ME2 Pipeline Worker Charged with Falsifying Welding Records

A worker hired to x-ray welds on sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania has been charged falsifying records, indicating that he performed the work when he didn’t. That’s a felony. According to one news account the worker, from Westmoreland County, PA, is expected to plead guilty and faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The good news is that Energy Transfer, the builder, discovered the deception and immediately reported it. ET reinspected all of the welds supposedly inspected by this worker.
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PA, Feds on Witch Hunt to Make Revolution Pipe Accident a Crime

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a leftist Democrat who wants to succeed Tom Wolf as governor, likes to investigate accidents related to the shale industry to see if he can turn them into crimes (see our lengthy list of stories here). Add one more to the list: Since last year Shapiro has been investigating the Revolution Pipeline blast in western PA for potential crimes. He now has company.
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Washington (SWPA) Job Fair Feb. 27 – Find a Shale Job!

Listen up those interested in a new job working for the shale industry: JobNewsUSA.com is conducting an Oil, Gas, & Transportation Job Fair in Washington, PA on Feb. 27 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Meadow Lands. Among the companies that will be there recruiting: Chemoil Energy, Deep Well Services, EAP Industries, Halliburton, Keystone Clearwater Solutions, NPL Construction, ROC Service Company…and more!
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Steel Nation Expands, Adds 3 New Team Members in SWPA

It’s not all doom and gloom in the Marcellus/Utica sector. Although there have been plenty of layoffs and announcements of budget cuts and less drilling, at least one company in our space is expanding–sensing new opportunity. That company, we are proud to say, is MDN’s premier sponsor for 2020: Steel Nation. Although Steel Nation builds steel buildings used throughout our industry, it does far more. Steel Nation also offers engineering, environmental and facility services. Unlike other companies currently trimming back, Steel Nation is expanding! The company has just added three new key members to its top-flight team.
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ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine

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The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just issued the largest single fine to any single company in its history–$30.6 million assessed on Energy Transfer for the explosion of the Revolution Pipeline–a gathering pipeline located in southwestern PA. The fine, along with new plans and assurances by ET, means the company can finally, some 17 months after the explosion, fix the damaged pipeline and return it to service.
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SWPA County Political Leaders Voice Support for Petchem, Shale

In a speech delivered October 31 to the P4 Climate Action Summit in downtown Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto declared his hatred for the petrochemical industry. He doesn’t want any more Shell crackers junking up his regional backyard. The highly negative reaction to Peduto’s idiotic (and pandering) remarks was swift. What petchem company wants to build in a region where the mayor of its largest city is trash talking the industry? In a bid to counter Peduto’s economically damaging remarks, some 20 county officials from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland counties issued a joint statement on Wednesday to show their support for the petrochemical and shale industries in the region.
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Exxon Widens Search to Build SWPA Cracker Plant to Other Counties

Pittsburgh Business Times ace reporter Paul Gough has done it again–breaking big news related to ExxonMobil and their very active search to locate a site in the Pittsburgh region to build a gigantic ethane cracker plant. This time Paul’s sources are telling him Exxon has widened their search. A few weeks ago we told you Exxon was looking for potential locations in Beaver County, PA, near where Shell is building their $8 billion cracker plant (see Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant). Paul learned the search has widened to at least two other southwest PA counties.
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Proposed New PA Pipeline to Connect Rover Pipe to WV Power Plant

Tri-State Corridor Project (click for larger version)

It’s not often a new pipeline project crops up and slips by us. On May 31, Equitrans (formerly EQT Midstream) filed an official request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 16.7-mile pipeline from southwest Pennsylvania into West Virginia in order to feed what will become WV’s very first natural gas-fired electric power plant (see WV NatGas Power Plant Gets Final Permits, Construction Begins Soon). The pipeline will connect to and feed gas from the mighty Rover Pipeline.
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Conflict-of-Interest Delays Vote on SWPA Beech Hollow Power Plant

What happens when two of three elected town supervisors either have a lease with a pipeline company, or have close family members who have leases with the pipeline company, and they must vote to approve a new power plant project that would use shale gas from that pipeline to power it? It’s called a conflict of interest, and we’re about to find out the answer to that question in Robinson Township (Washington County), PA.
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More Reckless Accusations that Shale Causes Cancer in SWPA Kids

Here’s how it works for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “reporters” Don Hopey and David Templeton. A group of fellow travelers who hate the fossil fuel (shale) industry as much as they do gather at a small, pre-announced meeting, preferably at a school, and make wild, unsubstantiated, frankly reckless (actionable?) accusations against the “hated” shale drilling industry. Stenographers Hopey and Templeton are there to record it all and share it with the general public. That’s what happened yesterday at meeting in Washington County, PA.
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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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EQT Looks to Sublease HQ Space – Leaving Downtown Pittsburgh?

EQT Corp. is offering to sublease “more space” at its downtown Pittsburgh headquarters building. Back in April, before the change in leadership at the top, EQT offered up to 46,000 square feet of space to lease at its massive 250,000 square foot building known as EQT Plaza, located at 625 Liberty Ave. (see EQT Looking for New HQ Building in Pittsburgh). At the time the company was rumored to be looking for a new, smaller HQ somewhere in downtown Pittsburgh, which we chalked up to a negotiating tactic. The rumor now is that EQT is looking to lease even more than the original 46K sq ft, and possibly leave downtown Pittsburgh.
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PA Fed Judge Won’t Dismiss Landowner Royalty Case Against Range

Last October MDN brought to your attention a lawsuit filed by a Washington County, PA couple, Robin and Thomas Pflasterer, against Range Resources (see Range Resources Sued by PA Landowner re Post-Production Deductions). The Pflasterers maintain Range deducted post-production expenses not allowed under their lease. Range argued the Pflasterers didn’t have the proper paperwork to back up their claims and asked for the case to be dismissed.
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CNX Resources Lays Off 10% of Total Workforce – More Cuts Coming?

CNX Resources has just laid off (i.e. fired) roughly 50 employees company-wide, most of them at company headquarters in Canonsburg. But not all. We heard from an MDN trust source who said at least nine workers got their walking papers in West Virginia. Given the company employs about 500 people, 50 fired represents 10% of the workforce. Question is, will there be more firings?
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Steel Nation CEO Pushes Back on Post-Gazette Cancer Stories

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues to get a lot of negative reaction to its grossly irresponsible series of stories attempting to connect shale drilling to several cases of childhood cancer in southwestern Pennsylvania (see Response to Pittsburgh Newspaper Smear Campaign re Child Cancer). The founder and CEO of Steel Nation, a company deeply involved in the Marcellus/Utica shale industry, is the latest to push back against the Post-Gazette‘s irresponsible series.
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