PA DEP Seeks Comment on Draft Radiation Monitoring Regs for Shale

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has drafted up new “technical guidance” on “radioactivity monitoring at solid waste processing and disposal facilities” specifically targeted at the shale industry. Translation: new regulations for how dumps (and drillers) monitor and report on radioactivity levels from incoming loads of drill cuttings. The DEP has posted their proposed new guidance document for public comment, after which they will adopt the new regs.
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Philly Pipe Protesters Go to Harrisburg, Picket Gov’s Empty Office

Credit: WITF Harrisburg (click for larger version)

A small group of southeast Pennsylvania pipeline protesters drove themselves to Harrisburg on Wednesday (using fossil fuels to get there) to demand Gov. Tom Wolf put a halt to construction of the legally-permitted Mariner East 2 pipeline, and essentially shut down the operation of the entire Mariner East network (ME1, ME2 and ME2X). Gov. Wolf wasn’t even in his office, so they were picketing and protesting for nothing. Oh well, the wackos get an “A” for effort, right?
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PA Sen. Yaw Intros Bill to Allow 3rd Party Review of Erosion Permits

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

In the past, shale drillers have waited more than eight months to receive an erosion and sediment control (Chapter 102) permit, used in building roads and shale well pads. Turnaround from the time a permit is requested until it is supposed to be approved is, by DEP’s own statutory standards, 14 days. In 2017 it was taking over 250 days in some areas of the state (see More Pushback on PA Senate Plan to Fix Slow DEP Permit Reviews). Earlier this year DEP’s southwest office said they’ve been able to knock the turnaround time down to 30 days (see PA DEP Southwest Office Says Permit Backlog Down 75%). Better, but still not good enough, and the standard is not even across the state.
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PA DEP Reaches $1.48M Settlement with CNX to Plug Abandoned Wells

Last year the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued administrative orders requiring three oil and gas companies–Alliance Petroleum Corporation (a subsidiary of Diversified Gas & Oil), XTO Energy, and CNX Resources–to plug 1,058 abandoned oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania (see PA DEP Orders CNX, XTO & Diversified to Plug 1,058 Abandoned Wells). All three appealed the DEP’s order to the state Environmental Hearing Board. In March of this year the DEP cut a deal with Diversified (see DEP and Diversified Gas & Oil Compromise on Plugging Old PA Wells). As of last week, the DEP has now cut a deal with CNX, relaxing their earlier edict.
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EdgeMarc Creditors Ask Judge to Change Bankruptcy from Ch 11 to 7

Difference between Chapter 7 & 11 (click for larger version)

EdgeMarc Energy, headquartered in Canonsburg, PA (with 50,000 acres of Marcellus/Utica leases), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, looking to sell all of the company’s assets (see EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe). The reason? They can’t move their production to market because their main pipeline partner, Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline, exploded in September 2018 and ET has not been able to get the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection to allow them to fix and restart it.
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PA Dems Intro Bill to Block New Marcellus-Fired Power Plants

Leftist Democrats in Pennsylvania are still hopping mad that they couldn’t block Invenergy’s 1,480 megawatt, $1 billion Marcellus gas-fired electric plant called the Lackawanna Energy Center, located near Scranton, PA (see Huge Marcellus-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Now 100% Complete). So they’ve decided to NEVER let it happen again. How? By introducing what they’re trying to pass off as a “reasonable” new law to establish “minimum standards for host community agreements between new power plants and their surrounding communities and school districts as well as a minimum host community fee.” In other words, the new law will micromanage and tax any prospective new gas-fired power project right out of the state.
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MSC Debunks Faulty Data by FracTracker re Pine Creek Watershed

The so-called FracTracker Alliance is a group of leftist anti-fossil fuelers who heavily shade the truth (i.e. lie) about the “health impacts” of shale drilling in western Pennsylvania. In May some two dozen FracTracker “volunteers” visited the Pine Creek Watershed in parts of Clinton, Lycoming, Potter and Tioga counties. Their stated purpose was to “catalog the impacts of the unconventional oil and gas industry and related infrastructure on the landscape.” The effort resulted in a false map misrepresenting even basic facts about shale drilling in the region. The Marcellus Shale Coalition could not keep silent about FracTracker’s false and misleading narrative, and wrote to set the record straight.
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PA Bills Would Hold Radical Pipeline Trespassers Accountable

We have an ongoing problem. Some of the more radical protesters in the “environmentalist” movement–those who tend toward anarchy–illegally enter work sites for pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure under construction, and block the work being done in an attempt to cost companies money. Typically they chain themselves to a piece of equipment with a device that takes law enforcement authorities hours to remove. They cause delays and endanger themselves and workers and law enforcement with their illegal actions. It’s time to make the penalties for these dangerous, willful and illegal acts stiffer. Pennsylvania State Senators have introduced a pair of bills to help put a stop to this nonsense.
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PennEast Pipe Asks FERC for Help in Overcoming Bad Court Decision

In September MDN brought you news of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruling that disallows PennEast Pipeline from using the delegated power of eminent domain to cross properties either owned by, or with easements granted to, the state of New Jersey (see Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land). We expressed our concerns that this ruling, which sets a precedent, may result in new pipeline projects in lefty states (like NY, NJ, MD, CA, etc.) getting blocked. Turns out we were not the only ones concerned (see Worst Fears May Come True with PennEast Pipeline Court Decision). PennEast has come up with a novel way to fight back against the court’s bad ruling: Ask FERC for help.
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HB 1100 Would Bring Cracker-Type Investment to Northeast PA

In April, Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Turzai, Speaker of the House, and a group of conservative Republicans, announced a plan for the future of PA (see PA Republicans Launch “Energize PA” to Counter Wolf’s “Restore PA”). Called Energize PA, Turzai’s plan, as codified in eight bills he and others introduced, would “make it easier for companies to get environmental permits, encourage development on abandoned industrial sites, and make it cheaper to run natural gas lines to businesses.” One of the eight bills is House Bill (HB) 1100, a bill offering a tax incentive, a reduction in taxes, IF a company builds a new petrochemical plant in the state–particularly in the northeast “dry gas” area of the state.
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PennEnergy Sues Energy Transfer re Revolution Pipeline Explosion

Revolution Pipeline, built by Energy Transfer, runs through Bulter, Beaver, Allegheny and Washington counties in southwest PA. The 24-inch gathering pipeline shifted and exploded more than a year ago, in September 2018, just as it was entering service (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). The ongoing outage is credited with forcing EdgeMarc Energy into bankruptcy (see EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe). The outage also negatively affects another driller/producer: PennEnergy Resources.
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PA Landowners Push for “Royalty Check Stub” Law at NARO Conf

The National Association of Royalty Owners’ national convention has been under way this week in Pittsburgh, wrapping up today. One of the big topics at the event has been a push to get a “royalty check stub” bill passed in Pennsylvania. What’s that? It’s a bill that forces drillers to do a better, more detailed job of breaking down royalty statements so landowners/rights owners can see what expenses have been deducted from their royalty checks. Such a bill passed and went into law in West Virginia last year (see WV Royalty Transparency Law Sheds New Light Beginning June). PA landowners want the same kind of transparency that WV landowners get.
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Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s Bonkers Plan to Strangle NatGas Elec Plants

Yesterday MDN told you that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has gone completely off his rocker with a power-grab to force PA into a regional alliance to tax natural gas-fired electric plants out of existence (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). The reaction to his breathtaking power-grab has been swift–on both sides. The radicals at Big Green groups like the Sierra Club are praising Wolf, and PA Republican legislators are threatening to block Wolf’s reckless executive order.
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PA DEP Hires Private Lawyers to Defend Against Atty General Probe

Really? Is this what it’s now come to? Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is so desperate to make a criminal case against someone, anyone, in the shale industry, he’s even going after state employees–workers at the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). In a bid to raise his visibility among state voters (so he can run for governor), Shapiro launched an investigation in January looking for environmental “crimes” committed by Range Resources and other shale drillers (see PA AG Investigates Shale Drillers for “Enviro Crimes”).
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Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax

PA Gov. Tom Wolf

The worst Pennsylvania governor in our lifetime continues to wreck the PA economy. Tom Wolf previously made noise about dooming PA’s economy by forcing the state to adopt a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan for carbon dioxide–the stuff every living animal, including humans, breathes out with every breath (see PA Gov. Wolf, Dem Legislators Release Even Worse “Climate” Plan). Wolf also threatened to issue an executive order to require 30% of electricity be produced by so-called renewables by 2030 (see PA Gov. Wolf Threatens to Issue Order on Power Plants). In a breathtaking display of power madness, he’s just done both.
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Cabot Pockets $89 Million Profit on Sale of Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

On Monday MDN brought you the news that NextEra Energy, largely a renewables company, has made the bold move of buying 39% of the Central Penn Line, otherwise known as Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see NextEra Energy Buys 39% Stake in Atlantic Sunrise Pipe for $1.37B). There is another aspect of that story worth mentioning–an aspect that involves Cabot Oil & Gas and a tidy profit.
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