Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Who Pulled Rank on the US Army Corps of Engineers?

Here's a strange one.

On April 7th, the last day to file a comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the so-called "Constitution Pipeline", the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) filed this comment:
The USACE is a party to this proceeding because they have jurisdiction for any pipeline which impacts "waters of the United States".

Don't try to read it the document above... it's status was quickly changed to "Privileged".
Meaning: SECRET. 

But not before we saved a copy! Read it here:

A day later, they filed this comment:
So if you compare both letters, line by line, you will see they are identical. Except for one paragraph at the end:

In addition, the New York, Baltimore, and Buffalo District Corps of Engineers (Districts) are in receipt of requests to extend the public comment period for the Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC proposed 124.4 mile long, 30 inch diameter natural gas pipeline in the states of Pennsylvania and New York. FERC received requests to extend the comment period from the NYSDEC, USEPA, and USDOI. The agencies have stated the complexity of the project, along with some very specific items by the NYSDEC, necessitate additional time for staff review. The Districts have considered these requests and have decided to grant a 30-day extension until May 7, 2014 for input on the Corps regulatory process.

The USACE has a comment period open simultaneously to the FERC comment period.

So why did they feel they had to hide this from public review? Neither the USACE nor FERC followed their own rules regarding privileged material:

Such as § 388.112(b)(1):

The cover page and pages or portions of the document containing material for which privileged treatment is claimed should be clearly labeled in bold, capital lettering, indicating that it contains privileged, confidential and/or Critical Energy Infrastructure Information, as appropriate, and marked “DO NOT RELEASE.” 
Whoops. Not there. Additionally, Federal law places limitations on what material can be withheld from public view. Looks like these criteria were not met either:


So what's going on here?

SPECULATION, partially confirmed by Kevin Bruce of the Army Corps, whom I just spoke with on the phone, who told me, the decision to retract the 30 day comment period "was made above my pay grade".

Both the FERC and the US Army Corps of Engineers ultimately report to the Commander-in-Chief, i.e., the President of the United States, Mr. Barack "All of the Above" Obama.

This project is apparently being fast-tracked.

Look carefully at this photo. (shot 3/31/14 on I88 near Afton)

So why is Constitution Pipeline Company
already shipping in materials?

Is this project already been green-lighted?
Is the public process just a sham?
What do they know that we don't know?

Who pulled rank on the US Army Corps of Engineers?
I'm thinking maybe it was this guy:

Commander in Chief, Mr. All of the Above
(Loves Fracking, Pipelines, KXL, LNG exports, BP drilling in the Gulf, etc)

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