Former PA AG Kathleen Kane’s Vendetta Against Marcellus Co Over

One of the many companies in the Marcellus industry targeted by Pennsylvania’s former Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, for extinction was Minuteman Environmental Services, a PA company that served the shale industry with several different businesses (see PA’s Anti-Drilling AG Charges Minuteman with Enviro Crimes). Kane orchestrated what can only be called a terror attack on Minuteman and its owner Brian Bolus and his family (see Minuteman Enviro Says PA AG Office “Terrorized” Family Members, Filing Lawsuit). Minuteman wasn’t the only business she attempted to bully. She also tried to turn accidents into crimes for both XTO Energy (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO) and EQT (see PA Attorney Gen. Kane Abuses Office Again, Arrest Warrant for EQT). But it was her vendetta against Minuteman that was the most poignant and egregious–using the power of the AG’s office to bully a small business literally out of existence (since gone bankrupt). One of the charges was that the owner of the business, Brian Bolus, illegally added his mom and dad to the health insurance plan for the company. Fantastically Kane went after mom and dad, charging them with health care fraud. That charge, along with other charges, have been dropped now that Kane herself has been tried and convicted and will do jail time for committing perjury (among other things) in a case unrelated to Minuteman and the Marcellus industry. Kane is headed to jail (see PA’s Anti-Drilling AG Kathleen Kane Sentenced to Jail for Perjury). As one of the employees in the AG’s office said, “through a pattern of systematic firings and Nixonian espionage, she created a terror zone in this office.” Kane’s reign of terror is now over–and the case against Minuteman is now mostly gone, with just a few loose ends to tie up…
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Dakota Access Pipeline Radicals Protest in…Scranton?

enviro naziDon’t say we didn’t warn you. On Oct. 20 MDN reported on the link between so-called protesters (i.e. criminals) who have gathered in North Dakota to protest a federally-approved oil pipeline called the Dakota Access Pipeline (see Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Turn Violent; Coming Here Next?). We told you about their violent behavior, papered over by national media as “peaceful protests by a bunch of earth-loving Soux Indians.” Hogwash. Most of the people “protesting” are from out of state, and are being funded by Big Green donors–sent there to perpetrate violence. And guess what? That’s just what they do (see Police Remove Pipeline Protesting THUGS from Private Land in ND). So what was/is the connection with the Marcellus/Utica? Some of the Dakota “protest” leaders, drunk on their “success” have publicly stated they’re coming here next. And come they have this past weekend to Scranton, PA…
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2nd NatGas Electric Plant Proposed for Lackawanna County, PA

emberclearMDN has extensively covered the story of what will become the largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Pennsylvania, being built by Invenergy in Jessup Township in Lackawanna County (see these MDN stories). The Invenergy plant, dubbed the Lackawanna Energy Center, will produce 1,480 megawatts of electricity. What we have not covered, until now, is news that a second Marcellus-fired electric plant has been proposed two miles away from the Jessup plant–in Archbald Township. The second plant is being proposed by Archbald Energy Partners, a collaboration between Canada-based EmberClear Corp. and New Jersey-based DCO Energy. The Archbald plant would be much smaller, producing 485 megawatts of electricity. Last night residents of Archbald got their chance to “sound off” about the project at a PA Dept. of Environmental Protection hearing at the local high school. By all accounts many residents are resistant to the plan. Below is what information we could scrounge on the second plant, along with reaction from local residents at last night’s hearing…
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PA Game Commission Cuts ROW Deal with Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map
Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map – click for larger version

More progress for the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. It is a much-needed pipeline to move more Marcellus gas south, to new markets. The progress is this: the Pennsylvania Game Commission has cut a right-of-way deal to allow the pipeline to traverse game lands in northern Lebanon County–including a crossing of the Appalachian Trail. But have no fear, Williams plans to drill under the Trail and not disturb the surface. In return for the right to cross a few acres of certain state-owned game lands in Lebanon County, the state is picking up a whopping 285 acres owned by Williams in Monroe and Lackawanna counties…
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PA’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant to Buy Gas Based on Electric Price

invenergyEarlier this month MDN brought you the exciting news that Cabot Oil & Gas, which only drills in the Marcellus in Susquehanna County, PA, will provide the low-cost natural gas that will power Pennsylvania’s largest natgas-fired electric generating plant, to be built in neighboring Lackawanna County by Invenergy (see Cabot Cuts Deal to Supply PA’s Largest NatGas-Fired Electric Plant). No specifics were mentioned in the announcement for how much money the natgas plant will pay Cabot for the gas. Perhaps we now know why. What Invenergy will pay will be (mostly) based on the price it receives for the electricity it produces…
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Cabot Cuts Deal to Supply PA’s Largest NatGas-Fired Electric Plant

Cabot logoThe pieces of a very complicated puzzle continue to fall into place to build what will be Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating power plant in Lackawanna County, PA–near Scranton. Invenergy plans to build the Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,480 megawatt plant in Jessup, PA that will cost “well over $1 billion” according to an exclusive MDN source working on the project (not $500 million as we previously estimated). The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the plant last December (see PA DEP Approves Jessup, PA Marcellus Gas Electric Plant). The locals in Jessup approved the project in March of this year (see Jessup Borough Final Approval for PA’s Largest NatGas Power Plant). The plant will use up to 240,000 dekatherms (or 240 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day. We’ve reported on two different companies that building pipelines to the plant to supply it–UGI and Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (see UGI to Feed Jessup, PA Electric Plant with Marcellus Shale Gas and NEPA Pipeline for Power Plant Gets Positive FERC Assessment). One of the final pieces is, who will provide the natural gas that flows through those pipelines and powers the plant? We now have the answer. Cabot Oil & Gas yesterday announced a 10-year deal to provide Marcellus Shale gas from Susquehanna County to power the plant…
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NEPA Pipeline for Power Plant Gets Positive FERC Assessment

TGP logoKinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP) is proposing to build a small pipeline near Scranton, PA to service what will be the state’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant, in Jessup (see Kinder Morgan 4Q15: Cutting Dividend, PA Pipeline Progress). The pipeline project is called the Triad Expansion Project and involves building seven miles of new 36-inch pipeline alongside an existing pipeline in Lenox and Clifford Townships, Susquehanna County, PA. When complete, Triad will deliver 180,000 dekatherms (180 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day to the new Invenergy plant in Jessup, called the Lackawanna Energy Center. Good news for the Triad project and the Invenergy plant: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just granted a favorable Environmental Assessment for the pipeline–all but guaranteeing its approval…
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PA DEP Issues Wastewater Permit for Invenergy Jessup Power Plant

Last week MDN told you that members of the Jessup Borough Council (Lackawanna County, PA) approved several measures clearing the way for Invenergy to begin building Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-powered electric generating plant (see Jessup Borough Final Approval for PA’s Largest NatGas Power Plant). We thought Invenergy had all of the necessary permits to begin moving earth and building the plant. But it seems there’s no end of government permits for such a project. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection yesterday issued a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to Invenergy so they can discharge treated wastewater used to cool the plant…
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Jessup Borough Final Approval for PA’s Largest NatGas Power Plant

Kudos to the members of the Jessup Borough Council (Lackawanna County, PA) who approved several measures that have now cleared the way for Invenergy to begin building Pennsylvania’s largest (to date) natural gas-powered electric generating plant. We’ve tracked this story for years. Invenergy wants to build a 1,480 megawatt electric generating plant in Jessup using cheap, abundant Marcellus Shale gas. They’re going to spend something like $500 million on the project–a big investment in Jessup and the greater Scranton, PA area. Previously the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the project (see PA DEP Approves Jessup, PA Marcellus Gas Electric Plant). But there has been some serious local opposition, based on fears of air pollution (see Public Hearing on NEPA Proposed Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant). All of the debating and toing and froing are now done. With Monday’s votes, it’s now time for the bulldozers to begin moving dirt at the site…
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Super Secret Study Details Plan to Transform NEPA Using NatGas

Shhhh. It’s a secret. A super secret. Well, sort-of a secret. The Institute of Public Policy and Economic Development, a cooperative between a bunch of colleges located in northeastern PA, researched and compiled a new study–more than a year ago–for how northeastern PA can make the most out of the abundant, cheap and clean-burning natural gas that sits beneath them. The Institute tapped local drillers for $50,000 to research the project–and the findings are being kept secret. Why? Think of it as an NFL playbook. You don’t share your plays with the opposing team. In this case, opposing teams are other economic development agencies in other regions–like southwestern PA, eastern OH and WV. The secret study is very specific in naming names for how the region can attract new businesses that use cheap Marcellus Shale gas. The Institute doesn’t want to give away their best thinking so other regions can use the same strategies and target the same companies. Want to know what we think?…
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I Put a Spell on You: Marcellus Shale Hex Signs on Display

This is one of those stories that’s fun to write. Fun because anti-drillers are so darned kooky. Some of the kookiest are those who pass themselves off as artists and attempt to convey the “horrors” of shale energy via their “art.” To be perfectly honest, we’re not sure if that’s what is going on here, but we suspect it is (an anti-drilling exhibition). There is a new art exhibit about to open at the AFA (Artists for Art) Galley in Scranton, PA titled ‘Marcellus Shale Hex Signs: A Modern Pastiche.’ A local artist has created “hex signs” based on Marcellus Shale drilling. Hex signs, for those who don’t know, are a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, most often a circle with stars, animals and other shapes in it (see the history of hex signs here). While most people don’t ascribe superstition to hex signs, as in “I’ll put a hex on you,” some do. Most often hex signs are viewed as just pretty folk art decorations, painted on barns or houses, or made into yard signs. Our Scranton-area artist decided to marry themes from the Marcellus Shale with hex signs. After viewing one, if you can make heads or tails of it, you’re doing better than us…
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Kinder Morgan 4Q15: Cutting Dividend, PA Pipeline Progress

Yesterday Kinder Morgan, the largest midstream company in the U.S., released their fourth quarter 2015 update. The update starts with the news that KM is lowering the cash dividend in order to avoid chasing new loans. KM says by cutting the dividend they will be able to self-fund new projects, which ultimately benefits everyone, including shareholders. The update also chronicles progress made on three Pennsylvania pipelines: the Susquehanna West Project (Tioga and Bradford counties, the Orion Project (Pike County), and the Triad Expansion Project (Lackawanna County). Below is the full update from KM…
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Scranton Newspaper Supports Stealing Gas Money for Philly

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Democrat-controlled Scranton Times-Tribune doesn’t like the fair impact fee collected on Marcellus drilling in the state and instead prefers an unfair severance tax. It certainly doesn’t surprise us that they they think in such a twisted way. After all, 60% of the impact fee stays local and out of the hands of Harrisburg politicians. That’s just not “right” in Democrat-land. The other 40% that does go through the sticky fingers of Harrisburg politicians isn’t “enough” for good Lib Dems like those who control the Times-Tribune. So in their latest editorial, the Times-Tribune fans the flame of PA Democrat Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s investigation into the industry in tracking down the “missing” $30 million of impact fee money (see PA Auditor General to Investigate “Lost” $30M Marcellus Impact Fee). True to Lib Dem form, the Times-Tribune wants DePasquale to go far beyond a simple investigation. They want DePasquale to somehow override the will of the legislature, and the residents of Pennsylvania, and extra-Constitutionally change the tax structure–throwing out the impact fee and instead slapping a nose bleed severance tax on the industry. That’s their preferred outcome. It will produce more money (so they reason) for them to play with and hand out to welfare slugs in “struggling urban areas” who keep voting for them…
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PA DEP Approves Jessup, PA Marcellus Gas Electric Plant

MDN has written plenty about a Marcellus gas-powered electric generating plant proposed from Jessup (Lackawanna County), PA (see our stories here). The project is owned and operated by Invenergy, a company that owns and operates electric plants across the country. At various times we’ve said the plant would be 1300 megawatts and 1500 megawatts, based on changing news stories and documents. It seems the final output of the plant will be 1480 megawatts. The project also has, for the first time that we’ve noticed, its own name: the Lackawanna Energy Center. Last week the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a very important approval for the Lackawanna Energy Center’s air quality plan. That is, the DEP has just approved the Jessup plant which can now break ground and begin construction. However, there is still one permit left to issue by the DEP–a permit to discharge treated wastewater from the facility. A DEP-led public hearing will be held on Jan. 4 at the Valley View High School in Archbald about that permit…
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Letter Writing War Erupts Over Jessup, PA Gas-Fired Power Plant

An interesting back and forth in letters to the editor of the Democrat-run Scranton Times-Tribune over the proposed electric generating plant in Jessup, PA. As MDN has previously chronicled, Chicago-based Invenergy hopes to build what will be the largest (to date) electric generating plant in the state of Pennsylvania powered by natural gas (see Public Hearing on NEPA Proposed Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant). Invenergy hopes to build the 1300-megawatt plant in the borough of Jessup (Lackawanna County), near Scranton. In very basic and simple terms, local Democrat anti-drillers (who hate fossil fuels of any kind) are against the plant, and local clear-thinking Republicans are in favor of this clean-burning, jobs-producing, economy-stimulating project. Recently a ginned-up “controversy” over the plant took to the editorial pages of the Times-Tribune. Here’s the (so far) back and forth between two antis and one pro…
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Shhh…Invenergy Plans Design Changes at Jessup Electric Plant

As MDN has previously chronicled, Chicago-based Invenergy hopes to build what will be the largest (to date) electric generating plant in the state of Pennsylvania powered by natural gas (see Public Hearing on NEPA Proposed Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant). Invenergy hopes to build the 1300-megawatt plant (incorrectly listed as 1500 megawatts in the excerpt below) in the borough of Jessup (Lackawanna County), near Scranton. The company is making a change in the design of the plant to make it a tad bit quieter, which will make the neighbors happy…
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