Virginia Grants Key Permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Although the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was federally approved a year ago, in October 2017 (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects), the $6 billion pipeline from Dominion Energy running from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina had not yet secured all state-required permits. The remaining holdout has been Virginia. Late Friday afternoon the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) finally issued a “401” permit for crossing streams and rivers, which clears the way for ACP construction to begin in the Old Dominion.
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Va. Governor Refuses to Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline Work

Va. Gov. Ralph Northam

The pressure DC swamp dwellers and anti-fossil fuelers from across the country (indeed from across the world) have put on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (a Democrat) has been intense. They want Northam to abuse his executive authority, in contravention of the law, and block both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) projects in his state. Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe (also a Democrat) created the state’s first Environmental Justice Advisory Council. That Council, packed with anti-fossil fuelers, has advised Northam to block ACP and MVP. Northam has just given his own Council a polite but firm, NO.
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Mountain Valley Pipe Keeps Building Despite Court Action re Permits

Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project of EQT Midstream, continues to work on constructing its 303-mile long project from West Virginia into Virginia–despite a recent court order overturning some of the permits for the project (see Court Overturns MVP WV Permit; FERC Shutdown Coming Again?). The fact that MVP is working as fast as they can despite a partial shut down has antis fit to be tied. Which puts a broad smile on our face.
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FERC Gives Atlantic Coast Pipe Permission to Cut Trees in Va.

In September the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lifted a stop-work order for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that stretches from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit took further action to overturn permits that affect about 21 miles of the project (see 4th Circuit Again Blocks NPS Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). However, most of ACP remains under construction. Yesterday FERC granted ACP permission for tree cutting in Buckingham County, Va.
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Sections of Mountain Valley Pipe Wash onto Landowner’s Property

It’s one thing for mud and sediment to wash away from a pipeline drilling site due to heavy and relentless rains–as we have experienced in the northeast these past few months. But it’s another thing entirely when actual sections pipeline sitting at the construction site float away! That happened in Franklin County, Virginia last Thursday. The landowner, who was (and is) opposed to the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline from slicing through his property, has complained repeatedly about erosion and sediment from the construction path spilling over onto his farmland. Friday morning he woke up to MVP pipes washed onto his cornfield following torrential rains and wind, the leftovers of Hurricane Michael.
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The Fight to Install Last 9 Miles of 200-Mile Pipeline in VA Beach

Here’s a project we have not actively tracked in the past–but recently popped up on our radar. Virginia Natural Gas’ “Southside Connector” project is a roughly 9-mile pipeline from Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake, VA that company officials say will fill a gap between two main supply lines. A 24-inch pipe will be installed at least 3 feet deep and cross under the Elizabeth River, which has prompted the owner of a shipyard on the river to object. As is typical of these things, antis are involved. Virginia Natural Gas’ president has responded to that opposition (i.e. lies) with a letter to the editor to defend what is the final leg of a 200-mile project begun back in 1992.
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Diversified Gas & Oil Buys Core Appalachia for $183M

Diversified Gas & Oil continues its mission to buy as many non-shale (conventional) oil and gas wells as it can in the Appalachian Basin. In June, MDN brought you the exclusive news that Diversified had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). They’ve just done it again. This week Diversified announced a deal to buy out Core Appalachia for $183 million, which includes ~5,000 producing wells (90% of production is natgas) and 1.3 million acres in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.
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Franklin County, VA Interconnect with MV Pipe “One Step Closer”

Earlier this week the Franklin County (VA) Planning Commission voted 5-0 to allow Roanoke Gas Co. to build and operate a “gate station”–a connection to the under-construction Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Roanoke Gas is laying new pipelines in the area and needs natgas to feed its new customers. Antis showed up at the meeting (what’s new?) to complain and threaten and moan and whine. They actually tried to say there is no “public benefit” for MVP, and that this gate station is simply a ruse to give the appearance of a public benefit.
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Army Corps of Engineers Shuts Down MVP Pipe Work in Virginia

More bad news for EQT Midstream’s Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for MVP in West Virginia (see Court Overturns MVP WV Permit; FERC Shutdown Coming Again?). It’s the second time that permit has been overturned, stopping work at some 591 stream/river crossings the pipeline traverses in WV. Given the permit is overturned in WV, the Army Corps on Friday told MVP to stop work under the same permit in Virginia–affecting another 525 stream and water crossings.
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Virginia Tech Radical Prof Gets Light Sentence for Pipeline Crime

It doesn’t help the cause of justice to let a repeat offender who breaks the law in order to protest pipeline projects, off easy. That’s what happened last week in Virginia when a U.S. Magistrate Judge essentially slapped the wrist of Virginia Tech radical professor Emily Satterwhite following yet another violation in her protest of Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Police had taped a “no trespass” area and Satterwhite brazenly violated it, using the excuse she was taking pictures of other nutjob protesters who intentionally ran into the construction zone. OK, so she crossed a taped line. That’s no big deal is it? Thing is, she previously chained herself to a bulldozer, delaying construction of MVP for a whole day. The tape is up for a reason–to protect bystanders and workers. She violated it. She got off easy. The charge will be dropped if she doesn’t repeat offend yet again (fat chance of that happening)…
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Scores Important Approval in Suffolk, VA

Location of Suffolk, VA (click for larger version)

Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) has scored a second important victory this week. On Monday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lifted a stop-work order for the entire project (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). We’ve just learned that on Wednesday, the Suffolk (VA) City Council voted to give ACP permission to build and operate the pipeline within “city limits.” Which on the surface may sound pretty minor compared to lifting a total stop-work order. But the Suffolk vote is a big deal. Suffolk is itself its own equivalent of a county. Suffolk is an independent city–not part of any county in the state of Virginia. Although its population is only a little over 90,000 people, the “city” covers 429 square miles! It’s huge! It’s the largest city (by land mass) in Virginia. Much of it is rural. Suffolk is located near the coast, in the greater Virginia Beach area (close to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay). ACP will need to pass under some 30 Suffolk roadways and 2 former railroad right-of-ways. The vote was 5-0 with three others abstaining because they own stock in Dominion…
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Mountain Valley Pipe Suspends Construction, Prepares for Florence

Not all that long ago (early August) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shut down all work on the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which runs from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). Then FERC changed its mind, and told MVP it could restart work, which happened two weeks ago (see FERC Lifts Mountain Valley Pipe Stop-Work Order, Rehiring). Now work has stopped again–at least in Virginia–but not because of FERC or governmental intervention. MVP has voluntarily stopped building in Virginia and instead is working to prepare MVP construction sites for impacts from Hurricane Florence. MVP issued the following statement on Tuesday: “We are taking all possible precautions in Virginia to ensure the safety of our crews and communities, as well as to protect and maintain erosion and sediment controls along MVP’s right-of-way.” A wise precaution in the face of what is sure to be a rough few days this weekend. Here’s the specific actions MVP (being built by EQT Midstream) is taking to prepare for the storm…
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2 New Protesters Take to Trees in Va. to Stop Mountain Valley Pipe

Tree sitters protest the Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline, Sept. 5, 2018 (Photo courtesy Lauren Bowman)

We thought we had seen the last of Big Green protesters with names like “Ink,” “Sprout,” “Red,” “Nutty,” “Fern” and “Decard” illegally sitting in the tops of trees (or on poles) in Virginia as a tactic to prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) from cutting trees along the path of the pipeline. Nope. We have two more: “Lauren” and “Nettle.” Two youngsters (early 20s) have built themselves a make-shift tree house in Montgomery County, VA.–in the path of trees that are due to be cut down for MVP. Draping a banner that says, “No Prisons, No Pipelines” (whatever that means), the two nutjobs say they pick and choose which laws they want to obey. Which is called anarchy. But that’s their philosophy. They don’t agree with the law that says EQT Midstream has the right to build MVP, so they’re illegally attempting to stop it. As near as we can tell, they’ll have a long wait. Due to federal laws protecting bats and other so-called endangered species, MVP can’t cut those trees until November. At least that’s our understanding. At any rate, we now have two more protesters who will need to be starved or otherwise forced out the trees. When that finally happens (as it will), the police need to send a bill for their services to the protesters, not MVP…
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Advisory Panel Pressures Va. Gov. to Block 2 “Racist” Pipelines

Here we go again. More talk from desperate liberals who irrationally hate fossil fuels, claiming the location of two pipelines in Virginia is “racist.” You didn’t know that an inert metal tube could be racist, did you? Yeah, it’s stupid and silly and beyond words–but there you have it. Our schools are doing such a poor job of educating our citizens, they grow up to believe in wild fairy tales and declare anyone (or anything) that is not their particular skin color must be racist. In Virginia, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice, is recommending to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam that he should illegally (against federal law) rescind federal Clean Water Act permits that allow both the $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Dominion Energy) and $3.7 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline (EQT Midstream) from crossing the state. The Advisory Council’s tortured thinking is that the pipeline runs through a few poor/black communities–so it MUST be racist. No mention of the fact that such pipelines actually benefit communities and individuals economically. Pipelines get no credit for economically benefiting nearby communities–they only get dinged for flowing an evil fossil fuel that supposedly causes man-made global warming…
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Black Baptists Join Yoga Cult to Oppose Atlantic Coast Pipe

Although the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, being built by Dominion Energy, is currently idled with no construction due to a directive from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), some communities along the route of the pipeline are still agitating and protesting against it. In one of the more bizarre cases, a black Baptist pastor is whipping up his congregation against the project in rural Buckingham County, VA. But that’s not all. The black pastor is joining forces with a nearby commune (cult?) in Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville. The Baptist pastor had himself a religious experience when he visited Yogaville, pronouncing their views on religion (opposite of his own) just fine with him–because they both hate the pipeline. Looks like politics comes before God for the good pastor and his congregation…
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FERC Lets MVP Restart Work on 25% of Pipe; MVP Lays off ‘Thousands’

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has had a change of heart–sort of–with respect to their stop-work order issued to Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). We previously told you that on August 3, FERC told MVP to stop all construction prompted by an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacating permits issued for the project as it crosses 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia and Virginia (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). In a letter to FERC this past Tuesday, MVP asked FERC to reconsider and allow them to restart construction for at least part of the pipeline. FERC agreed and partially lifted the stop-work order a day later, on Wednesday. The new order allows MVP to work on the project for 77 of its 303 miles–about 25%. However, in a sad announcement, MVP said because so much of the project remains (for now) idled, it is laying off 50% of the workers who had been working on it. It’s estimated that around 6,000 people are employed directly or indirectly on the project, which means “thousands” (perhaps as many as 3,000 people) are now out of work–thanks to the Sierra Club and their lawsuit. Hey, how many jobs has the Sierra Club created? What’s that? NONE?! And how many jobs has the Sierra Club destroyed? We’d estimate it to be in the tens of thousands. MVP also announced that due to the ongoing work stoppage and delays, the project completion and in-service date has now slipped to the end of next year–an additional nine months. It’s a sad day indeed…
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