Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
The Natural Gas Supply Association, and other organizations, supported the Constitution Pipeline by filing an appeal against NY DEC.
It was perhaps the sleaziest of his sleazy political moves. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a non-science-based political decision to deny the Constitution Pipeline stream crossing permits in April. The man is a menace to all New Yorkers. He caves to his radical, fringe left on a regular basis. He did it again with his decision to deny the Constitution Pipeline.
Williams, Cabot and the other partners in the project are not taking it laying down. Consequently, they sued New York in federal court. There is a very real possibility that the court will neuter NY’s decision-making role in the project. The Constitution doesn’t stand alone. A number of national industry organizations are already coming to the Constitution’s defense.
The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) and other groups together filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. “Amicus curiae” means “friend of the court” in Latin. Furthermore, the brief makes the point that states should not be the tail that wags the federal-oversight-of-such-projects dog. The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is preventing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from doing its job. One government entity (especially a state) cannot block the power and authority of another government entity (particularly the federal government).
From NGI’s Shale Daily:
In a show of support for embattled Constitution Pipeline LLC, oil and natural gas organizations and others urged an appellate court to overrule regulators in New York State and issue a critical water permit for the project.
Last May, Constitution’s backers filed an appeal with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit over the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) refusal to issue a Section 401 Water Quality Certification under the federal Clean Water Act (see Shale Daily, May 16). The DEC denied the permit despite approval from FERC and a federal court to begin construction (see Shale Daily, March 20, 2015;Dec. 3, 2014).
In an amicus curiae brief filed Tuesday with the Second Circuit, the organizations supporting Constitution said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, not state regulatory agencies like the DEC, should be the ultimate arbiter over whether pipeline projects like Constitution proceed.
From the NGSA:
The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), together with a broad group of natural gas customer and industry groups, filed a joint amicus brief supporting Constitution Pipeline in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Constitution is challenging New York’s denial of its 401 water permit.
Dena E. Wiggins, president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association, said, “NGSA member companies see a clear need to speak up in opposition to New York’s denial of permit, which undermines the careful balance between federal and state roles in reviewing pipelines that was established in the Natural Gas Act.”
Wiggins said, “Congress gave individual states a limited role in the approval process and gave FERC primary authority for reviewing pipeline projects, so that one state could not unilaterally veto FERC-approved projects and deprive others states’ natural gas consumers of a useful and valuable source of competitive natural gas transportation.”
She said, “New York’s short-sighted action limits the economic growth potential of New York’s businesses and citizens and deprives other states reliable access to natural gas supplies that are needed for clean electricity, winter heating and industrial manufacturing. Natural gas is an essential part of meeting the state and region’s ambitious clean energy objectives and pipelines are essential to delivering that gas. ”
Several associations representing large consumers of natural gas signed the amicus, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AF&PA, Process Gas Consumers and the American Chemistry Council. In addition, the American Gas Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the American Petroleum Institute joined the amicus. The brief was filed July 19.
View a copy of the NGSA’s Amicus Curiae Supporting the Constitution Pipeline [click to read whole thing].