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A Quiet Summer on the Fracking Front: Gas Becomes the New Normal

Constitution Pipeline - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

The lack of major bellwether fracking news this summer, combined with mostly good industry news, indicates shale gas is the new normal for energy in the US and worldwide.

The coming of Labor Day marks the end of an unusually quiet summer on the energy front.  Prices continue to rebound somewhat, producers cautiously eye increasing production again, and pipeline companies continue to try to build out the infrastructure needed to fully use the resource.  Overall, however, the last few months have been marked by an absence of bell-weather events which seemed to come fast and furious in the shale and energy fields for a period of about seven years.  

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Where Are We on the Wolf Severance Tax Proposal?

severance tax

Charles A. Schliebs
Managing DirectorStone Pier Capital Advisors, LP

 

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What are the prospects for Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax after losing the first round with the Pennsylvania legislature? Charlie Schliebs evaluates.

When we published our last issue of our company newsletter in July of last year, we were simply waiting for the 2015-16 Pennsylvania budget to be approved by Governor Wolf before publishing the next issue, in which we planned to explain how the key budget compromises were made and what they meant for the shale gas industry, not only in Pennsylvania but also in adjoining states.

Well, we waited, and we waited, and we waited, and things were really never solved. Instead, the Governor lost on all accounts (shale gas severance tax and otherwise) and all the cans were kicked down the road for another try with the 2016-17 budget due at the end of this month, June 30, 2016. What happens next with the 2016-17 budget? Well, let me offer some observations.

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PennFuture Pilfers from Pennsylvania Taxpayers

John Quigley - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

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One member of the PennFuture insurgency still remains in Pennsylvania government after 18 months and she’s busy pilfering from taxpayers to aid a radical agenda.

It’s now been 17 months since I wrote about the PennFuture insurgency with regard to the efforts of the Heinz Endowments and William Penn Foundation, the elite members of Pennsylvania’s gentry class, to run Pennsylvania government under Governor Tom Wolf.

Since then, in that brief time, one of the three members of that insurgency, John Hanger, the former head of PennFuture and DEP as well as Wolf’s Policy Director, resigned after the severance tax he designed crashed and burned (it was so bad even fellow Democrats couldn’t support it).

Another, John Quigley, who moved from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to PennFuture and back into government as Secretary of DEP under Wolf, self-immolated in a fit of filthy anger fueled by his contempt for legislators who didn’t share his zealotry.

Now, it turns out the third member of thePennFuture triumvirate has been pilfering from Pennsylvania taxpayers to fund the attendance of her staff at a conclave of fractivists and other radicals put on by the Keystone Research Center, a public employee union hit squad.

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John Quigley’s Email Shocks the Conscience

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

We knew, of course, it had to be bad, but the e-mail sent by John Quigley to his fractivist allies in the “environmental community” shocks the conscience.

The e-mail that got DEP Secretary John Quigley fired is now out and it’s far worse than anything I had imagined. This man-child had no business being in position of authority on the smallest board in the tiniest community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, let alone serving as the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. He not only lacked the temperament for such a role, but also demonstrated a complete lack of judgment. His actions were appalling for someone with his level of responsibility and “shock the conscience.”

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Quigley, the Wolf Cub Is Out, and Door Slams Behind Him

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

John Quigley is Tom Wolf’s cub at DEP and he’s a particularly quarrelsome one who likes to bare his teeth and threaten the PA gas industry to get his way.

Some ten months ago, I wrote a post regarding the then recently confirmed (and now former) DEP Secretary John Quigley and the nature of the beast as reflected in his decision to impose an outrageous fine on Range Resources. Quigley was essentially fired last week and within literally hours that fine was lifted, confirming what we suspected,; that Quigley was using his office to take vengeance on the industry and do the bidding of his PennFuture (Heinz and Haas families) masters.

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PennFuture’s Man John Quigley Resigns from DEP

John Quigley - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

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John Quigley, Tom Wolf’s DEP Secretary and one of three PennFuture activists put in charge of Pennsylvania’s energy policy has resigned in ignominy.

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he wanted John Quigley to be his new Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) I asked which John Quigley we were talking about – the humorless environmental activist and consultant from PennFuture or the pragmatic administrator with the business background? I suggested the former DCNR Secretary who had previously left to do William Penn Foundation dirty work at PennFuture displayed a split personality in that regard; stating we’d have to wait until the real John Quigley stood up, hoping he was telling the truth to the senators who unfortunately confirmed him.

He has, in fact, now stood up and resigned after a little more than a year in office, the real John Quigley having exposed himself in e-mails as the man sent into DEP to sabotage it and impose the environmental extremism espoused by him and his true believer friends.

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Rural Pennsylvania Under Siege by the Wolf Pack

John PetersonJohn Peterson
Former US Congressman, Pa 5th District

 

Governor Tom Wolf and a pack of environmental activists originally brought into state government by Ed Rendell have rural Pennsylvania under siege.

Rural Pennsylvania’s chances to ever have a strong economy again are severely at risk. Gov. Tom Wolf filled the leadership posts of two agencies — the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) — with alumni from the radical environmental group, PennFuture. Further, the very structure of how the DEP hands down penalties and creates regulations is hurting our economy and needs to be reformed.

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Gov. Wolf’s Demented Second Budget

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

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Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf, who cannot even get his first budget passed, just proposed a demented second budget with an even higher severance tax!

Someone needs to bring out a straight jacket for PA Gov. Tom Wolf. He’s gone stark…raving…mad. He’s not only a danger to himself; he’s a danger to all of Pennsylvania. The only thing missing from yesterday’s budget address in Harrisburg was frothing at the mouth. In his mean-spirited budget address, Wolf insulted nearly everyone present, blaming everyone but himself for the budget disaster of last year.

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Energy Politics Are Fueling the Presidential Race

severance tax - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

Taxes are high, gas prices are low and energy politics are clearly driving the polls; Americans are looking to for fresh new ideas not career politicians.

Today is the New Hampshire Primary, the traditional first-in-the-nation presidential contest.  A year ago, it would have been hard to imagine Donald Trump, with no political experience, and Bernie Sanders, who wasn’t even a Democrat until last year, leading in the polls.  If one thing is clear from the early stages, however, it’s that Americans of all stripes are shouting “No!” to any establishment candidates.

To understand why people are so cynical, one only needs to look at energy politics, with a focus on Ground Zero of the Marcellus Basin, Pennsylvania.

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Wolf’s Methane Emissions Plan Will Kill Marcellus Drilling

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

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Governor Tom Wolf, along with some of his radical friends, wants to cripple the natural gas industry with new methane emissions regulations.

As we predicted yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf released a new plan that purportedly targets methane emissions from oil and gas operations in a vain attempt to help ole Mom Earth with her global warming problem. What we didn’t know is just how onerous and ludicrous his plan would be. Yesterday, Wolf and his sidekick the PennFuture Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), John Quigley, released a four-point plan (click here to view) to supposedly reduce methane emissions by 40% over the next five years.

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