British Tabloid Smear Job on Mariner East Pipe Targets Gov. Wolf

We’re in the unusual position of defending Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, arguably the worst governor PA has had in a generation. But defend him (and his staff) we must, because the Wolf Administration is the object of a false and disgusting smear campaign by a prominent London tabloid called The Guardian.
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Landowner Asks PA Supremes to Throw Out 150-Yr-Old Rule of Capture

Last November the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Briggs v. Southwestern Energy, that is hands-down the most important court case to ever happen regarding the Marcellus Shale in PA. And no, we’re not exaggerating. A blizzard of briefs by Southwestern and those supporting Southwestern were filed in February (see “Rule of Capture” Briefs Filed w/PA Supreme Court in Briggs Case). On Wednesday, it was the Briggs’ turn to file a brief, one in which they ask the Supremes to stop application of the 150 year-old “rule of capture” in PA when it comes to shale wells.
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Philly RINO Throws a Bunch of Pipeline Bills Against the Wall

One liberal Philadelphia-area Republican and two Philly Democrats (considered a “bipartisan” group) have just introduced a package of seven bills in the Pennsylvania House supposedly meant to “further regulate pipeline companies and provide greater oversight authority to state agencies.” Sounds so reasonable, doesn’t it? In reality the bills are aimed at shutting down new pipeline projects in the state. Why does it take seven bills? They’re flinging whatever crapola they can against the wall, hoping at least one or two bills will stick.
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Shell Sells NWPA Assets, Possibly Tioga County Assets Too

MDN recently received a hot tip from a reader that says Shell (i.e. SWEPI) may have recently sold its Tioga County, PA assets in northcentral PA. Yesterday, Pin Oak Energy issued a press release to say they have cut a deal to buy Shell’s northwestern PA assets, some 43,000 acres in the Utica. Which all feeds into the rumor we shared with you last November that Shell is pulling out of PA drilling (see Is Shell Pulling Out of Pennsylvania Marcellus?).

4/9/19: See important update below provide by Shell
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Sunoco, DEP Settle on $200K Fine for ME1 Pipe Leak in 2017

The Mariner East 1 pipeline sprung a small leak and spilled 20 barrels (~840 gallons) of ethane and propane in Berks County, near Philadelphia, on April 1, 2017 (see Mariner East 1 Sprang a Small NGL Leak Near Philly, on Apr 1). Sunoco Logistics Partners (i.e. Energy Transfer), builder and maintainer of the pipeline, shut it down and fixed it over the next several days. It took the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which oversees regulation of the pipeline, a year and a half to investigate.
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Living with ME2 Pipeline Construction in Your Back Yard

We spotted a story about landowners in the Philadelphia suburbs who currently have to live with construction of the Mariner East 2 pipelines (plural, there are two of them, ME2 and ME2X), literally happening in their back yards. While we are strong supporters of the ME2 project, we are not unsympathetic to landowners and the hassles they have to endure while it’s being built.
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Fed Judge Reverses Class Action in PA Landowner Lawsuit v. Shell

A notable development in a lawsuit that before now, we were unaware of. Several landowners in Venango County (northwest PA) filed a lawsuit against Shell’s SWEPI drilling subsidiary in 2013 claiming SWEPI had stiffed them out of lease bonus payments due under duly signed lease contracts. The landowners attempted to turn the lawsuit into a class action, claiming the same thing had happened for about 300 leases in the area. A federal judge has just ruled against converting the lawsuit into a class action.
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Cabot Settles Overtime Work Lawsuit by 80 PA Workers for $3.56M

A second lawsuit we’re reporting on today that had previously slipped by our usually good radar. A former Cabot Oil & Gas employee filed a lawsuit in October 2017 alleging that he and a number of other “employees” had been stiffed out of overtime payments by Cabot–that Cabot had treated them as independent contractors rather than as employees. The lawsuit was granted class certification.
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Lots of Marcellus Jobs in Northeast PA – More Workers Needed

There are plenty of jobs in the shale industry in northeastern Pennsylvania–IF you have certain skills. What kind of skills? The kind that are taught at programs like at the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) in their two-year program. Or skills you can pick up at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.
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Judge Orders Grant Twp to Pay PGE $102K in Legal Fees

Pennsylvania towns that pass sketchy local ordinances that skirt state laws are on notice: It’s going to cost you. Big. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, PA that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. The ordinance was tossed by a judge, and now the town will have to pay $102,000 in legal fees incurred by the operator.
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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 DEP Releases Onerous New Air Regulations, Again

In December, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of onerous new regulations that focus on reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and so-called fugitive methane (see Pa. DEP Jumps the Gun with Proposed New Emissions Regs). The new regs will force drillers and pipeline companies to spend big bucks to produce a teeny tiny improvement in emissions. The DEP is back with yet another revision of their onerous new regs, hoping this time they can ram them through and make them law.
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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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Philly Council Delays Vote on LNG Export Plant, Loonies Protest

Earlier this month MDN told you that a plan to build a $60 million Marcellus LNG export facility on property owned by Philadelphia Gas Works was just one vote away from becoming reality (see Philadelphia LNG Export Plant One Vote Away from Happening). The final vote needed is by Philadelphia City Council. It was supposed to happen yesterday, but instead was delayed.
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