Anti-Fossil Fuelers Pack Virtual Hearings to Support PA Carbon Tax

Big Green groups conducted a highly coordinated effort to pack Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) virtual hearings on Gov. Tom Wolf’s $2.36 billion carbon tax scheme. Big Green claims 95% of those blabbering on during the hearings supported the tax, which would kill the gas-fired power generation industry in the state. There’s still time for shale supporters to register their objection to Wolf’s carbon tax insanity.
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M-U Drillers Increasingly Shut-In Wells to Boost Gas Price, Profits

By now it’s a cliche to say that 2020 has been an exceptional year–and not in a good way. For the first time in our memory of writing MDN, we witnessed widespread curtailments or “shut-ins” of wells in the Marcellus/Utica during 2020. That is, drillers voluntarily turned the values off and flowed less gas in a bid to (a) not sell the gas at prices that don’t return a profit, and (b) drive up the price of gas (see M-U Shut-ins Help Keep Regional Gas Prices Stable…for Now). Will that trend continue in 2021?
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PA DEP Invites Public Comment on Revolution Pipe Final Permits

Energy Transfer’s (ET) Revolution Pipeline runs through Bulter, Beaver, Allegheny, and Washington counties in southwest PA. The 24-inch gathering pipeline shifted and exploded in September 2018, just as it was entering service (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). After more than two years and countless squabbles between the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and ET, the pipeline is ready to return to service. Almost…
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Energy Transfer Takes PA DEP to Court for Blocking Revolution Pipe

Energy Transfer (ET) has had enough stonewalling from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) with regard to its Revolution Pipeline project. Last month the DEP told ET it could not restart the now-repaired Revolution until the DEP got good and ready to allow it, with no specific timeline offered (see PA DEP Blocks Revolution Pipe Restart Even Though Repair is Done). On Tuesday ET filed a lawsuit with the PA Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) requesting the board (a special court set up to hear appeals of DEP decisions) overturn the DEP edict and allow Revolution to restart. Now.
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PA Labor Unions Continue to Fight Gov. Wolf’s RGGI Carbon Tax Plan

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) continue to push a plan that will raise Pennsylvania residents’ electric rates by 50% or more, a carbon tax scheme called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The DEP is in the midst of conducting virtual public hearings until Dec. 14. PA’s trade labor unions, dead set against RGGI, are participating to make sure Wolf knows of their opposition.
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Johns Hopkins Junk Science: PA Fracking Gives You Heart Failure

Do political, agenda-driven “researchers” never tire of spinning false narratives around fracking? When Michael Bloomberg pays your salary (as he does for researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health), apparently not. Back in 2016, Brian Schwartz, a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute (virulent anti-fossil fuel group) was among a group of researchers who published a junk science report claiming fracking in PA gives you headaches (see Johns Hopkins Junk Science: Fracking Gives You Headaches). He’s baaaack! This time Schwartz says PA fracking gives you (gasp)…heart failure.
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PA is Nation’s Top Electricity Net Exporter Thx to Marcellus Shale

Yesterday MDN brought you a post about the dramatic increase in natural gas-fired electric plants in the Marcellus/Utica, particularly Pennsylvania (see NatGas-Fired Power Plants in M-U See Dramatic Increase 2015-2019). Today we have another post (also from the U.S. Energy Information Administration) about gas-fired electric power. Gas-fracking giant Pennsylvania was the largest net exporter of electricity in 2019, and gas-phobic California was the largest net importer of electricity in 2019…complete with ongoing, severe blackouts.
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Free Website Helps M-U Landowners Estimate O&G Values

After selling Rice Energy to EQT in 2017, the four Rice brothers, all of whom worked at Rice Energy (and left after the merger), launched a new venture (see Rice Brothers Act II – $200M Marcellus/Utica Investment Firm). Dan, Toby, Derek, and Ryan Rice plus a fifth partner, a former VP at Rice, pooled $200 million of their money (and their expertise) and launched Rice Investment Group (RIG). One of the companies they invested in provides a cool (free) online website for both drillers AND landowners, offering instant valuations for the oil and gas rights along with the location of wells drilled nearby.
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NatGas-Fired Power Plants in M-U See Dramatic Increase 2015-2019

Natural gas-fired electric generation has increased in most U.S. regions since 2015, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Annual electricity generation from natural gas power plants in the U.S. increased by 31% in the Northeast region, by 20% in the Central region, and by 17% in the South region between 2015 and 2019.
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O&G Industry Calls Out PA DEP for “Appalling” Conventional Regs

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is in major butt-covering mode with the state’s conventional (non-shale) oil and gas industry. During an industry-led advisory committee meeting held yesterday, members of PA’s conventional oil and gas industry delivered some rather blunt comments to DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management Scott Perry, accusing the DEP of “ramming the most punitive set of regulations on this industry to date.”
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PA Gov. Wolf Signs Law Requiring Pipe Cos. Share Emergency Plans

A truly bipartisan bill ensuring only those people in Pennsylvania who actually need pipeline safety information have access to it was signed into law last week by Gov. Tom Wolf. PA House Bill (HB) 2293 requires pipeline operators to provide emergency response plans upon request to the secretary of the Public Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and the Emergency Management Director for each county where the pipeline runs through a densely populated area.
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PA Marcellus Gas Production Up 2%, Wells Drilled Down 18% in 3Q

Yesterday Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report–for July through September 2020 (full copy below). The report shows natgas production in PA rose 2.0% compared to the same period last year, which is the lowest increase on record since the shale revolution began. The number of new wells spud (drilled) in 3Q20 was 111, down 18% over 3Q19.
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Shale Drilling on PA State Land Slows Down; Only 1/3rd Built Out

Last Wednesday Shawn Lehman, from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources’ (DCNR) Resource Inventory and Monitoring Section, gave an update on DCNR’s ongoing efforts to monitor environmental and natural resource impacts of shale gas drilling on state forest land. We learned some interesting facts about shale drilling on PA state land as part of the presentation.
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Sierra Club Hosts 90-Min Online Mariner East Pipeline Kvetch

Monday night the radical Sierra Club hosted a virtual town hall in which people could complain about the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project. And complain they did. The aim of the virtual complaint session is to try and close down the already up-and-running ME pipelines (plural), and most particularly prevent the final bit of ME2X from getting completed. By airing sob stories, the Clubbers are hoping to bully the state Dept. of Environmental Protection and/or the Governor into blocking further work on the project–a project just a few months from being done.
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