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FERC: Full Speed Ahead to Greenlight Pipeline Projects

 

LNG - Robert Bradly, JRRobert Bradley, Jr.
Founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.

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FERC, with its new appointees, is now addressing its backlog and swiftly moving forward to greenlight much needed pipeline projects.

We aren’t counting our chickens yet, but the approvals would certainly be a net positive for midstream industry growth, and, ultimately, for producers and consumers of natural gas.

-Ethan Bellamy (managing director, Robert W. Baird & Co.) quoted in Catherine Traywick’s “U.S. Energy Agency to Take on $50 Billion Backlog as Senate Acts.” Bloomberg Politics, August 3, 2017.

The Senate recently confirmed two new appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, ending a seven-month dormancy due to lack of a quorum. With three members, two Republicans and one Democrat, one pick from each party remains for a full five-member commission.

This delay, on top of a fossil-fuel animus by Obama’s FERC, has created a $13 billion backlog of regulatory approvals for 17 market-ready natural gas projects. With its other business, FERC’s total project backlog represents $50 billion. FERC should begin greenlighting projects immediately.

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Coal and Nuclear Subsidy Cram Down Brings Everyone Else Together

Dakota AccessMike Krancer
Principal, Silent Majority Strategies, LLC

 

Proposed Federal coal and nuclear energy subsidies unite everyone else, forging a natural coalition of natural gas and renewables so many try hard to avoid.

Eleven very diverse energy trade groups (the Energy Trade Associations) have weighed in with FERC against the DOE’s nuclear and coal subsidy rule (a/k/a guaranteed profit rule), which DOE calls the “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.” The diversity of the group is notable and speaks volumes; it includes renewable energy groups, oil and gas groups, electricity consumers, rural electric cooperatives, and natural gas pipeline interests. Everyone but coal and nuclear groups of course who would be the recipient of the public largesse should the NOPR become law.

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Dumb and Dumber: Feds Want to Subsidize Coal and Nuclear

Dakota Accessbudget shortfallMike Krancer and Keith Naughton
Principals, Silent Majority Strategies, LLC

 

ALERT: Coal and nuclear energy industries threatened by the economics of natural gas want subsidies from taxpayers, joining renewables advocates and everyone else.

DOE just rolled out a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) with FERC that amounts to requiring subsidies for nuclear plants and coal plants. This would be a sea change in how competitive electricity markets work. Some would say the proposal scraps competitive wholesale electricity markets.

The proposed rule would provide for “accurately pric[ing] generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency.” There would be “recovery of costs of fuel-secure generation units frequently relied upon to make our grid reliable and resilient.”

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Battle for the Pipelines – The Agency Strikes Back

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

 

New York can simply not grow without access to natural gas, nor can most areas. The FERC decision addresses this economic reality while others only posture.

With just three months to go, the movie industry is looking at one of its worst years in recent memory.  Earlier this month, Jennifer Lawrence’s new release Mother was such a flop that famed critic Rex Reed called it the “worst movie of the century.”   It appears that Hollywood is missing 2017’s best epic, which might be entitled Battle for the Pipelines – The Agency Strikes Back.  While it may not be a box office blockbuster, the real world ramifications are immense.

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FERC Slams State Overreach on Pipelines; Congress Needs to Act, Too

Dakota AccessMike Krancer
Partner, Leader – Energy, Petrochemical & Natural Resources Practice Group at Blank Rome LLP

 

A recent Millennium Pipeline decision slamming New York DEC was a needed move by FERC to protect its Federal jurisdiction but Congress needs to act as well.

FERC issued a key and very welcome decision on September 15, 2017 when it held that the State of New York, by its passive aggressive handling of a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification, had waived its authority to issue the Certification. FERC here slaps down on states treating CWA certifications as political footballs to veto pipeline infrastructure projects without regard to law or facts but based on politics and pressure by ideological anti-natural gas interest groups.

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FERC Hailed for NY DEC Overturn as Other Pipelines Seek Relief

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

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

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FERC delivered a blow to the NY DEC by overturning their Millennium Pipeline denial; the Constitution and Northern Access pipelines will now seek similar relief.

Yesterday we told you history has been made, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has broken the back of the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) by overturning the DEC’s decision to block a short pipeline Millennium wants to build to a power plant in Orange County.

The DEC has also blocked federally-approved pipeline projects in two other cases, the Constitution Pipeline, a $683 million, 124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY carrying Marcellus gas (a Williams project), and the Northern Access Pipeline, a $455 million project includes building 97 miles of new pipeline along a power line corridor from northwestern Pennsylvania up to Erie County, NY, to carry Marcellus gas northward (a National Fuel Gas Company project).

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The Cuomo Administration Interstate Pipeline Trilogy

Millennium PipelineAttorney Thomas S. West
Founder and Managing Partner
The West Firm, PLLC

 

The Cuomo administration has made it virtually impossible for any interstate pipeline to get approval; at least for it has for the three who have tried.

The Cuomo administration, through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the “Department”), has dealt a severe blow to industry’s efforts to bolster the natural gas interstate infrastructure passing through New York State. The Department has recently denied the construction and operation of three substantive pipeline projects by denying these projects certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).

As a result, even though these projects are highly regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), industry has been unable to construct and operate natural gas pipelines that are sorely needed to satisfy the energy demand in the Northeast. These denials are based upon putative water quality considerations and other environmental factors. Thus far, the courts have been unwilling to rebuke this campaign by the Cuomo administration, but a recent decision from FERC holds out promise that the Department will no longer be able to use administrative delay to frustrate these projects.

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Big Win for Millennium Pipeline: Big Loss for New York DEC

Millennium PipelineAttorney Thomas S. West
Founder and Managing Partner
The West Firm, PLLC

 

FERC just gave Millennium Pipeline a big win and blew New York State DEC out of the water with a much deserved put-down and precedent for other pipelines.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an important decision today in favor of Millennium Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (“MPC”) that is sure to effect New York regulatory matters.  FERC determined that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) waived its authority to issue a water quality certificate under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).

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West Virginia DEP Revokes Twice Approved Mountain Valley Certification

Mountain ValleyMountain ValleyMountain ValleyMike Krancer, Frederick M. Lowther and
Margaret Anne Hill
Energy, Petrochemical & Natural Resources Practice Group at Blank Rome LLP

 

West Virginia DEP oversteps FERC and decides to vacate the already twice approved Mountain Valley Pipeline and revoke the 401 certification.

As we have noted in our prior blog posts on the Constitution Pipeline and Millennium Valley Lateral projects, §401 of the Federal Clean Water Act has become a focal point in the growing efforts by States to exercise dominant authority over FERC jurisdictional pipelines.

This time, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) has taken the unprecedented step of actually revoking a §401 certification it had granted in March 2017 and then reaffirmed in May. This action by WVDEP may be the final straw in State authority to review FERC jurisdictional pipelines as FERC and the Congress will be energized to react to the oversteps by New York in Millennium and now West Virginia in Mountain Valley.

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Corruptocrat’s Big Millennium Pipeline Mistake, If It Was One

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

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

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Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Corruptocrat, has New York State DEC under his thumb and may have forced it to make a big mistake on the Millennium Pipeline extension.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a refusal, on August 30, to grant a water quality certification to Millennium Pipeline to build a tiny, 7.8 mile pipeline spur from the main Millennium Pipeline to an under-construction natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County. The electric plant will get finished either way, whether it’s fed by natural gas or, alternatively, by dirtier fuel oil. The DEC has blocked many (not all, but many) recently filed pipeline projects in the state–because of undue and corrupt influence from our governor, Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo seeks to appease his radical/enviro base.

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