Ode to ME2: SWPA Resident Loves Sounds of Pipeline Progress

Drilling, whirring, humming, thumping, grinding, engines running, hammering, back-up warning beeps, banging, clanging. Those are the sounds of progress happening in Chester County, PA. Contrary to the griping and moaning mainstream media reports about those who live near Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline construction, the sounds of ME2 construction are music for at least one local resident because he knows about the economic prosperity this project will bring to the region.
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Uneconomic PA Nuke Plant Staying Open Thx to Illegal Wolf Plan

Electric power generator FirstEnergy (now called Energy Harbor Corp.) pulled off what we consider the biggest case of deception in the history of Ohio by pressuring Ohio legislators and a RINO governor to sign into law a bill to force Ohio residents to pay the company $1 billion so it can keep open two uneconomic/failing nuclear power plants (see Legal Effort to Overturn FirstEnergy $1B Ohio Nuke Bailout Dead). FirstEnergy/Energy Harbor also operates an economically failing nuke plant in Beaver County, PA. The company had planned to close it, but now says the power plant will remain open because PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to illegally force the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–a group that slaps high carbon taxes on coal and gas-fired electric plants.

3/18/20 UPDATE: We’ve included a statement by the group Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts in response to FirstEnergy’s deception.
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Grant Lawsuit Using ERA Threatens PA Injection Wells & Fracking

In a disappointing decision, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled a long-running lawsuit filed against Grant Township (Indiana County, PA) will continue on through the court system. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. Part of the ordinance was tossed. However, Commonwealth Court has decided the town can continue to try and make a case that it should be able to override state law with its home-cooked regulations because by doing so they will somehow protect citizens’ health, which the town says is allowed under PA’s poorly-written Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA).
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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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Antis Push Back Against PennEast Pipe Plan to Build in 2 Phases

In January PennEast Pipeline, a $1.2 billion new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to break the project into two phases (see PennEast Asks FERC to Break Pipeline Project into 2 Phases). The pipeline wants to build Phase One in Pennsylvania, and later on (after lawsuits are finished), build Phase Two in New Jersey. Of course, antis are flooding FERC with objections to the plan hoping to keep the project from ever getting built.
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Susquehanna County Judge Sanctions Defendants in Cabot Lawsuit

Last week MDN brought you news (from the Associated Press) that Cabot Oil & Gas had “abandoned” negotiations to settle a lawsuit they brought against attorneys who had sued Cabot for something already settled in a previous lawsuit (see Cabot Ends Lawsuit Settlement Talks, Prefers Trial in Dimock Case). What we have today is “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say. Last week we told you we only had a single AP article, and that AP is known for its biased reporting when it comes to Cabot. And indeed, our words were prophetic. We now have the full story of why Cabot pulled out of settlement negotiations.
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PA Petchem Bill has Veto-Proof Majority – Wolf, Antis in Trouble

On Monday there were dueling rallies at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, for and against a new petrochemical bill, House Bill (HB) 1100, that promises to bring thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of investment to the Keystone State (see PA Dem Shouts Union Members are “Losers” at Rally for Petchem Bill). HB 1100 provides a tax incentive for companies to build NEW plants in the state that use Marcellus methane gas. HB 1100 passed both the state House and Senate with large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats. Yet PA Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to veto the bill. Sensing they have enough votes to override a veto, both Republicans and Democrats continue to pressure Wolf to sign. Yesterday another rally was held, this one in Wilkes-Barre, to support the bill and further put the political screws to Wolf.
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PA Dem Shouts Union Members are “Losers” at Rally for Petchem Bill

Dueling rallies at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA yesterday provide the perfect picture of the difference between reasonable and unreasonable, between behavior that is adult and behavior that is juvenile, between pro-fossil fuel and anti-fossil fuel. It was also the perfect picture to describe why there is now an open civil war in the PA Democrat Party, and why trade union members are leaving the Dems in droves. The two rallies were there to support (or oppose) House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investments to the state.
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Making the Case PA Marcellus Production Needs to Shrink

Mudrock Energy is a consulting company based near Pittsburgh that provides specialized geoscience analysis and market research across the energy industry. Mudrock founder and CEO Dave Boyer, an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist, recently worked up an analysis of Pennsylvania’s shale production. He published his research on the Medium website and sent us a link with an encouragement to share it with the MDN audience. In his analysis, Boyer makes the case that PA’s continuing expansion of ever more production needs to stop. NOW.
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“Mammoth” Shell Cracker Currently Employs 7,500 Daily – An Update

Credit: Youngstown Business Journal (click for larger version)

Activity in building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA (Beaver County) has reached a fevered pitch. Its apex. Its zenith. Currently, there are some 7,500 workers who visit and work at the site on a daily basis. Can you imagine?! That’s like a small town coming and going each and every day. There are some 1,000 workers who work all through the night! We’re still a year or two away from the beginning of operations at the plant, but all of the key structures are now in place and the work has shifted to connecting everything. Here’s an update on this massive, jobs-producing economic bonanza happening in southwestern PA…
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Penn State Peddles PIE in the Sky – Takes Swipe at Shell Cracker

Increasingly Penn State is taking swipes at the Marcellus Shale industry that has so richly blessed the state–and has blessed Penn State and its various educational programs. It’s really disappointing. The latest attempt is something called PIE–or political industrial ecology. It’s a made-up academic term that means judging an economic miracle like the Shell cracker through the lens of leftist political dogma. Essentially a Penn State researcher tries to find people who don’t like the cracker and give them “a voice.” Apparently they misplaced their own voice.
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PA Dems Try to Defend Opposition to Petchem Bill at Town Hall

Some Pennsylvania state Democrats are obviously feeling the political heat over their opposition to House Bill (HB) 1100, meant to attract brand new business and jobs to the state in the petrochemical industry (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Some (not all) Dems hate fossil fuels and will do anything to oppose them, including Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, a radical leftist from the Philadelphia suburbs. She opposes HB 1100 and the jobs the bill would bring.
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Cabot Ends Lawsuit Settlement Talks, Prefers Trial in Dimock Case

In April 2017 Dimock Township (Susquehanna County, PA) resident Ray Kemble and lawyers from two different law firms filed a new lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas over claims of contaminated water from local fracking. Thing is, those claims were settled by Cabot with Kemble years earlier. Cabot said this was a renewed attempt to sully its good name and reputation and countersued Kemble and his lawyers for $5 million (see Cabot O&G Countersues Dimock Anti, Lawyers).
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PA DEP Gets Federal EPA Grant to Sniff Out Methane Leaks

methane sniffing drone

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received a $319,674 grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a project to “characterize ambient concentrations of methane in 10 counties across the Commonwealth.” The DEP will also identify natural gas fugitive emissions near roads from various types of sources, and “use drone-based methane detectors to estimate emissions from specific equipment used in natural gas development.” In other words, the DEP is going to try and sniff out methane leaks, and perhaps try to quantify just how much methane is leaking–from various sources.
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PA AG Shapiro Tries to Turn Fracking into a Crime in 12+ Cases

In what has to be unethical at a minimum, and perhaps even illegal at the maximum, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke on the phone with two anti-drilling “reporters” from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Don Hopey and David Templeton) to let them know he is on an official witch hunt launching “more than a dozen investigations” to turn fracking and anything connected with fracking into a crime.
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More Details on Potential Methanol Plant Planned for Northeast PA

Michel Goldschneider, CEO, Elis Energy

We now know who is interested in building a new methanol plant in northeastern Pennsylvania. But it will only get built IF the state is able to adopt a new law granting the operation a tax credit. We’re talking about House Bill (HB) 1100 that was recently passed by large bipartisan majorities in both the PA House and Senate (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Gov. Tom Wolf says he will veto the bill (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The company that wants to build the methanol plant says if HB 1100 is not adopted, they will look to build elsewhere.
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