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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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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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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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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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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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Asks FERC to Lift Stop-Work Order

Borrowing a chapter from EQT and their Mountain Valley Pipeline project, Dominion Energy has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to lift a stop-work order for its 600+ mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project. On Tuesday MVP sent a letter to FERC requesting the agency lift it’s stop-work order for them (see Mountain Valley Pipe Asks FERC to Lift Stop Work Order). A day later, yesterday, ACP did the same thing. Last week a federal court pulled permits for approximately 100 miles (of 600 miles) for ACP in response to a frivolous lawsuit filed by the anti-American Sierra Club (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline). The Clubbers convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. National Park Service, granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits, told FERC they should shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. Last Friday FERC did just that. Yesterday Dominion politely asked FERC to ignore the court and lift the ban for those portions not part of the actual court order. Dominion got some moral support from West Virginia’s congressional delegation in their effort. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, along with Rep. David McKinley wrote a letter to FERC asking the agency to lift the stop-work order for both ACP and MVP…
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Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe

In a pattern that has become obvious, and disturbing, the radicalized Sierra Club has once again prevailed in shutting down work on a second mammoth pipeline project–Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)–by concentrating their legal arguments at one small, specific point of the project. This happened with Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). As we reported yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told MVP to stop work on the entire project, at least for now (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). The Sierra Club convinced the without-experience-in-the-oil-and-gas-industry judges of the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to build MVP across 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest, on the border of WV and VA. This time, with ACP, the Sierra Club convinced the Fourth Circuit to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, the rolled-back permits affect more of ACP than MVP–about 100 miles of work out of 600+ miles. The court, in rolling back ACP’s permits all but told FERC they need to shut down work on the entire project until this matter is resolved. The court can’t order FERC to do so, but they strongly cautioned FERC that they should do so. Since FERC stopped work on MVP, it stands to reason they will do it with ACP too. So lightening has now struck twice, and it’s not good. Dominion maintains they will continue to build ACP except for those areas where the Fourth Circuit has rolled back permits. In other words, they’ll keep building it in North Carolina and some locations in WV. All eyes are now on FERC. We hate to say this, but our guess is that FERC will shut down the entire ACP project, for now. It’s virtually the same scenario as MVP which FERC elected to shut down. Why would this project be any different?…
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FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA

The radical Sierra Club can claim a new temporary victory in its war to stop a major natural gas pipeline. We previously told you the Clubbers, who use money from donors to weaponize our own court system against us, convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to overturn permits issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that allows EQT Midstream’s 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia and Virginia (see Court Cancels Permits for Mountain Valley Pipe on Fed Land). The court says USFS and BLM didn’t come to the right conclusion about sedimentation and erosion impacts of MVP. The judges (who don’t know a thing about these issues) say USFS and BLM’s contention that impacts can be adequately mitigated is in error. Because the project is stopped at that one tiny 3.5-mile location, on Friday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a stop work order for the entire project. At least for now. In the stop work order, FERC indicates they think the USFS and BLM will soon reissue the permits overturned by the Fourth Circuit, and when that happens, work on the rest of the project will resume. But FERC can’t predict when that will happen, so in the meantime, all work (except to stabilize certain areas to protect against erosion) must stop. What gripes us is that Sierra Club radicals were able to shut down an entire project by concentrating on a technicality at one, small point. What a disgusting, anti-American organization. MVP issued a statement this morning to say the the pipeline will get built, and will likely keep its schedule of going online in the first quarter of 2019…
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Snitches Now Have Nothing to Do

Our lead story today is that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has temporarily shut down all work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, in both Virginia and West Virginia (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). A shame. We spotted another story about a group of landowners and outside radical anti-fossil fuelers who call themselves Mountain Valley Watch. The group, adamantly opposed to MVP, flies drones over work areas to see if they can spot the least little “violation” by workers (Look! That guy just dropped a Snickers bar wrapper on the ground!). The members and fawning media try to label them as “citizen-scientists,” which is laughable. They’re snitches. They run around spying on their neighbors (i.e. workers) hoping to catch them in violation of some obscure code–all in the name of “being an extra set of eyes.” That’s why there’s environmental agencies with trained regulators and inspectors–to do that kind of work. But it’s just so much fun flying drones around, being a virtual peeping Tom. Trouble is, now that MVP construction is stopped, what will the pipeline snitches do with their time? Their neighbors might want to keep an eye out for drones buzzing overhead…
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Court Tosses Sierra Club Challenge to MV Pipe Work in VA

The Sierra Club has struck out in its attempt to stop construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline (an EQT Midstream project) in Virginia. Yesterday the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the VA State Water Control Board did not err in finding MVP would not unreasonably harm streams and wetlands with its construction activities. This is a MAJOR court victory for MVP and begins to clear away some of the doubt cast by other recent court decisions (see Court Cancels Permits for Mountain Valley Pipe on Fed Land). In a strange twist, the same court (the Fourth Circuit) ruled differently concerning the same pipeline project (MVP). The feds ruled “no” to permits issued on federal land in Virginia, but “yes” to permits issued everywhere else Virginia. The pulled permits for MVP on federal land only affect 3.5 miles of pipeline. Everywhere else (at least in Virginia) MVP is good to go…
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