PA Legislators Float Bill to Attract Cracker-Sized Projects to NEPA

Yesterday two northeast Pennsylvania legislators–state Representative Aaron Kaufer (Republican) and state Senator John Yudichak (Democrat)–hosted a rally to promote proposed new bipartisan legislation aimed at luring a “world-class” petrochemical manufacturing plant to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. A big plant, on the order of the Shell cracker plant in southwestern PA. But no, not an ethane cracker. The kind of plant the two legislators want to attract in northeastern PA would leverage the huge volume of locally extracted Marcellus dry gas (i.e. methane).
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Lawsuit: Jessup Board Colluded to Punish Gas Plant Property Seller

A landowner in Jessup Borough (Lackawanna County, PA, near Scranton) has filed a lawsuit against the Borough Council as a whole (and the individuals who serve on it), claiming they rezoned the landowner’s property, cutting them out of millions of dollars, as retribution because the landowner had the audacity to sell property to the Marcellus gas-fired Lackawanna Energy Center (LEC) power plant.
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Caught on Video: Frack Sand Train Goes Off Rails Near Scranton

Derailed train in Dickson City – click for larger version

Around noon yesterday, a train moving slowly, at 10 miles per hour, was hauling lumber and frack sand from Scranton to nearby Carbondale, when a video surveillance camera caught the train leaving the rails. Ten cars derailed, with three tipping over completely (spilling sand) and one teetering on the brink. The video, taken from a police station across the street, is amazing.
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Jessup Votes to Allow Power Plant Water in Local Sewage System

Credit: Power Technology (click for larger version)

Here’s one we consider a conundrum. In Jan. 2018 MDN told you that the Borough of Jessup (Lackawanna County), PA was supposed to rule, quickly, on a request by Invenergy to allow a new power plant it was building at the time to, when fully built and operating, discharge up to 56,600 gallons of “wastewater” (heated water) per day in the borough’s sewage system (see New Town Board Tries to Stop Nearly-Done Gas-Fired Plant in Jessup). The plant has been operating since early this year, but the borough just voted to approve the sewage wasterwater plan…yesterday.
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PA Anti Group Seeks to Block New NatGas Elec Plants with New Law

The radical group Citizens for a Healthy Jessup is floating a plan to try and prevent any new Marcellus gas-fired electric plants from getting built in the Keystone State. Aided and abetted by a corrupt local newspaper, the group tries to pass itself off as a collection of local concerned citizens. It’s nothing of the sort.
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Northeast PA Railroad Traffic Surges Due to Marcellus Shale

We love a good railroad story–always have, always will. And here’s a great railroad story. The freight trains in northeastern Pennsylvania will this year, once again, set a new record. Last year the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, which operates 85 miles of track in Lackawanna and Monroe counties, hauled 8,572 carloads. This year they will fly by that number, to a new record. Why? Mainly due to frack sand used by Linde Corp, which supplies sand to drillers in the region. Translation: Drilling picked up again in 2018 in northeastern PA.
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Jessup Town Board Grills Invenergy re Tiny Emissions Releases

Antis on the Jessup (near Scranton, PA) Town Council delight in grilling officials from the Lackawanna Energy Center (LEC) at each monthly board meeting. LEC is a 1,480 megawatt, $1 billion Marcellus gas-fired electric plant still under construction, now 97% complete. When the plant is done it will be Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant. The plant is being built in three trains or units. The first train/unit was done and online producing electricity since June–despite the efforts of a local group of antis who seized power of the local town board last November (see Jessup Town Board Continues Effort to Stop Gas-Fired Elec Plant). The second train went online in late July/early August. The third train will go online this month–in September. Cabot Oil & Gas is supplying all of the gas for the plant from neighboring Susquehanna County. At the monthly Jessup Council meeting last night, anti board members needled and smeared an LEC rep, implying LEC is hiding problems at the plant. Since May, when the plant began testing, there have been six releases of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that exceeded state standards. On July 31, the plant exceeded the NOx standard of 2.0 parts-per-million (ppm) by a razor thin 0.1 ppm–for a whole 10 minutes. Which is a nothingburger. And yet the anti board members jumped all over LEC for not phoning up the neighbors the minute it happened…
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PA’s Largest Gas-Fired Electric Plant near Scranton Partially Online

Lackawanna Energy Center – click for larger version

It’s been some time since we’ve checked in on Invenergy’s massive Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,480 megawatt plant under construction in Jessup, PA (near Scranton). The project will cost “well over $1 billion” according to an exclusive MDN source working on the project. When the plant is done it will be Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant. The plant is being built in three trains or units. The good news is that the first train/unit is done and has been online producing electricity since June–despite the efforts of a local group of antis who seized power of the local town board last November (see Jessup Town Board Continues Effort to Stop Gas-Fired Elec Plant). Cabot Oil & Gas is supplying all of the gas for the plant from neighboring Susquehanna County. The second unit is in the process of going online now, and the third will be online in September. According to Invenergy, the plant is on time and under budget. Here’s more on this exciting new customer for a huge quantity of northeastern PA Marcellus gas…
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Cabot Says 2 NEPA Gas-Fired Plants Go Operational by June 1

Lackawanna Energy Center – concept drawing

Tucked away in the comments made by Cabot Oil & Gas CEO Dan Dinges on an investor conference call last Friday, MDN picked up on what we consider big news: Both the Moxie Freedom (Luzerne County, Wilkes-Barre area) and Lackawanna Energy Center (Lackawanna County, Scranton area) Marcellus-fired power plants are about to go fully operational–sometime in May (by June 1). Both plants will exclusively use Marcellus gas extracted by Cabot in Susquehanna County, PA. For nearly a year the plan had been for Moxie Freedom to be built and online in May of this year, so that announcement isn’t so much a surprise as it is welcomed news (see NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch). However, in March we reported Lackawanna was going through a “short” commissioning stage and would be firing up at any time (see Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke). The Lackawanna project has faced fierce local resistance. A group of Democrats got themselves elected to the local town board in Jessup, taking office in January, trying their best to block startup of the Lackawanna project by employing a Big Green lawyer (who works for Riverkeeper) at a cost to taxpayers of $225/hour. Looks like it was wasted money as Dinges says Lackawanna will be operational, with large volumes of Cabot gas flowing to it, within weeks…
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Antis Mad at DEP re Yellow Smoke at Gas-Fired Plant Near Scranton

Antis in the Scranton suburb of Jessup just won’t leave it alone. They’re mad they can’t stop what will be the state’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant (fed by Marcellus gas) from coming online–and they’ve turned their anger on the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). As we reported two weeks ago, a puff of yellow “smoke” (more like vapor) was seen coming from the plant for a brief period of time and it sent antis into an apoplectic shock (see Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke and More on Yellow Smoke Coming from Gas-Fired Plant Near Scranton). According to Invenergy, the builder of the 1,480-megawatt Lackawanna Energy Center in Jessup, there were “no chemicals” involved in the yellow smoke. The only people reporting ill health affects from the yellow smoke were antis. Nobody else seems to have been affected by it. Maybe Invenergy secretly put something in the smoke that only affects antis? Inquiring minds want to know. Apparently the DEP isn’t inquiring fast enough nor deep enough for Jessup antis, who have their knickers in a twist…
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More on Yellow Smoke Coming from Gas-Fired Plant Near Scranton

We spoke too soon. In a story MDN published yesterday, we said that Big Green propagandist mouthpiece PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania was the only “news” outlet reporting on “yellow smoke” released as part of the commissioning process for the Lackawanna Energy Center, a Marcellus gas-fired electric plant being built near Scranton (see Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke). We said yesterday that not even the Democrat-controlled Scranton Times-Tribune found the “yellow smoke” report newsworthy. A day later, the Times-Tribune was shamed into releasing a story about it. Once again, the only people quoted as experiencing ill health effects following the “yellow smoke” are long-time local activists, people who oppose the project…
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Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke

Invenergy is currently building the Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,480 megawatt plant in Jessup, PA (near Scranton) that will cost “well over $1 billion” according to an exclusive MDN source working on the project. When the plant is completed (first phase now done), and when it goes online (to be determined), it will be Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant. As with all fossil fuel-related projects, there is a dedicated (small) group of antis attempting to stop the project. They frequently conduct smear campaigns, making all sorts of wild claims, in their futile attempt to stop the project. Here’s the latest example. The plant is, this week, going through a “short” commissioning stage–a time when they test the machinery in preparation to begin operations. As part of the commissioning, there is a “visible vapor plume and audible noise”–but NO chemicals are involved. Yet a local, well-known anti, upon seeing a waft of “yellow smoke” coming from the plant, immediately claimed she felt “burning [in] my nose, throat, sinuses and chest”–even though no chemicals were used during testing. What does that tell you about the veracity of the antis opposed to the plant?…
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