Saturday, May 3, 2014

Oneonta Daily Star prints my LtE (Constitution Pipeline) verbatim, while my local paper ignores me.

Wow! Oneonta Daily Star prints my LtE verbatim, while my local paper
(Gannet's Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin) ignores me.

h/t to Bob T. who sent me a screen grab.

Here it is as I sent it. Looks like they printed it verbatim except for minor formatting changes!

The Unconstitutional Pipeline – 492 words

Monday April 7th closed the comment period on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Constitution Pipeline, a 125 mile, 30" high pressure natural gas pipeline from Susquehanna County PA, amd through four NY counties. I attended four days of public hearings the prior week.

A year ago, 800 people (including children) braved a rainy night to attend scoping hearings to voice their opposition, chanting, "The Constitution Pipeline will never be completed!"

This time, Teamsters were bused in from over 100 miles away with the promise of dinner and a free shirt, evidently to disrupt the meetings and harass landowners and intervenors who came to address the DEIS.
One woman had her sign taken and ripped up. Several people were bullied, harassed, or threatened, while the Project Manager, Matt Swift, handed out hats.

They had one thing to say: Jobs. However, the DEIS says only 5 permanent jobs will be created.

Summary of defects with the Draft EIS:
  • It only examines environmental impacts of the pipeline itself, and not the impacts of fracking or compressor stations. The DEIS calls these impacts are "negligible", or "non-jurisdictional". This is segmentation. According to the National Environmental Policy Act, all direct and cumulative impacts must be examined.

  • There's no initial compressor station. However, the Williams Central Station in Susquehanna County has already been built, without a FERC permit, apparently in violation of the Natural Gas Act, which requires a Certificate of Public Convenience for such a project. It will emit 98,801 tons per year of Greenhouse Gases, yet, these impacts are not scoped.

  • There is no analysis in the DEIS as to why this pipeline is needed in the public interest. In fact, by the applicant's own statements, this gas will be exported into Canada.

  • Up to 40% of landowners have denied access to their land for surveying, and have refused to sign a lease.

  • Recent analysis published at Seeking Alpha says the Marcellus Shale formation will soon go into steep decline and will be depleted by 2020. We will be left with this rotting infrastructure and suffering the impacts to our forests and farmland for 100 years – for FIVE years worth of gas?

  • 110 new wells will be required to fill the Constitution Pipeline, and 80 new wells per year to keep it full. We have already seen many examples of water contamination from drilling and fracking in NE PA. Again, these impacts are not scoped!

  • The applicant has used a "Community Grants" program to purchase consent along the route, which seems to violate federal bribery laws by definition.

  • The applicant is a joint venture between Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas. These companies have atrocious safety and compliance records.

The Natural Gas Act states that the applicant must be "able and willing" to perform the service proposed, "otherwise such application shall be denied."

Let's hope FERC follows the law.

William Huston

Binghamton NY

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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