PA Gov. Wolf’s $2.3B RGGI Carbon Tax Scheme Gets 13K Comments

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) received some 13,000 public comments on its horrible plan to force PA residents to pay $2.36 billion in new energy taxes (a carbon tax) for electricity produced by coal and natural gas power plants–a scheme called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The plan would greatly reduce the number of gas-fired power plants operating in the state and create energy insecurity for the entire PJM portion of the national electricity grid.
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PA DEP Using ePermits for Erosion & Sedimentation to Avoid New Law

After literally *years* of complaints that simple permits in Pennsylvania required in drilling new shale wells–like a Chapter 102 Erosion and Sedimentation permit–are taking two, three, even six to eight months for an approval (instead of the law-mandated 14 days), the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is finally doing something about it. Why? They’ve just received a swift kick in the seat of the pants.
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List of 27 Shale Wastewater Recycling Facilities in 11 PA Counties

Every now and again we happen across information we think is kind of cool–things that others miss. This is one of those times. In many areas of shale drilling in Pennsylvania the drillers recycle 100% (or near 100%) of shale wastewater, both flowback (from fracking) and brine (naturally-occurring water from the depths comes out long after fracking is done). The recycled wastewater is then used to drill and frack more wells. We discovered a handy list of at least 27 such wastewater recycling facilities (and their locations in 11 different counties) spread across the Keystone State.
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Strong Support for PennEast Pipe During PA DEP Virtual Hearing

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) held a virtual hearing to accept public comment on the topic of issuing water crossing and sediment/erosion permits for the PennEast Pipeline project. The hearing lasted over three hours with some 70+ people speaking (for up to 3 minutes each). Much to the consternation of anti-fossil fuelers, there was a strong showing of support for the project.
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PA Senators Sue DRBC for “Taking” Property re Frack Ban

In a brilliant move aimed at boxing in the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), two northeastern Pennsylvania State Senators–Gene Yaw and Lisa Baker–along with members of the PA Senate Republican Caucus, filed a lawsuit yesterday against the DRBC, accusing the quasi-governmental agency of “taking” the property rights of PA residents without just compensation under the law.
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How Marcellus Gas Boosts the Prospects and Outlook for PA Farmers

The 105th Pennsylvania Farm Show kicked off on Saturday, Jan. 9 and runs through this Saturday, Jan. 16. Sadly, this year the farm show is all virtual due to the coronavirus. In honor of this year’s Farm Show, the Marcellus Shale Coalition published a post on their blog site chronicling how the Marcellus Shale industry has benefited (continues to benefit) thousands of PA farmers.
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PA Supreme Crt to Hear Big Green Challenge to Penn Twp Shale Wells

Where does Protect PT, an anti-fossil fuel Big Green group, get money to launch multiple lawsuits against shale drillers in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA? Last May we told you about a legal challenge by Protect PT attempting to ban fracking in the township–an effort that finally failed when the PA Supreme Court refused to hear the case (see Penn Twp Frack Ban Case Strikes Out at PA Supreme Court). Just when you thought it was all over and done, another Protect PT lawsuit challenging the right of Olympus Energy (formerly Huntley & Huntley) to drill a specific series of wells on a single pad has come along. Unfortunately, the PA Supremes *will* hear this case.
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IFO Projects 2020 PA Impact Fee Revenue Fell by $55.9M (28%)

In early 2020 Pennsylvania raised $198.2 million from its version of a severance tax, called an impact fee, based on drilling activity from 2019, which was down from the previous year (see IFO Projects 2019 PA Impact Fee Revenue Fell by $53.6M (21%)). The state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) is out with projections for how much revenue will be raised this year (based on drilling in 2020). Given the pandemic and a crash in natural gas prices early in the year, you won’t be surprised to learn the impact fee will drop another $55.5 million, to $144.85 million. That’s a drop in the impact fee of 42% over the past two years. Ouch.
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Fringe Groups Try/Fail to Remove PA Rep. Metcalfe from Enviro Ctte

PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

Some 42 far-outside-the-mainstream, fringe, radical “environmental” groups circulated a petition at the end of December requesting PA’s Republican Party remove Rep. Daryl Metcalfe as Majority Chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Why? because Metcalfe doesn’t believe in the fairy tale of catastrophic man-made global warming. The woke cancel culture attempted political assassination of Metcalfe, but he had the last laugh (as he always does).
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PA Legislators Say RGGI Carbon Tax Is NOT About Climate Change

A member of the PA Senate, Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R), and a member of the PA House, Rep. Jim Rigby (R), together penned a response to an inaccurate column written by PA Rep. Greg Vitali (D) concerning the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In their response, Langerholc/Rigby flatly state, “Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI is not about climate change or any other reduction in pollution.” So what is RGGI really about?
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PA’s UGI Corp. Deal to Buy WV’s Mountaineer Gas Company

UGI Corporation, one of Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas utility companies, is buying Mountaineer Gas Company, one of West Virginia’s largest natural gas utility companies, for $540 million. UGI serves 700,000 customers across PA (and one county in Maryland). Mountaineer serves 215,000 customers across WV. Both companies are big buyers of Marcellus/Utica shale gas.
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PA Marcellus Rig Count Goes Down in 2020, Staying Down in 2021

The Pennsylvania Marcellus rig count ended 2020 at its lowest for the year. There were 18 shale rigs working in mid-December, down from 25 at the same point in 2019. Oil and gas data provider Enverus (used to be called Drillinginfo) cautions we should not look for drillers to add rigs in 2021, even if the price of natgas goes higher. Enverus says PA’s Marcellus drillers have (our words) learned their lesson.
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Pitt Researchers Get $2.5M for Fake Study to Link Shale & Kid Cancer

What if we gave the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) a $2.5 million grant to study a link between peanut butter and childhood cancer. Researchers could only use the money to study any potential link between peanut butter and kids getting rare cancers. Sounds absurd, right? What if there is NO link between peanut butter and cancer in kids? What if there IS a link to some other environmental factor like, say, an old uranium dumpsite nearby? But the remit is ONLY to research peanut butter. Sound silly? Sound stupid? Substitute “shale drilling” for “peanut butter” and you can see how absurd it is for Pennsylvania to announce awarding $2.5 million to Pitt to study a single potential cause for rare childhood cancers in southwestern PA.
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Woman Small Biz Owner Thanks ME Pipe for Dreams Come True

Brenda Matias-Falco

Week after week and month after month anti-fossil fuel “environmental” groups, aided and abetted by their willing accomplices in mainstream “media”, bash away at Energy Transfer’s Mariner East (ME) pipeline projects, particularly in the southeast PA region near Philadelphia. What you don’t hear are stories of how ME has transformed and benefited individuals and entire companies–for the better. We have one such story below, written by a woman who owns a small business in the Philly area.
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