PA Nuke Industry Loves Wolf Carbon Tax Shutting Down Gas Plants

Are you surprised that Pennsylvania’s big money nuclear power lobby loves PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to tax nuke plants’ biggest competitor, natural gas-fired plants, out of existence? We aren’t surprised. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, lobbying group for PA’s nuclear power plants, is urging PA legislators to drop a bill that will block Wolf’s insane attempt at forcing the state to join a group of liberal northeastern states in something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI forces its members to slap high taxes on energy that produces carbon dioxide–the stuff you breathe out with every single breath you take. Ludicrous.
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OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors

FirstEnergy, now calling itself Energy Harbor, somehow got into the pockets (via campaign donations) of enough Ohio politicians (many of them Republican) to convince them to pass a horrible law last year–House Bill (HB) 6. HB 6 grants the company $1 billion in corporate welfare over seven years in a deal to prop up its two “unprofitable” nuclear power plants. Now that the first $150 million is about to flow, how will Energy Harbor use it? To pay its so-called high operating costs? No. Energy Harbor will funnel the money right into the pockets of big investors. It was all a scam.
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REX Pipe Asks FERC to Prevent Shipper from Breaking Contract

If an upstream (drilling) company with a long-term pipeline contract files for bankruptcy, does that give the company the right to break their pipeline contract? A major shipper on the Rockies Express (REX) pipeline, Ultra Resources, is expected to file for bankruptcy very soon. REX is concerned Ultra may claim its bankruptcy is a “get-out-of-the-contract free” card. REX has asked FERC to preemptively “assert its jurisdiction” as the arbiter of whether or not companies like Ultra can skip out of contracts.
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Uneconomic PA Nuke Plant Staying Open Thx to Illegal Wolf Plan

Electric power generator FirstEnergy (now called Energy Harbor Corp.) pulled off what we consider the biggest case of deception in the history of Ohio by pressuring Ohio legislators and a RINO governor to sign into law a bill to force Ohio residents to pay the company $1 billion so it can keep open two uneconomic/failing nuclear power plants (see Legal Effort to Overturn FirstEnergy $1B Ohio Nuke Bailout Dead). FirstEnergy/Energy Harbor also operates an economically failing nuke plant in Beaver County, PA. The company had planned to close it, but now says the power plant will remain open because PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to illegally force the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–a group that slaps high carbon taxes on coal and gas-fired electric plants.

3/18/20 UPDATE: We’ve included a statement by the group Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts in response to FirstEnergy’s deception.
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“Mammoth” Shell Cracker Currently Employs 7,500 Daily – An Update

Credit: Youngstown Business Journal (click for larger version)

Activity in building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA (Beaver County) has reached a fevered pitch. Its apex. Its zenith. Currently, there are some 7,500 workers who visit and work at the site on a daily basis. Can you imagine?! That’s like a small town coming and going each and every day. There are some 1,000 workers who work all through the night! We’re still a year or two away from the beginning of operations at the plant, but all of the key structures are now in place and the work has shifted to connecting everything. Here’s an update on this massive, jobs-producing economic bonanza happening in southwestern PA…
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PTT Says Work at Future Cracker Site to Temporarily Slow/Stop

Last week MDN told you that PTT Global Chemical’s CEO signalled that a final investment decision (FID) on whether (or not) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH is coming by “mid-year 2020” (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). Here we are a few days later and the company has issued a statement to say activity at the site to push dirt around will soon slow down, perhaps even stop. But don’t worry, that’s NOT a sign (says the company) that they’ve lost interest in the project.
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Ohio Invests Another $20M in PTT Cracker Site, $70M Total So Far

We’re now a couple of months shy of the fifth anniversary for when PTT first announced they would consider building an ethane cracker plant in Ohio (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time, PTT has purchased land for the plant, and last fall was seen moving dirt around at the property (see Dirt Being Moved at PTT Ohio Ethane Cracker Site – Still no FID). Even without a final investment decision (FID) to build, the State of Ohio continues to invest money in the project–another $20 million last week.
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OH Supreme Court Keeps Door Open to Reverse $1B Nuke Bailout

The Ohio Supreme Court, on Christmas Eve, threw a lifeline to an effort to overturn an Ohio law that provides corporate welfare in the form of $1 billion of ratepayer (taxpayer) money to FirstEnergy (which recently changed its name to Harbor Energy). The Ohio law provides the funds to FirstEnergy so they can keep two economically failing nuclear power plants up and running, giving the plants an unfair advantage over gas-fired plants that don’t receive corporate welfare.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Dec 18, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: A natural gas blowout in Ohio released more methane than many countries do in an entire year; Natural gas initiative shifts to statewide action; Oil and Gas industry partners with first responders; NATIONAL: Is Wall Street turning its back on fossil fuels?; Aly Energy Services, Inc. goes dark, no longer filing SEC updates; Fight over flaring: Industry, enviros contrasting accounts over burning excess natural gas; Michael Moore & Me (video); INTERNATIONAL: Ontario expanding natural gas to more communities across Ontario.
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10 Colleges in PA-OH-WV Form Program to Train Cracker/Mfg Workers

A group of 10 community colleges scattered throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia have formed the Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, or TEAM, with the aim of training skilled workers for cracker plants and other petrochemical-related manufacturing operations. The cooperative has crafted a “stackable-credentials model” that offers “a career pathway from certifications to post-secondary degrees, up to and including a master’s degree.” Forwarding thinking!
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OH Lawmakers Plan to Block Foreign Ownership of Power Plants

We’re still feeling the fallout of FirstEnergy’s sleazy campaign to keep their $1 billion ratepayer bailout in Ohio. Last week we told you about FirstEnergy’s Mafia-like tactics in attempting to block petitioners from gathering signatures to overturn House Bill 6 that hands FirstEnergy $1 billion (see FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers). Part of FirstEnergy’s strategy was to gather signatures on a competing petition–aimed at confusing residents. It is that petition that is the subject of this post.
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Ohio Ballot Initiative to Overturn Nuke Bailout Goes to Fed Court

The fight to overturn Ohio’s House Bill 6, a $1 billion bailout (freebie) given to FirstEnergy to prop up its uneconomical nuclear power plants is getting nasty. Really nasty. We previously told you about FirstEnergy’s lying commercials that claim China controls the state’s natural gas industry–because a Chinese bank loaned some of the gas-fired plants money (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Somehow FirstEnergy got Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and got him to overturn the the language of the referendum, disqualifying it on a technicality (see Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum). Because of Yost’s action, there isn’t enough time to get enough signatures. So the matter has gone to federal court, asking for more time.
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Ohio Newspapers Call Out Pro-Nuke/Anti-Referendum Ads as Lies

Not even Ohio’s left-leaning news organizations can go along with the phony commercials being run by First Energy in a desperate attempt to block a referendum to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). HB 6 was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Aug 19, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: EQT among world’s fastest-growing natural gas producers; Pa. grants $2M for solar tech at PGW’s liquefied natural gas plant; Group that wants Ohio voters to decide on nuclear plants bailout submits revised petition; The latest victims of the far-left’s environmental zealotry: Long Islanders; De Blasio exaggerates fossil fuel claims on the campaign trail; NTIEC Energy Camp sparks interest among local students; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Minnesota, D.C., and Baltimore under the microscope for accepting controversial help from special interests; Colorado is quickly becoming a patchwork of oil and gas rules after a major law change; NATIONAL: Unit trains now delivering U.S. propane to Mexico; INTERNATIONAL: Yamal LNG hits 20 mt milestone; BP publishes LNG contract templates to push industry standardization; U.S. efforts to derail Russian pipelines to Europe have failed since the 1960s. Will Nord Stream 2 be different?
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Ohio RINO AG Rejects Anti-Nuke Referendum

Ohio recently passed an odious new law (House Bill 6) to prop up two bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). The law raises electric rates for all Ohioans and threatens to end a number of planned natural gas-fired electric plant projects–billions of dollars worth of gas projects.
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Referendum to Overturn OH Nuke Bailout Law Gains Momentum

Two weeks ago MDN brought you news about a newly passed Ohio law (House Bill 6) to prop up two bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). The law raises electric rates for all Ohioans and threatens to end a number of planned natural gas-fired electric plant projects–billions of dollars worth of gas projects.
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