Issue 33, 2018
 Gas Drilling Not Damaging Forests' Waterways, State Finds
"Pennsylvania's state forests agency says it isn't finding damage to waterways amid the expansion of natural gas drilling in recent years, although it is reporting a growth of invasive plants where land is being cleared."

Why this is important: This is another instance of well-documented support for the fact that natural gas drilling does not have material environmental impacts when such operations are handled in a responsible manner. Natural gas development itself is not a major factor in the introduction of non-native invasive plant species. Any activity that removes the native vegetation, whether associated with public highways, railroad rights of way, retail development, residential housing or other improvements, can be subject to fast-growing invasive plants. It is apparent in these sorts of instances, better care can be taken with such development activities to restore and continue the health of native species of vegetation. --- William M. Herlihy
 Trump's Coal Plan Works for West Virginia
"The Trump EPA's proposed replacement plan, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, will focus on empowering individual states, putting an end to the era of one-size-fits-all plans."

Why this is important: The new Affordable Clean Energy ("ACE") plan will allow West Virginia and other states to develop power plans that balance the states' economic needs with reductions in CO2. In this article by Senator Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, she notes the previous Clean Power Plan that was put on stay by the Supreme Court of the United States was developed without public input from coal states. The Obama administration conducted no public hearings in coal producing states. The new Trump administration ACE plan held hearings in a number of states, including coal producing states, before proposing a plan that allows individual states to develop their own reduction programs on a plant-by-plant basis to reflect the needs of that state and provide affordable power. That, Senator Capito believes, will help coal states like West Virginia. --- Mark E. Heath
 Construction May Resume on Mountain Valley Pipeline
"Pipeline developers stated that they expect construction to start up again soon and that MVP would bring back workers whose duties had been suspended."

Why this is important: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a letter on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, giving the go-ahead to resume pipeline construction. FERC's August 4, 2018 stoppage had been triggered by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that two permits the MVP had acquired were inadequate. In its Wednesday letter, FERC cited a recent Bureau of Land Management  analysis that concluded the route through the Jefferson National Forest is the best of several alternatives, stating the "specific route of the project no longer seems in question." MVP was pleased to announce it will "soon be able to bring back a significant amount of workers who were temporarily suspended from their duties on the project." But the Sierra Club remains unsatisfied that environmental concerns have been adequately addressed, and the discrete portions of the pipeline covered by the 4th Circuit's decision remain subject to challenge. And the MVP continues to face private landowner resistance to eminent domain condemnation in Virginia and North Carolina. --- John C. (Max) Wilkinson
 Fracking Fluid and Chemicals Market is Expected to Attend Consistent Growth Until 2025
"Growth in adoption of unconventional resources of gas and oil such as shale and CBM is expected to drive market over the forecast period."

Why this is important: The shale revolution across multiple regions in the United States has been driven by horizontal drilling combined with innovative hydraulic fracturing methods. Concerns about extensive water usage, proper handling of chemical additives to fracturing fluids, and the reuse or disposal of produced water are well placed. However, the reasonable regulation of these issues, as well as continued technological advances by the industry, promise to continue our march toward total energy independence in the United States without harm to our environment. --- William M. Herlihy
 U.S. Coking Coal Hit by Tariffs: $15-18/mt for Turkey, More for China
"The impact of a 25 percent import tariff put in place on US coking coal in China, and an earlier announcement of a hike in taxes on U.S. coking coal to 10 percent in Turkey, may be significant enough to halt trade into these markets given the added cost and complications to financing trade."

Why this is important: New tariffs in the expanding trade wars with U.S. trading partners could significantly impact metallurgical coal exports. China has enacted a 28 percent tariff that amounts to $48 to $53 a ton on imported U.S. coal. Turkey, which purchased 1.3 million tons in the first six months of this year, has enacted a 10 percent tariff that amounts to $15 to $18 a ton. These tariffs could price U.S. coal out of these markets and complicate financing of these exports. --- Mark E. Heath
 China Sets Sight on Iran's Small-Scale LNG Industry
"According to the report carried by Shana news agency, Iran's Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, Aryana Petro Tavan Co. and China Fortune Holdings participated in a conference on cryogenic air separation and mini-LNG in Tehran."

Why this is important: Iran and China are exploring potential investment opportunities in the Islamic Republic's LNG industry, according to an August 28, 2018 report by Iran's Shana news agency. Typical large-scale LNG plants produce between 2.5 and 7.5 million tons of LNG per year. The production capacities of the small-scale LNG plants under discussion between China and Iran vary from 2,000 to 500,000 tons a year, but that would be suitable for supplying small amounts of liquefied gas to diffuse regions using tanker trucks, a common, albeit inefficient, delivery method throughout the Mideast and central Asia. With tensions mounting in the Persian Gulf between the U.S. and Iran, and the growing consensus China is the developing global rival of U.S. interests, if a deal it struck, it would be contrary to U.S. interests in marginalizing Iran's belligerent regime. Developments such as this underscore the imperative the U.S. maximize its natural gas production and LNG export facilities. Greater supply of U.S. LNG on the global market will reduce LNG pricing and should make marginal LNG production less economically feasible. --- John C. (Max) Wilkinson
 Fracking, 10 Years Later: Its Benefits Far Outweigh Its Risks
"But amid muddied waters created by these unfounded and oftentimes ridiculous assertions, a sober evaluation of a decade's worth of scientific data clearly reveals that fracking's benefits have far outweighed its risks."

Why this is important: Modern fracturing technology has expanded our domestic oil and gas production by hundreds of multiples. Prior to the shale revolution, as augmented by advanced fracturing techniques, the United States has converted from a net importer of energy to a net exporter of hydrocarbons. This evolution has not only strengthened our domestic economy, but also significantly reduced problematic emissions nationwide. Anti-hydrocarbon advocates have attempted to demonize natural gas with rumors and unfounded statistics to try and sabotage an economic and environmental friendly source of energy. To date, no credible evidence has been produced to demonstrate shale gas produces problematic emissions or other pollution so long as these operations are conducted in a responsible manner. --- William M. Herlihy
 Coronado Coal Prepares for $1B IPO
"The IPO, which is expected to value the whole company at around A$3 billion, is likely to be the biggest coal mining float in Australia since Yancoal Australia listed in 2012 at the peak of the country's mining boom."

Why this is important: Coronado Coal is planning a public stock offering this fall valued at one billion Australian dollars. The company produces some 16.7 million tons of metallurgical coal worldwide, with 8.2 million tons from three mines in West Virginia and Virginia. It also produces 3.5 million tons of steam coal in Australia. This offering continues to show the importance of metallurgical coal production that is driving U.S. coal markets. --- Mark E. Heath
  EIA Energy Statistics
Here is a round-up of the latest statistics concerning the energy industry.

Weekly Petroleum Status Report


Natural Gas Weekly Update

Natural Gas Futures Prices

Coal Markets

Weekly Coal Production

Monthly Biodiesel Production Report

Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report
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