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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MarkWest Hopedale Plant Problem Knocks 2 Bcf/d Offline in OH, WV

A pipeline feeding the MarkWest Hopedale Fractionation Facility in Jewett, Ohio was knocked offline last Sunday, and that outage caused a cascading effect throughout the region that forced three gas processing plants in West Virginia to temporarily scale back (or stop) operations, which further caused a ~2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) decrease in gas flows on two interstate gas transmission pipelines. The good news is that the problem is now resolved.
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Shale Industry Impacts on WV Roads Big Topic at WVONGA Meeting

WV roadway with potholes

The condition of roads in West Virginia, and how/why they are as bad as they are, was a big topic on Day Two of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) spring meeting. A rep from the WV Dept. of Transportation talked with oil and gas folks about WV roads and what can be done. Much of the conversation, judging from reports, revolved around perceptions.
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WV Gov. Justice’s Top Adviser Bray Cary Leaving EQT Board in July

Bray Cary

Bray Cary, the EQT board member who refused to leave the administration of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice even though many said he had a conflict of interest by staying, is finally leaving the EQT board in July. We first told you about Cary’s exit last week (see EQT Issues List of Board Nominees; Adopts Universal Proxy Card). Cary had a few comments for the media about his departure.
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MVP Work on Streams/Rivers in WV & VA May Restart Soon

Last week the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, being built by Equitrans Midstream, got a boost from the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). WVDEP has submitted a revised stream/river crossing permit previously rejected by a federal court. The reworked permit means construction will once again resume in some areas where it’s currently stalled, maybe by mid-year.
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WV Gov. Justice Blames Shale for Bad Roads, Wants Higher Taxes

WV Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is turning out to be a major disappointment. He’s pro-coal (because much of his personal fortune comes from coal), and increasingly anti-shale. The latest evidence is an attack on the shale industry claiming shale is responsible for the poor condition of roadways in the Mountain State.
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WV’s Republican AG Sues Shale Energy Alliance Claiming It’s a PAC

West Virginia’s Republican Attorney General, Mac Warner, for some reason is suing the Shale Energy Alliance (SEA), claiming the group (a non-profit) is withholding a list of donor’s names that should be made publicly available. SEA engaged in “electioneering” according to Warner’s office, by paying for ads supporting certain candidates in the 2018 election. Yet Warner’s office isn’t going after non-profit Big Green groups that are doing the same thing. Why not?
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Woody Thrasher Returns to Challenge WV Gov. Jim Justice in 2020

Woody Thrasher

Perhaps we now know why West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice fired Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher last June (see WV Commerce Secretary Who Brokered $83B China Deal…Fired). Thrasher took over as Commerce Secretary in January 2017, as part of the new Justice Administration. Thrasher is “the guy” most responsible for putting together the massive $83.7 billion deal signed by China in November 2017 to invest in WV shale and petrochemicals (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem).
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West Virginia’s Top 10 Gas & Oil Producers, According to WVONGA

According to Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA), “We have only begun to scratch the surface of developing this enormous resource beneath us,” referring to shale oil and gas in the state. As part of a larger interview with WV media, Blankenship shared a list of the 10 biggest natural gas producers in the state, along with the top 10 biggest oil producers in the state. We always dig that kind of information and thought you would too.
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Big Green Kills 1000s of WV Jobs via Atlantic Coast Pipe Lawsuit

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Groups like the Sierra Club are jobs killers. When was the last time you heard about a Big Green group actually creating new jobs–except for paying a few protesters? They NEVER create jobs, they ALWAYS kill jobs via lawsuits. And so it is with lawsuits that have stopped work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from West Virginia to North Carolina. Lawsuits launched by Big Green groups against ACP have resulted in thousands of people now out of work. Many of them worked for small companies.
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WV Wants to Extend I-68 Another 73 Miles for Shale Industry

Some 15 elected West Virginia officials met on Monday with the Route 2 | I-68 Authority. The aim of the meeting is to move the ball down the field (or the asphalt along the ground) in an effort to expand Route 2 to four lanes from Parkersburg, WV to Chester, WV, and to extend Interstate 68 from I-79 near Morgantown, WV westward to WV Route 2 along the Ohio River Valley, some 73 miles. The reason for the $1 billion project? To handle more shale-related traffic.
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Truth Told @ Marcellus and Manufacturing Conference in Morgantown

Natural gas was front and center at the ninth annual Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, an event of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, held yesterday in Morgantown, WV. Among the speakers was Steve Winberg, U.S. Department of Energy assistant secretary for fossil energy. He mouthed strong support for the Appalachian Basin ethane “hub” saying the region can easily support up to five ethane crackers, and that could lead to $35 billion of investment and 100,000 jobs in the region.
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WV Governor Inexplicably Vetoes Bill to Plug Abandoned Wells

What happened? Just a few weeks ago MDN told you that the West Virginia legislature had passed a bill with bipartisan support (and support from both the drilling industry and surface owners) that would redirect monies from low-producing oil and gas wells to fund a program to plug old abandoned wells (see WV Legislative Session Closes w/Several Pro-Drilling Bills Passed). WV Gov. Jim Justice vetoed the bill last week.
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