PA Legislators Strongly Disapprove Ch. 105 Water Permit Changes

In December MDN brought you the news that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing and seeking comments on changes to the state’s Chapter 105 (water obstructions and encroachments) permit (see PA DEP Proposes Changes to Ch. 105 Water Permits). It’s a fundamental permit almost all outdoor construction projects in PA are required to obtain, including the drilling of shale wells. Republicans on the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted yesterday to send a letter to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) expressing their strong disapproval of the proposed changes.
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Williams 4Q Update: Marcellus G&P Hits Record High – G +7%, P +9%

Our headline is a bit cryptic, so we’ll explain right up front that G&P stands for gathering and processing. In pipeline giant Williams’ latest update (covering 4th quarter and full-year 2020) company reps said the Northeast G&P unit “continues to come on very strong producing record results and contributing $29 million of additional EBITDA this quarter.” They also said Northeast (namely Marcellus) gathering volumes grew by 7% in 4Q, and processing volumes grew by 9%.
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PA Joining RGGI Carbon Tax Will Result in Texas-Style Blackouts

You have to hand it to Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw, he sure knows how to set off the crazies in the Keystone State. Yesterday Yaw issued a fantastic op-ed saying if Gov. Wolf gets his bizarre Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon tax adopted, Pennsylvanians can look forward to power outages like those recently experienced in Texas, which happened in large part because of the failure of “renewable” energy sources like windmills. Yaw’s comments have the lefties yammering away to “correct” Yaw’s non-standard and non-approved speech.
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PA Gov. Wolf Trots Out $3B Shale Severance Tax Plan – DOA

As we reported in January, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Democrat) has, for the seventh year in a row, introduced a Marcellus-killing severance tax proposal as part of his annual budget proposal (see PA Gov. Wolf Floats Budget with Severance Tax for 7th Year in Row). Yesterday Wolf released the details on his latest severance tax abomination. As he has done in years past, Wolf has an excuse why THIS is the year a severance tax is really really really needed. The excuse this time? To put PA workers back to work.
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Penn State Says Compressor Stn Noise Affects Songbirds

The official state bird for New York State is the tiny Eastern bluebird–no bigger than a chickadee. Here at MDN HQ, we maintain two bird feeders year-round in the front yard. We can remember only maybe 3-4 times over the years we’ve actually seen a bluebird at our feeders. The bluebird is one of our favorites because we see it so rarely. According to researchers at Penn State in State College, PA, loud noise from pipeline compressor stations has the ability to “diminish” the “reproductive success” of bluebirds and other songbirds. Who would even think to conduct such an experiment?
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IRRC Recommends PA EQB Delay Adopting Wolf’s Carbon Tax

Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) has just thrown up a huge roadblock to Democrat/autocrat PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s attempt to railroad through a proposal to force PA to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a $2.6 billion carbon tax aimed at killing coal and gas-fired power plants. The IRRC told the rule-adopting Environmental Quality Board (EQB) it should delay adoption of the proposed RGGI regulation by one year, from 2022 to 2023.
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Penn State Says Bigger Well Setbacks are Needed in Some Cases

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Penn State researchers have and continue to do important research around the benefits AND risks of Marcellus Shale drilling. Recently Penn State researchers published a study in Energy Policy, an Elsevier scientific journal, reviewing the presence of fine particulars (called PM 2.5) in proximity to well pad drilling sites in the PA Marcellus. They found in some cases folks living just outside the 500-foot setback were exposed to high levels of PM 2.5, which (if exposed long-term) is not a good thing.
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EQT Update – Making Moves to Drill More in WV in 2021

Yesterday the country’s largest natural gas producer, EQT Corporation, released its 4Q and full-year 2020 update, holding a conference call with analysts to discuss the results. The update shows the company produced an average of 4.45 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas in 4Q. Although there was plenty of “free cash flow” for the year, on paper the company lost $967 million in 2020, which is an improvement over the year before when it lost $1.2 billion. Perhaps the biggest news (for us) coming from yesterday’s update is that in 4Q EQT turned its drilling attention to the West Virginia Marcellus. EQT plans to do much more drilling in WV this year too.
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Antis Bully PA DEP to Reopen Wastewater Recycling Permit Renewals

We hate it when the bad guys win even a small victory, as has just happened. We told you last week about a group of radicalized anti-fossil fuelers who raised a stink with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Proteciton (DEP) over the DEP’s routine, nothing-to-see-here renewal of permits for already-running (with no operational problems) shale wastewater recycling facilities scattered around the state (see PA Antis Try to Block Permit Renewals for Shale Wastewater Recycling). And just like a cheap suit, DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell has folded and caved to antis’ demands to reopen the reissued permits.
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ME2 Pipe Does NOT have to Pay Anti Attorneys in Lawsuit Settlement

Here’s a small victory to celebrate. In July 2018 three radical environmental groups dropped their objections to permits the DEP previously granted for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association, and THE Delaware Riverkeeper “settled” their appeal of 20 permits issued to Sunoco for the ME2 project (see Enviro Groups Back Down on Challenging DEP Permits for ME2 Pipe). After settling, the radicals demanded that Sunoco/Mariner East pay $228,246 in legal fees, even though the radicals are the ones who did the suing!
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Are Some PA Repubs Like Rep. Struzzi Warming Up to Carbon Tax?

Danger, Will Robinson! One of the leading lights in the Pennsylvania legislature against Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s idiotic (and dangerous) carbon tax plan, called RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative), has been Republican House Rep. Jim Struzzi (from Indiana County). Struzzi sponsored House Bill (HB) 2025 last year giving PA residents a say in whether or not the state should join RGGI (see PA Senate Passes Bill Giving Legislators Say in RGGI Carbon Tax). Wolf subsequently vetoed the bill because he doesn’t want the general public to have a say.
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Delaware Riverkeeper Seeks to Intervene in DRBC Fracking Lawsuit

THE Delaware Riverkeeper, a radical anti-fossil fuel organization headed by Maya van Rossum who presumes she is the only voice that speaks for the Delaware River, has filed a motion to intervene (i.e. join) a lawsuit filed against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) by a group of Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers. Riverkeeper accuses PA lawmakers of violating their oath of office with this lawsuit. It’s the opposite. The lawmakers are standing up for the rights of their constituents–land rights stripped away by the DRBC.
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PA DEP Shakes Down Range $294K for Unplugged Conventional Wells

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is once again spinning an error by a major Marcellus driller, Range Resources, as some sort of evil plot to avoid and defraud the DEP. Due to a mistake by a former employee, Range misclassified 42 old conventional wells on acreage it owns and did not plug the wells in a timely (for DEP) fashion. The DEP has just clipped the company $294,000 for the mistake.
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PA Antis Try to Block Permit Renewals for Shale Wastewater Recycling

A new attack against the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania comes from fossil fuel haters attempting to dispute permits reissued for existing (NOT new) shale wastewater storage and recycling facilities scattered across the state. Antis seek to shut down pipelines, rail shipments, recycling facilities, injection wells–anything they can to stop to prevent drillers from extracting natural gas from shale in the Keystone State. Sick people.
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PA Republicans AND Democrats Oppose Gov. Wolf Severance Tax

As we reported two weeks ago, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Democrat) has, for the seventh year in a row, introduced a Marcellus-killing severance tax proposal as part of his annual budget proposal (see PA Gov. Wolf Floats Budget with Severance Tax for 7th Year in Row). Just like the six previous years, not only do Republicans think Wolf’s severance tax is a poor idea, so too do some in his own party.
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How Biden’s Drilling Ban on Federal Lands Affects the M-U

On Joe Biden’s first day in occupying the White House, he signed an Executive Order (EO) suspending new oil and gas leasing while the Interior Department reviews existing leases and permitting practices for 60 days. The aim is to make the federal lease ban permanent. However, some permits on existing leases will continue to be issued during the 60-day review period. You may think Biden’s federal lease ban does not affect the Marcellus/Utica region. You would be wrong.
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