PA DEP Gets Ready to Issue 401 Water Cert for Leidy South Pipe

Last December Williams announced its Leidy South Project, a new expansion of the Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania (see Williams Unveils “Leidy South Project” to Expand Transco in PA). In early August Williams officially filed a full application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build Leidy South (see Williams Files Leidy South Project with FERC to Expand PA Transco). However, FERC is not the only agency with a say in whether or not the project moves forward. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) must grant Leidy South a federal Clean Water Act Section 401 water/stream crossing permit.
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PA DEP Still Blocking Some Permits to Restart ME2 Pipe Work

Sunoco Logistics Partners, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, is still on the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environment Protection’s (DEP) naughty list. In February, PA Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the DEP to suspend all reviews of clean water permit applications and other pending approvals for ALL of ET/Sunoco’s pipeline projects in the state–including the Mariner East and Revolution pipeline projects. The ban on approving reviews has not yet been lifted and means that in 33 locations across the state (most of them in the Philadelphia area) Sunoco can’t complete underground horizontal direction drilling (HDD) work for its Mariner East pipeline projects.
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PA House Passes Bill Restoring Sanity to Enviro Regulations

Last year the Pennsylvania House of Representatives debated and voted to approve a slate of five bills aimed at fixing not only the slowmo way the DEP approves shale permits, but also roll back some of the egregious regulatory overreach that now exists in PA (see PA House Passes 5 Bills to Fix Broken DEP, Environuts React). That vote alarmed and angered Big Green and its supporters. Ultimately the Senate did not vote on the bills, and they died. This year those same bills in various forms have reappeared. Yesterday the full PA House voted to approve one of those bills–House Bill (HB) 1055.
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PA Landowners Receive $9.8 Billion in Royalty Payments 2010-2018

There is no way to track exactly how much royalty revenue is received by Pennsylvania landowners, because royalty income is not reported separately on the Pennsylvania income tax return. Royalty income is combined with rental, patent and copyright income on line 6 of the PA-40 state income tax return. However, the crack researchers at the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office, a state government agency created in 2010, has a way of estimating how much revenue has been generated by oil and gas royalties. The IFO just released a report (full copy below) that shows they estimate royalties in 2018 hit their highest level since they began tracking oil & gas royalty revenue in 2010.
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PA Gov. Wolf Threatens to Issue Order on Power Plants

PA Gov. Wolf

In April, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, along with a number of Senate and House Democrats (and a few Philadelphia RINOs), announced updated changes to the state’s so-called “climate” plan–changes that will doom the state economically (see PA Gov. Wolf, Dem Legislators Release Even Worse “Climate” Plan). Among other things, Wolf plans to implement a cap-and-trade plan to control every aspect of Pennsylvanian’s lives by controlling how much and where they get energy from. And now Wolf is saying if the PA legislature won’t help him do it, he’ll just seize power and do it via Executive Order.
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PA House Approves Bill to Lure New Petchem Plant Construction

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 already passed and was signed into law. Now a second bill is nearing adoption.
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SRBC Report: No Impact from Drilling on PA Watersheds, State Land

Susquehanna River Basin

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) established the Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network (RWQMN) in January 2010 in response to natural gas drilling activities in the basin. Each year the SRBC issues an update/report on findings from the previous year. The report for 2018 was just released and it found, as all previous reports have found, that there are NO impacts from natural gas drilling on the water in the Susquehanna River Basin and its sub-basins, nor on PA state land within the basin.
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PA Dems, RINOs Pressure Gov Wolf to Attack Shale with Methane Regs

Dems & RINOs want to strangle shale with methane rules

A group of mostly Democrats, with three RINOs (Republican in Name Only) thrown in to earn the laughable label of “bipartisan,” gathered in Harrisburg, PA at the Capitol earlier this week to turn up the pressure on PA’s liberal Gov. Wolf on the issue of clamping down on methane emissions in the oil and gas industry. The group’s ultimate purpose is to eliminate the Marcellus Shale industry from the state. They can’t admit that openly, but that’s their agenda.
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PA Invests $2.8M to Extend NatGas Pipeline Service in 3 Counties

Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Investment Program (or PIPE) grants cover part of the cost of building new natgas pipelines to connect homes and businesses in rural parts of the state to homegrown Marcellus Shale gas supplies. We’ve written about many of the more-than-a-dozen (so far) PIPE grant projects in the past (see our PIPE stories here). Another three such grants, totaling $2.8 million, have just been awarded–in Bradford, Lancaster and Lebanon counties. The big news with this latest round of grants is that they will create over 1,900 jobs!
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PA House Committee Approves 2 Bills to Fix Sloooow DEP Permits

Two of the eight Pennsylvania House bills that are part of an initiative called Energize PA have been voted out of the PA House State Government Committee. Both bills, House Bill (HB) 1106 and 1107, are aimed at streamlining and speeding up the permitting process at the semi-dysfunctional Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Enviro-leftists are spitting nails and hopping mad. These bills have momentum and now go to the full House for a vote.
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PBS Goes to Scotland, Discovers Shale/Plastics Aren’t Bad After All

PBS reporter Reid Frazier should enjoy what is likely to be his one and only trip to Europe on the StateImpact Pennsylvania company dime. He’s gone there to follow Marcellus molecules exported from Pennsylvania, to see how they’re used. Frazier’s first stop is Scotland where they use our ethane to create plastics. Frazier’s report is actually (shock warning, please sit down) pretty fair and balanced–even complimentary of the Marcellus Shale and the plastics industry! Frazier’s overlords inside the William Penn Foundation (big financial backers of StateImpact) are NOT going to be happy with his reports if they continue like this one.
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Which Way will PA Supreme Court Rule on ‘Rule of Capture’ Case?

Last week MDN told you that oral arguments would be heard on Thursday at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in what we believe is one of (perhaps THE) most important shale cases ever in the Keystone State (see Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes). The case deals with whether or not the age-old oil and gas principle called “the rule of capture” applies in PA shale drilling.
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PA House Committee to Consider 2 Bills to Fix Sloooow DEP Permits

Two of the eight Pennsylvania House bills that are part of an initiative called Energize PA will be considered and debated before the PA House State Government Committee on September 17. Both bills, House Bill (HB) 1106 and 1107, are aimed at streamlining and speeding up the permitting process at the semi-dysfunctional Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Enviro-leftists are screaming–they don’t want the dysfunction to stop. Having shale permits issued more quickly is not in their game plan.
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Work at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Causes Range to Tweak NGL Forecast

Sunoco is performing “optimization work” at the Marcus Hook export terminal this month. Marcus Hook is where two (soon to be three) Mariner East Pipelines terminate, hauling NGLs (propane, ethane, butane) from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area. At Marcus Hook the NGLs get separated and most (not all, but most) get loaded onto ships for export to other countries. Sunoco needs to upgrade a few things to export even more. They’re shutting down Marcus Hook this month, and that’s a (temporary) problem for the main shipper sending NGLs to the facility–Range Resources.
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Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes

This Friday Thursday the justices sitting on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear what we believe is the most important shale gas court case in the history of the state: Briggs v Southwestern Energy. We consider this case to be an existential threat to the future of shale gas drilling in PA should the decision go the wrong way. And no, we’re not exaggerating.
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