop tree clearing for the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Huntingdon County, PA–about a young woman who climbed 40 feet up a tree to sit in a tree house so crews could not cut down the trees around her (see PA Anti Literally Goes Up a Tree to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipeline). She’s still “up a tree.” Looks like her publicity stunt worked because starting today crews can’t legally cut any more trees for fear of hurting an Indiana bat. (We say it’s more than bats that are batty in Huntingdon County.) The young woman’s mother, who happens to own the property and the trees, was arrested approaching the cutting crews (after being told by a judge to stay away) because, she says, she feared they would cut a tree close to her blithering idiot daughter and hurt her. There’s also another nutter up a tree on the property. Even though the tree climbers prevented harvesting of a few trees, Sunoco Logistics, the builder of the pipeline, says it’s no big deal–they got almost all of the trees cut they needed to and come fall it won’t take long to nip the last few. Here’s how anti-drilling PBS (funded in part with taxpayer dollars) reported the ongoing “tree-sit,” as they call it…
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PA Anti Literally Goes Up a Tree to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipeline

handcuffsAnother environmentalist has tipped over the edge. The daughter of a landowner in Huntingdon County, PA scampered up a tree and planted herself there to prevent that tree and others near it from being cut down by crews clearing a path for the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Just two days ago we told you that Huntingdon County Common Pleas Judge George Zanic previously issued an order to Ellen Gerhart to allow tree clearing on three acres of her property (see Court Grants Mariner East 2 Right to Clear Trees in Huntingdon, PA). Gerhart’s daughter Elise literally “went up a tree” yesterday to a platform pre-built there, between two trees, and says she’ll stay there until the end of the week when tree-clearing season is over. You can’t clear trees after March 31st for fear of killing a threatened bat species. No word on when/if authorities will climb the tree and forcibly remove her. Thing is, she’s not alone. Radical environmentalists are behind Gerhart’s stunt. Two well-known anti-drilling radicals were arrested for blocking work at the site–and bail was set at $100,000 each. Yes, it’s time to get serious with these repeat lawbreakers. It’s also time to go up the tree and extricate Ms. Gerhart and put her in jail with them…
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Court Grants Mariner East 2 Right to Clear Trees in Huntingdon, PA

chainsawIt’s always sad when a pipeline company has to resort to eminent domain in order to install a pipeline through/under a property. Once the pipeline is there, you don’t even know it. Our observation is that pipeline companies bend over backwards to avoid sensitive areas and to reroute away from properties that don’t want it. Sometimes that’s not possible. It seems to us like reasonable people should be able to come to terms when it’s not possible to avoid having a pipeline installed. However, some people are not reasonable (able to be reasoned with)–that’s life. And that’s why eminent domain exists. A sad necessity. Such is the case with the Mariner East 2 pipeline being built by Sunoco Logistics Partners. Many landowners have signed agreements with Sunoco LP for Mariner East 2–but some have not. Those not granting permission have been sued using eminent domain, to allow Sunoco to clear trees and begin building. In almost every case Sunoco has won the eminent domain argument in court. The latest instance of victory for Sunoco comes in Huntingdon County, PA. Start the chainsaws! Today more trees are coming down in Huntingdon to make way for Mariner East 2…
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Sunoco Files Eminent Domain Cases in PA Courts for Mariner East 2

Two days ago MDN told you that Sunoco Logistics Partners had settled, out of court, cases in Harrison and Jefferson counties (Ohio) that will allow the company to build a pair of new pipelines called Mariner East 2 through the area (see Sunoco Settles Case with OH Landowners to Allow Mariner East 2). As we said at the time, Sunoco still faces stiff opposition in other places–particularly in Pennsylvania where the bulk of the pipeline will be built. And sure enough, a new article has popped up about Sunoco LP taking landowners in Washington and Huntingdon counties (PA) to court using eminent domain to gain access to their properties. The problem is, the issue of whether or not Mariner East is a public utility with the right to invoke eminent domain is still an unsettled issue and likely headed to the PA Supreme Court…
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HalenHardy’s Annual Oil & Gas EHS Day – Learning + Fun!

MDN is happy and proud to announce the annual one-day oil & gas EHS Day sponsored and hosted by HalenHardy in Spruce Creek, PA next Tuesday, August 18. This year’s theme: “Reducing Costs & Eliminating Waste While Improving EHS in Tough Economic Times”. MDN friend Donny Beaver is once again hosting the annual oil and gas EHS (environmental health and safety) Day. For those who may not know, Donny owns several companies, one of them HalenHardy which develops products and services that improve worker health and safety across multiple industries, including oil and gas (see Marcellus Entrepreneur Donny Beaver: Silica Dust, Mud & Heck Out). This year’s EHS Day speakers include Roger Willis, the retired president of Universal Well Services, and Bob Slack, current director of health, safety and environment for Universal Well Services, as well as Donny himself. Come on out for a day of learning…and fun! You might win a prize too…
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HalenHardy & RETTEW Offer Oil & Gas Safety Day on Aug 19

Next Tuesday, August 19th, HalenHardy and RETTEW are offering a free program focusing on how workers and their companies can create a proactive culture of safety. Called the Oil & Gas Safety Day, the half-day program (either morning or afternoon) will sport an expert safety panel and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in live demonstrations of the latest safety innovations available to reduce slip, trip and fall accidents on the work site. The event will be held at the HomeWaters facility in Spruce Creek–so while you’re there, you can also enjoy some of the world’s best fly fishing, and try your hand at shooting clay pigeons. Here’s the details…
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Small Business Startup to Furnish PA Drillers with Act 9 Signs

MDN loves small business—we would argue they are the backbone of job creation in this country. Score another victory for a small business that picked up on a supply chain opportunity—an opportunity to provide a product or service to the shale drilling industry. In February 2012, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a new law called Act 9. Similar to Act 13, Act 9 deals with regulating Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling in PA. Act 9’s purpose? Make well pad drill sites safer. Part of Act 9 requires drillers to post new signage with safety information at the entrance of each drill site (example below).

Enter a new small business: Unconventional Well Pad Signs. Located near Altoona, PA, Unconventional Well Pad Signs is a division of another company—HomeWaters Retreats. HomeWaters, which provides vacation retreats and camps, is a business completely unrelated to manufacturing or any of the types of businesses you normally associate with providing products and services to the drilling industry. Gotta love small business entrepreneurs…

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PA Counties Band Together for Grant to Create Marcellus Jobs

A regional economic development group made up of officials from Blair, Cambria, Somerset, Huntingdon, Fulton and Bedford counties in Pennsylvania is asking the state for a $700,000 grant to help them help businesses located in the southern Allegheny region identify new business opportunities in the shale gas drilling industry. The group hopes that their geography, strategically located between PA’s northeastern and southwestern Marcellus gas fields, will bring new business to the area, and along with that new business, more jobs.

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