Thursday, February 4, 2016

My letter to Cuomo, Schneiderman, Seggos: Please TAKE URGENT ACTION to protect 100,000 trees in NE-PA!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Huston <>
Date: Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 3:53 PM
Subject: Please TAKE URGENT ACTION to protect 100,000 trees in NE-PA!

Take URGENT Action to Stop the "Constitution" Pipeline!

To: NYS AG Eric Schneiderman
      NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos
      NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo


Thank you so much for your efforts to protect NY from the dangers of high volume hydrofracking.  But new NY is being threatened by a dozen fracked-gas infrastructure projects, including the "Constitution Pipeline".

This project has involved a series of VIOLATIONS OF LAW, inc. the Natural Gas Act (NGA), & the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
  • FERC failed to examine the "character of the applicant"  as required by the Natural Gas Act.

    The applicant "Constitution" being a partnership between Cabot Oil and Gas, and Williams Partners

    • Cabot has been issued 618 violations by the PA DEP since 2009, just in Susquehanna County. According to researcher Vera Scroggins, they are the #1 worst operator in the state.

    • Williams also has an atrocious safety record. Including 4 explosions or fires within 30 miles of Binghamton in just 2 years.  Just Google "Williams Safety Record" and you will find dozens of examples of their facilities exploding, people getting hurt or killed, and the companies being fined for violations.

    The Natural Gas Act demands that if an operator cannot operate safely and be in compliance with regulations, "such application shall be denied." 15 USC 717f(e) 

  • Jurisdictional Facilities under the Natural Gas Act constructed without a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

    It is impossible to transport natural gas though a pipeline 125 miles without an initial compressor. However the design plan submitted to FERC lacked an initial compressor.

    In fact, several compressors necessary for this interstate pipeline have already been built, including the Williams Central Station, and the CDP compressors in New Milford PA WITHOUT a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity as required by 15 USC 717f(c)(1)(A), which states:

    "No natural-gas company ... shall engage in the transportation or sale of natural gas... or undertake the construction or extension of any facilities therefor... unless there is in force ... a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by [FERC] authorizing such acts or operations"

  • FERC's "Conditional Certificate" PRIOR TO the issuance of the complete environmental review has no basis in law, and is a clear violation of their statutory authority under NEPA.

  • FERC failed to examine the "No Action" alternative required by NEPA

  • FERC failed to examine many environmental impacts required under NEPA (cumulative, upstream, downstream, direct, indirect, impacts of segmented projects, and reasonably foreseeable impacts).

  • FERC's "tolling orders" delay their response to Motions to Rehear (and thus lawsuits) violate statutory time limits imposed by 15 U.S.C. § 717r(a)

  • Landowners have had properties condemned, but have not been compensated PRIOR to construction violates the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution

THANK YOU to NYS AG Schneiderman for the letter to FERC in opposition to tree clearing in NY, however this activity is scheduled to begin TOMORROW, Friday 5 Feb 2016, in Susquehanna County PA. Your legal argument demands that NO CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY should occur until ALL the permits are in place. This includes PA.

I am therefore asking you all for immediate action to prevent this massive destruction of living trees, and other biomass necessary for climate stability and which provides home, food, and habitat for 10,000 animals, birds, and other living things.

1) Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos--  Please immediately DENY the Clean Water Act sec. 401 permit. This will put an END to this madness which we have fought since 2012.

2) Attorney General Schneiderman-- Please seek an INJUNCTION to prevent tree cutting in Pennsylvania using the arguments you outlined in your opposition letter to FERC.

Thank you,
William Huston,
Binghamton NY

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

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