In the months since the liquefied natural gas export project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Dominion has hit the ground running to have its Lusby export facility operational by late 2017.
An offsite area in Solomons is essentially complete, said Bob McKinley, vice president of Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas construction. The temporary pier built to receive shipments from barges on the Patuxent River, which was approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works, will start operations in the spring.
This area is expected to be returned to its preconstruction condition when barge shipments end in 2016. The offsite area in Solomons has been a focal point for opponents of the export plant, some of whom gained access to the site and climbed high on top of a mound of soil to protest the export project in November. Continue reading Cove Point Construction Advances→
Dominion Transmission, Duke Energy and other partners are trying to nail down the route of the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to transport fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Many landowners have refused to let Dominion onto their land to survey for the pipeline. Sometimes, surveyors have even been caught trespassing without permission. Now, Dominion is playing hardball and taking landowners who won’t cooperate to court to get access to their land:
Today the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation announced it is seeking public comments on the Draft State Permit Applications for proposed construction of the Interstate Constitution Pipeline. Public comments will be accepted through Jan. 30, 2015
The public is invited to comment on permit applications the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received for the proposed, federally regulated Constitution Pipeline and an upgrade to the Iroquois Wright Compressor station in Schoharie County that is part of the project.
What do public health advocates like me tell people all the time? Get tested. Use protection.
In practice, that means we’re always explaining how everything from cancer screenings to immunizations to bike helmets can save lives.
The same logic ought to apply to natural gas drilling. Take what’s happening in Maryland, my state.
Until now, Maryland has banned the controversial gas-drilling process commonly known as “fracking.” That’s kept a portion of the Marcellus Shale formation — a gas-rich stretch of bedrock that stretches from New York State to Tennessee — off-limits to frackers.
Maryland was the only state to complete a public health study of the impacts of fracking before drilling. The participants found fracking to have a high or moderate likelihood of negative impacts in seven out of eight core areas — including air quality, water quality, occupational health, and earthquakes, among other things.
Before Election Day, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, had supported a moratorium on fracking in the state. After Republican Larry Hogan — who has publicly stated his support for drilling — pulled a surprise win in Maryland’s gubernatorial race, however, O’Malley switched gears.
A new study by a team at the University of Texas, published in Nature News, throws cold water on bullish US natural gas production forecasts by the US agency, the Energy Information Administration. Its analysis suggests that the fracking boom will be a relatively short-lived phenomenon, which raises doubts about the attractiveness of investing in shale plays and in liquified natural gas transport facilities, particularly for export. Notice that this big red flag about the size and durability of the natural gas bonanza hasn’t hit the mainstream media yet. For instance, today one of the lead stories in the Financial Times is US oil reserves at highest since 1975: Shale revolution transforms country’s energy supply outlook.
Specifically, the study finds that shale gas output will peak ramp up sharply to 2020, consistent with the EIA’s projections. However, the EIA calls for continued solid growth through 2040.
Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo banned fracking in New York, citing public health risks. Fracktivists rejoiced, relieved that their state won’t go the way of neighboring Pennsylvania. Pocked with fracking wells, the mountainous counties of northeast Pennsylvania have suffered from contaminated water supplies, earthquakes, spoiled countryside and thunderous truck traffic. As long as the fracking ban is in place, New Yorkers won’t be threatened by methane emissions and toxic fumes from fracking wells, wastewater pools or the risk of a well blowing up or leaking uncontrollably.
Unfortunately, just because New York banned fracking, and even though more than 150 New York municipalities have banned fracking using local zoning laws, the state won’t escape its effects. In fact, New York is already burdened with the fracking industry’s health and safety problems and threats to the environment because of gas infrastructure.
Photo by Peter Eliscu
Gas companies are building pipelines to service increasing demand in New York City. In spite of opposition from groups like OccupythePipeline concerned about radon exposure and the risk of explosion, Spectra Energy’s pipeline, which runs under Greenwich Village, went into service in November 2013.
On [December 1, 2014], Transco began partial service of 250,000 Dth/d on its Virginia Southside Expansion. Transco has historically transported about one-quarter of the gas consumed in Virginia and nearly all of the gas consumed in North Carolina. Virginia Southside expands existing facilities in southern Virginia, allowing the pipeline to increase deliveries by 270,000 Dth/d. The project is primarily designed to fuel Dominion Virginia Power’s new 1,300 MW power plant in Brunswick County, VA.
Virginia Southside consists of about 100 miles of new 24-inch diameter pipeline extending from the Transco mainline in Pittsylvania County, VA, and into Halifax, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and terminating in Brunswick County. The project modifies Transco’s existing mainline to allow for natural gas to flow south rather than north, to provide gas transportation capability from Transco’s pooling point in Mercer County, NJ (see Daily GPI, Nov. 22, 2013).