Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – May 26, 2018

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. As usual, emphasis is added.

“Clean energy” isn’t clean by their standards, says the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

This month, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) voted unanimously to ban wind turbines on the 1.5 million acres it controls….

A 2017 comprehensive report by Saint Francis University identified nearly 180,000 acres of State Game Lands (SGLs) that could support utility-scale wind projects. The area represents 17 percent of the state’s entire developable wind acreage.

Since 2005, 19 Game Lands had been included in wind-development proposals — some multiple times. All were denied and found to have “a high probability of adversely impacting wildlife resources and the recreational uses associated with SGLs.” The PGC found the proposals “incompatible with its mandates under the Code to protect, propagate, manage and preserve the game and wildlife of the Commonwealth and promote recreational opportunities.”

Development of the Game Lands would have been a major contribution to meeting the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that utilities generate at least 18 percent of their electricity from sources such as wind. So why did the Commission ban wind projects from state lands?

…The PGC’s mission includes “managing Pennsylvania’s wild birds” and protecting these species is a top priority for the agency. It is well documented that windmills kill migratory birds that utilize the high mountain ridges in their transit from south to north and back again every year. High on the list of the species is the endangered Indiana bat whose deaths may be compounded by changes in air pressure produced by swiftly moving blades. Dangers to the threatened Allegheny Wood Rat and Timber Rattler were additional reasons for previous permit denials.

Winter ice thrown from blades — not an uncommon event — poses danger to humans and wildlife alike, as do blades thrown in cases of more rare malfunctions. While windmills appear to move slowly, speeds can reach nearly 200 mph and throw objects long distances.

High voltage equipment and other infrastructure present significant risks to the public. With more than 40 various hunting seasons in the Keystone State, exclusionary boundaries around each turbine would severely limit the public’s access for one of the primary uses of the Game Lands.

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Additional negative effects have been cited by the Commission in denying previous requests including 11 different negative impacts from just one proposal for Game Land no. 42.  Aesthetic concerns emanate from the despoiling of otherwise grand vistas and appear to have contributed to the Commission’s decision…

…In stark contrast to their opposition to wind energy, the Commission appears to have embraced natural gas development on their properties. There are currently nearly 3,000 oil and gas wells on the game lands, including five properties which are host to active drilling rigs targeting the prolific Marcellus Shale. Approval of drilling proposals likely is related to the relatively small footprint of operations owing to horizontal drilling techniques along with benefits of improvement of the habitat for wildlife.

Hmm…perhaps that Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that utilities generate at least 18% of their electricity from sources such as wind isn’t such a good idea after all?

FANG Does Spoiled Child Protest of Big Money Investments in Energy

I’ve written about FANG before in this post, their trendy Proletarian shirt business, their retro Stalinist look and their spoiled brat behavior intended to garnish attention. They were at it again recently with an infantile protest of MorganStanley. Here’s how they describe their efforts:

People are at the Morgan Stanley building in Purchase, NY disrupting the bank’s annual shareholder meeting in solidarity with the L’eau Est La Vie Camp that’s fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana.

Currently, both entrances to the building where the shareholder meeting is about to take place are being blockaded.

Morgan Stanley is the eighth largest shareholder of Energy Transfer Partners, the company responsible for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the Rover pipeline, and the Mariner East 2 Pipeline.

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Morgan Stanley is also the largest shareholder of ETP’s parent company, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE). In total Morgan Stanley controls over $1.2 billion in shares in ETP and ETE. Morgan Stanley has loaned millions to both companies.

In addition, Morgan Stanley is the lead financier of Invenergy, the company trying to build a massive fossil fuel power plant in Burrillville RI – and is also funding a group of proposed of export facilities proposed for Nova Scotia.

So, we have a spoiled kid in a suit leading a block-in protest in New York over a pipeline in Louisiana. Yeah, that’ll do it. Such is the pitiful nature of the fractivism. What a cruel joke these people are on themselves.

Phil the Panderer Leads New Jersey Back Into the Wilderness

Phil the Panderer Murphy has galloped off on his high horse to lead New Jersey backward as fast he can take the Garden State, all the while pretending to be ahead of the curve:

Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday signed bills to dramatically overhaul New Jersey’s energy policies while ensuring nuclear power will remain a significant part of its energy mix — albeit with a hefty new subsidy from consumers.

In a ceremony at a solar farm in Monmouth Junction, the governor’s action marked a step toward achieving his ambitious clean-energy agenda, by requiring at least half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030. The plan also mandates utilities ramp up programs to reduce energy use.

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“Today is a big leap forward,’’ Murphy told legislators, cabinet officials, and representatives of key environmental groups who gathered at the solar farm, which is still under construction. The governor also signed an executive order, directing the development of a new Energy Master Plan to have the state achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050.

Whether the state can deliver on that agenda and at what cost to ratepayers will likely generate as much debate and argument over the next few years as occurred during the bruising fight to get the bills through the Legislature in the past six months.

No issue was more controversial than the measure (S-2313) to direct up to $300 million a year in ratepayer subsidies to keep three nuclear power plants from closing in South Jersey. Public Service Enterprise Group threatened to shutter them, arguing they are no longer economically competitive.

Further down in the article we learn that even fractivist Stephanie Brand has an issue with this much pandering:

Murphy tried to quash concerns about the bill’s impact on utility customers, saying Stefanie Brand, director of the Division of Rate Counsel, would be part of a proceeding to determine if the plants should be handed a subsidy. The bill appears to exclude Brand, who is supposed to represent ratepayers in utility cases.

The governor also said there are safeguards in both bills to protect ratepayers. In the clean-energy legislation, a cap on costs is aimed at holding down what utility customers end up paying for a more aggressive solar program in the state.

Still, Brand acknowledged the ratepayer is going to face significant increases. “There’s no question that the two bills, plus other things we are doing, are going to have a tremendous impact on rates,’’ she said. “Affordability has to be a top priority as we move go forward and work at all these things.’’

Yeah, that about sums it up, not to mention the solar farm where the signing took place is a 100-acre facility that will only produce enough electricity for 3,000 homes (serving all of New Jersey would demand 107,000 acres at that rate) and still require subsidized nuclear or unsubsidized natural gas backup and even this wasn’t enough pandering for professional protesters such as Jeff Titell who doesn’t want other special interests such as nuclear feeding at the same public trough as his renewables.

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2 thoughts on “Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – May 26, 2018

  1. The Game Commission’s arguments against wind turbines are as fishy and self-serving as the nonsense the anti’s use against gas pads and pipelines.

    While 180,000 acres could support wind turbines, the actual acreage taken up by turbines will be far less. To be cost effective, the larger capacity and more expensive units will be placed only in areas of best wind conditions. There is considerable private land that could support wind also. What plans does the state have that protect the landowners’ rights and endangered wildlife?

    If turbines are affect migratory birds so much, feather the props and lock them down for the appropriate season. Of course, if some of those 40 hunting seasons are for migratory birds, then it is just a case of how they get killed.

    I’d hazard an unsupported guess that more people are injured in the 10 weeks a year that snowmobiling is allowed on SGL than have ever been hurt by debris or blades coming off a turbine anywhere.

    If high voltage equipment is such a hazard in isolated SGL then it must be catastrophic in populated areas and should be removed immediately. Or is this just opportunistic crap, like the anti’s use all the time, to justify an otherwise untenable position.

  2. You’ve missed the real story about the Morgan Stanley protest. It’s not what they wore (I would have wore a jacket and slacks to infiltrate a bank’s shareholder meeting.), but rather there were so few people to pull off the stunt. They had more road cones than people. I counted 3 banner carriers, 1 guy doing the amateurish video and another with the yellow caution tape. This tiny group set up and blocked access for at least the 5 minutes the video droned on. Is that all they could gather or all they needed? Either way a traffic jam takes far longer to clear than to be created.

    Private security wasn’t covering the entrance and took a while to show up. I saw no police presence at the entrance for traffic control and apparently no off duty officers hired to help inside either. Either could have removed the protesters once traffic backed up on to the public highway. The ever so predictable protesters accomplished their goal at a trivial cost because somebody at the bank dropped the ball.

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