U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin Demands Details on China’s WV Deal

One of West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, Joe Manchin, is not happy that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by China and his home state is hush hush. Manchin has not seen a copy of that agreement and he wants to see it, NOW. At a Senate hearing last week, Manchin made noise about the $83.7 billion deal signed by WV and China, part of a Trump Administration effort, back in 2017 (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem).
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Workers Change Hearts & Minds in WV

Dominion Energy began work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project in West Virginia in May 2018 (see Atlantic Coast Actual Pipeline Construction Begins in WV). Unfortunately work is now stalled on ACP thanks to lawsuits filed by Big Green organizations. We spotted a heart warming story of how, when construction first began, a WV resident had major concerns. Frankly, she was against the project. But pipeline workers soon changed her mind.
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WV Still Waiting for First Penny of Chinese $83.7B Investment

Two weeks ago at the Northeast Petrochemical Conference in Pittsburgh, a panel of speakers from West Virginia, including former Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, addressed the topic of Advanced Manufacturing and Petrochemicals related to the shale industry. At the end of the prepared talks, the session was opened to questions from the audience. MDN asked the first question, which was this: “The $83.7 billion question is, what’s going on with the proposed investment in shale and petchem promised by China?”
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NGL Storage Hub Federal Loan Guarantee May be in Trouble

Appalachia Development Group is leading an effort to build a ~$10 billion (or $2.5B, or $3.4B, depending on your source) NGL storage hub in Appalachia–most likely in West Virginia (see WV’s US Senators Lead the Charge to Build $10B NGL Storage Hub). The project, called the Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub, has already hired an engineering firm and has the backing of President Trump (see Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry). It’s estimated such a project would lead to the creation of 100,000 new jobs. Federal loan guarantees of $1.9 billion have been in the works for the massive project for several years (partially approved), but those loan guarantees may now be in jeopardy thanks to leftists.
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WV Supreme Court Rejects Nuisance Lawsuit Against Antero

In Feb. 2016, lawsuits filed by some ~200 West Virginia residents against Antero Resources were combined into a class action (see More People Pile on Antero, Seek to Join Mass “Nuisance” Lawsuit). The lawsuits are called “nuisance” lawsuits because, according to the plantiffs, Antero is a nuisance to them (truck traffic, noise, lights at night, etc.). The collective class action nuisance lawsuit was appealed all the way to the WV Supreme Court. On Monday, the Supremes rejected the nuisance claims, granting Antero a big victory.
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New Study Says Fracking Scares Birdies in WV Marcellus

Brown-headed cowbird – loves fracking!

Yet another fake science “study” that attempts to denigrate the Marcellus Shale miracle. This one was published by none other than Oxford University Press. Researchers “studied” 27 bird species and their distance from Marcellus Shale gas drilling sites in West Virginia. The researchers found some birds like living close to shale drilling, and some avoid it. They concluded (without connecting any dots) that the birds they studied are “early indicators of ecosystem degradation.” Shale drilling is killing the pretty little song birds. BUNKUM.
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WV Supreme Court Tweaks Shale Well Property Tax Calculation

Last Wednesday the West Virginia Supreme Court issued a consolidated opinion lumping together seven similar lawsuits filed by Antero Resources and CNX Resources against the WV state tax commissioner and the Doddridge County Commission. The lawsuits take issue with the way gas well valuations are calculated for property taxes.
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Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry

President Trump is pushing members of his administration to work with state regulators in Appalachia–Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania–to “build the country’s first natural gas and petrochemical hub” outside of the Gulf Coast. According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, such a plan is in the the country’s national security interests. Members of the Trump team are also having discussions with leftists like NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to try and convince him to allow pipelines into and through the state. If states like NY won’t allow it, Perry holds out the hope/threat that the feds will invoke the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause to make them.
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WV Supreme Court Strikes Blow Against Shale Drilling in EQT Case

A West Virginia Circuit Court case in September 2017, Crowder and Wentz v EQT, found in favor of surface landowners ruling that EQT did not have the right to extend underground shale wells to adjacent properties where EQT also owned the mineral rights (see WV Surface Owners Win Important Case Against EQT re Drill Pad). The decision was appealed all the way to the WV Supreme Court. Yesterday the Supremes, in their “wisdom,” upheld the lower court ruling–which now threatens future Marcellus/Utica development in the state.
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NARO Warns WV & OH About PA Cross-Unit Drilling Bill

In March MDN brought readers a pair of posts about a new bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, HB 247, which would allow fully leased parcels that are part of one drilling “unit” to be combined with parcels in a different unit–“cross-unit drilling” if you will (see PA Floats Bill to Allow Shale Drilling to Span Multiple Units and Revisiting PA Bill to Allow Shale Drilling Across Multiple Units). The National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) at a recent meeting in WV warned landowners about HB 247 and its potential to come to both WV and OH if it passes in PA.
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Antero Resources Sues EnerQuest O&G Alleging Stolen Trade Secrets

Antero Resources sued EnerQuest Oil & Gas in a Texas court last year claiming EnerQuest had solicited and received trade secrets for a pair of landmen who live and work in Texas. A lower court dismissed the lawsuit based on a technicality (because the solicitation from EnerQuest came via email), claiming Texas does not have jurisdiction over the case. Antero disagrees and has just asked the Texas Supreme Court to review the case.
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Economist Says WV Playing Third Fiddle to PA, OH in Downstream

John Deskins, WVU Chief Economist

Hey West Virginia, you better wise up and do it soon with respect to downstream opportunities! That was the message delivered to his fellow West Virginians by WV University’s chief economist, John Deskins. He’s encouraging a “sense of urgency” in making the state more attractive to manufacturers and investors–to compete with Pennsylvania and Ohio, which seem to have a leg up on WV when it comes to the downstream.
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New Study: PA NatGas Carbon Emissions HALF that of Coal Mining

A new study just published in the peer reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters by an international team of researchers finds that natural gas “has half the carbon footprint of underground coal mining.” The researchers looked at (did measurements of, actual real science) methane in the atmosphere by flying transects over the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania and adjacent portions of West Virginia and Ohio. Marcellus/Utica central. One of the researchers from Penn State said this about the findings: “Obviously, renewable energy would be better, but there is no debate, switching to natural gas is worth it in the short run.”
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WV Sen. Joe Manchin “Sours” on Promised $83B Chinese Investment

During a President Trump trade trip to China in November 2017, Chinese officials signed an informal (non-binding) agreement to invest a whopping $83.7 billion in shale and petrochemical projects located in West Virginia (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). Then the “trade war” with China happened, and so far, from November 2017 until now, not one red yuan has been invested. “I signed a trade deal and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” One of WV’s U.S. Senators, Joe Manchin, says he thinks the Chinese have no interest in investing in an ethane cracker, petrochemical or manufacturing plants in the Mountain State. Instead, IF they invest (big IF), the Chinese, says Manchin, plan to invest in exporting NGLs out of the state.
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