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DEP Throws Taxpayer Money at Coal Lawyer to Punish Gas?

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to punish gas companies endlessly and is using taxpayer money to hire an expensive coal lawyer to help.

While this is old news, it is a continuing story, parts of which I only became recently aware. It’s all about the case of EQT Production Company v. Dept. of Environmental Protection – 485 M.D. 2014, which resulted in a Commonwealth Court decision supporting EQT in its challenge of an outrageous penalty DEP imposed for the company for a leak in one of its wastewater storage ponds.

The penalty was, effectively, a potentially never-ending one, despite the company’s remediation of the problem and Commonwealth Court said “whoa.” That’s the good news. The bad news is that DEP is appealing and using an expensive, outside, out-of-state high end law firm hired at taxpayer expense despite constant suggestions DEP has no money. Worse, the firm has represented big coal, which has every interest in making life miserable for gas companies operating in Pennsylvania.

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Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – December 2, 2017

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy.

Here’s more material sent along by Natural Gas NOW readers; great stuff highlighting the power of natural gas and the absurdity of fractivism. Check out the links and other short bits below:

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The Ugly Truth Behind Truthout, the CELDF and Grant Township

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

… 

The truth behind the Grant Township injection well controversy is ugly. The parties taking advantage of the Township are totalitarian wannabes out for power.

We previously reported on the story of two Pennsylvania townships that were either hoodwinked, or perhaps willing led astray, by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) into passing (now overturned) bans on fracking and injection wells in their towns; Highland Township (Elk County) and Grant Township (Indiana County). The CELDF continues to agitate against the Indiana Township injection well hoping to producer anarchy.

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Methane Emissions Decline As DEP and Fractivist Hype Skyrocket

Constitution Pipeline - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Fake news and fake policy are the order of the day with Pennsylvania DEP methane emissions data and the fractivist hyperbole surrounding the just released data.

Articles at Philly.com (now controlled by the same anti-gas Haas family that is the William Penn Foundation and also funds PennFuture, the Delaware Riverkeeper, the Clean Air Council and StateImpactPA) and EnviroPolitics Blog are faking it on the issue of methane emissions. They’re doing so with clearly coordinated news making and reporting peddling fake news about a new DEP Air Emissions Inventory. They aim to support a stupid DEP policy initiative that is yet another government solution in search of a problem.

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Hard Lesson: Some in Pipeline Industry Play Into Enemy Hands

"Environmentalists" - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

The pipeline industry has received a hard lesson about how not to play into the hands of its most vicious enemies who saw opportunity and grasped it.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a modern day Dante, seems intent on inflicting on his people ever deeper stages of hell.  The next will be a likely sovereign debt default.  Since the sham plebiscite chose a new Constitutional Assembly, Venezuela’s currency has tanked, increasing the pain felt by ordinary citizens.  A sovereign default will make it much more difficult for Venezuela to sell its oil, the one asset it has left.

As I’ve written numerous times, it all comes down to the junior officer corps of the Venezuelan military.  They are the ones who haven’t stashed huge amounts of cash abroad yet must order their troops to fire on starving Venezuelans.  Will they continue to do so?  Will they agree to change from firing mostly tear gas at the citizens to live ammunition?   If so why?

Under these circumstances, the shale revolution gives us the benefit of time.  Oil prices are not gyrating wildly. Thanks to shale, we have the option of sitting back, doing nothing, letting Maduro self-destruct, and quietly working with the junior officers.  It may not work, but it’s a much better position to be in than one in which our entire economy, and that of the world, were facing a crisis similar to the 1973 or 1979 oil shocks.

Back in Pennsylvania, last week saw a significant development whose repercussions may be felt for years.  For the gas industry, it is entirely a self-inflicted wound.

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Two States, Two Pipeline Projects, Two Worlds Apart

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

… 

The progress and impending conclusions of two pipeline projects in New York and Pennsylvania have been monitored by Marcellus Drilling News with big reveals.

New York’s corrupted Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is running scared. For 19 months the DEC has intentionally delayed granting a tiny, 9-mile spur Millennium Pipeline wants to build in Orange County, NY the necessary Federal 401 Water Quality Certification it needs. Millennium took the DEC to federal court, but the court refused to get involved, telling Millennium that if the DEC is delaying, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can jump in, tell New York it used up it’s time and authorize the project to proceed. So, that’s what Millennium did. They asked FERC to act.

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Pennsylvania Mystery: Where’s the Fracking Pollution?

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

… 

A recent report from Pennsylvania DEP to the EPA creates a great mystery; where is the fracking pollution and where are the dead fish, ruined streams, etc.

A couple of days ago, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a report it regularly makes to the EPA. It has the boring title of “2016 Final Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality  Monitoring and Assessment Report” and provides a nice summary of water quality in the Commonwealth. It is a government report and a little hard to wade through, but I did so and discovered it could really be thought of as a great mystery novel, although the ending is thoroughly anti-climatic. The mystery is this; where is the fracking pollution?

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Please, DEP, Don’t Enable Fractivist Pipeline Opponents!

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

 

Although the response turned out favorable to the project, Pennsylvania DEP’s Atlantic Sunrise hearings were unnecessary concessions to pipeline opponents.

Something very interesting happened over the last two days as Pennsylvania DEP conducted four public hearings on the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Our buddy Jim Willis, over at Marcellus Drilling News, noted yesterday the first two hearings put the fractivist shills at StateImpactPA into a total funk as project supporters swamped pipeline opponents. I attended the hearing in Bloomsburg last night to testify and saw the same thing. Atlantic Sunrise supporters, including labor, were organized and out in large numbers. We were in the game, the way it has to be played.

Still, it annoys me that DEP gave pipeline opponents for separate opportunities to vent over what are no more than technical decisions. That’s what I spoke about.

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Why Is Pennsylvania DEP Ignoring Reality on Methane?

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

 

Pennsylvania DEP is determined to target shale producers with insane methane regulations regardless of the facts and achievements in reducing such emissions.

There is something very weird going at Pennsylvania DEP. The agency is directly targeting the Commonwealth’s shale producers with punishing discriminatory regulations for which there is no rational justification. It’s all about two sets of what are known as General Permit regulations known as GP-5 and GP-5A. Only in the labyrinths of bureaucracy do rules get such arcane labels, of course, which serve to immediately dissuade us commoners from digging deeper. Many have, accordingly, failed to pay attention, but that’s how government gets away with its dirty work.

Fortunately, some people are paying attention and pointing out the absurdity of the proposed regulations. Among them are the principals of an interesting firm known as Silent Majority Strategies, who have made a devastating case against this effort by the Pennsylvania DEP to punish the natural gas industry for what appears to be Wolf administration retribution for not getting the severance tax the governor so ardently desires.

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Are Pennsylvania’s Form Letter Legislators Fractivist Tools?

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

 

Ten of Pennsylvania’s legislators have gotten so used to fractivist form letters they’ve decided to become form letter fractivist tools themselves it seems.

A little research supplied by one of our readers yielded some interesting insights into what some of Pennsylvania legislators do in Harrisburg. Apparently, these “public servants” view their job as issuing form letters to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); serving as fractivist tools for some entity we’ll never know.

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