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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Diversified Pays $400M for HG Energy’s Shale Assets in PA, WV

Diversified Gas & Oil has been on a mission to buy as many non-shale (conventional) oil and gas wells as it can in the Appalachian Basin. It owns close to 3 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. That’s changing. Yesterday Diversified announced it has cut a deal to buy 107 operating (and 3 non-operating) shale wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for $400 million.
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New Study: 45% of U.S. Natural Gas Will Come from M-U by 2040

Yesterday IHS Markit released a study commissioned by Shale Crescent USA and JobsOhio that finds natural gas produced in the tri-state region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will be 45% of the nation’s production by 2040, up from 31% this year. This is truly big news with lots of ramifications.
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Equitrans Buys 2 Pipeline Systems in Marcellus/Utica for $1B

Equitrans Midstream, which used to be called EQT Midstream, yesterday announced they have cut their first big deal since separating from EQT last year. Equitrans is buying a 60% stake in Eureka Midstream, a 190-mile pipeline system in Ohio and West Virginia serving both the Marcellus and Utica, and a 100% stake in the tiny 15-mile Hornet Midstream, a gathering system in WV that connects to Eureka.
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WV Pipeline Co. Clipped for $3.7M for Overtime Violations

Witch hunts take a loooong time when it’s the U.S. government doing the hunting. We told you back in 2015 that the U.S. Dept. of Labor was unfairly targeting the Marcellus industry, looking at every time slip, to see if they could bag companies violating federal overtime regulations–not paying their workers overtime (see Labor Dept. Unfairly Targets Marcellus Industry in SWPA & WV).
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WV Supreme Court Ponders Important Case, Surface v Mineral Owners

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, where arguments were heard yesterday. This is a VERY important case.
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