Process, Energy & Reliability Engineer, Watkins Glen, NY
(David Crea is employed by US Salt but speaks here for himself only)
“Gas Free Seneca,” “We Are Seneca Lake” and “Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association” are job killers! But, labor unions are now fighting back – they want jobs!
Crestwood has recently proposed to remove the butane-storage portion of its proposed LPG-Storage Project. Four jobs that should already have been in Schuyler County have just evaporated due to the Gas Free Senecans’ antagonism directed toward Crestwood and its job-creating LPG-Storage proposal. Crestwood’s new cut-down proposal takes away what would have been four butane loading and unloading jobs. It is a small but stinging loss for Schuyler County. Still, something very good is happening; the good guys are fighting back against the job killers!
Park Foundation funded green bullies with megaphones who demand everyone listen to them and no one else, have stalled the Finger Lakes LPG Storage Project. Not only are the butane-related jobs now gone but another 4-6 jobs that should already have been in Schuyler County to run the propane storage operations are still on indefinite hold due to the efforts of these same radicals. They enjoy the tacit behind-the-scenes support of their self-appointed protector, Governor-Dictator Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo, in turn, is the puppet of moneyed interests in New York City and Ithaca.
Crestwood’s combined butane+propane storage proposal has been hung up under the hand of DEC Chief Administrative Law Judge James McClymonds for roughly two years. McClymonds was supposed to get out an opinion by about July – but that was July of last year! The conclusion is only too easy. He’s working under the control of Cuomo’s thumb, and may well never be done. The “Issues Conference” game worked by bureaucrats has blocked progress on a $40 million project now aged seven years without a shovel in the ground yet.
“New York is open for business!” the TV ads say. The Crestwood project experience proves only politically-correct game-players (cronies) can actually conduct business in New York. It is all more proof New York is not run to benefit the common man, but only those of the well-connected. Tammany Hall lives again.
Crestwood, in trying to achieve some progress, has sought to remove one obstacle. The antis found they were most able to scare people with the specter of hauling butane-loaded railroad tankers over the trestle just above Watkins Glen State Park. That the trestle originally carried not just one, but two railroad tracks did not deter them from painting word-pictures of trains falling off the ‘rickety’ trestle, annihilating tourists. Nor were the antis deterred by the fact trains normally don’t come over the trestle during the period when tourists are populating the Glen, but rather only late at night! (Yes, there is a reason why you have not seen pictures of trains actually on the trestle!)
The cut-down project version also removed the smaller brine pond on the east side of Route 14 that some of the antis thought would be unsightly – from the far side of the lake 1-1/4 miles away!
It only took minutes for the anti-groups to start issuing press releases still decrying the cut-down project, “because of cavern instability,” “because it will industrialize the entire Finger Lakes region,” etc. This did not surprise those of us watching them; we had discerned long ago they were BANANAs anyway; adherents of the “Build Absolutely Nothing [dealing with carbon] Anywhere Near Anything philosophy.
Meanwhile, the salt content of the lake continues to go down, just as Dr. John Halfman’s model had predicted it would. These supposed lake lovers, rejected Dr. Halfman’s advice years ago to concentrate on the nutrients entering the lake and leading to eutrophication, rather than salt. They chose instead to fight a “Big Oil” straw man. They chose to fight a LPG-storage project that has no believable threat of ever polluting the lake.
There is now five years of penalty imposed on the propane users of New York and the mid-Atlantic states, since propane must be trucked-in during the depths of winter. Think of the diesel burned and pollution from that which could have been avoided! Untold dollars have been spent on lawyers and paperwork, while the lake’s ecosystem deteriorates. Now, we hear stories of fishermen who can’t find fish! And, something tells me Crestwood will somehow be blamed for that in an upcoming press release by the anti-carbon factions.
The dynamism that once marked the success of the USA experiment in free markets has succumbed to the likes of the naysayers. And they will never shoulder that blame themselves, pointing to “big oil” and “the rich’ as the root of their problems, while the do the dirty work of the really rich Park Foundation in Ithaca and the Rockefellers.
Away from the naysayers, the real story, is that salt-making and an LPG-storage operation can exist just fine together with wine-making, and the tourists just keep coming. It has already been happening for the last 30 years, as the wine-tourism industry exploded here. This sign tells the real story:
A consortium of unions in the area (based in Ithaca, no less!) has finally had enough of the job killers. David Marsh, Business Manager for Laborers International Union of North America has taken the lead in organizing a “Support Crestwood” rally at the same gate where about 400 carpetbaggers, malcontents and other radicals have been arrested for blocking traffic. Marsh has collaborated with Schuyler Legislator Phil Barnes in getting it set up. Barnes, as a Schuyler-taxpayer representative, has been especially critical of the impact on Schuyler by the antis, as both job and property tax revenue killers. He is also concerned about the Town of Reading Court and participant costs for the upcoming arrestee trials. Phil Barnes and David Marsh are slated to speak. There will be plenty of opportunity for project supporters and willing workers to send a message to the Governor and the outside world.
It will all occur at 4:30 pm (a worker friendly time) on Thursday the 18th at the gate into the Seneca Gas Storage facility. The gate is just across from the cemeteries south of the 14A junction with Route 14, at 3768 Route 14 North. It is three miles north of Watkins Glen Village on the west side of Seneca Lake. Parking for supporters will be inside the fence in the large lot.
All supporters of Crestwood are invited. Crestwood has agreed to build the new LPG-Storage facility with union labor. The trade union members are needing a good project, and are itching to show the job killers they want to work and want those jobs now, not years from now!
Arrangements have been made for signs and about 100 volunteers are needed to show these to the press:
Others are invited to bring their “LPG IS RIGHT FOR ME!!!!!” yard signs the salt plant’s union (Steelworkers Union) had made last year:
More details can be found here. And, here’s some more background:
In an attempt to expedite the approval process by NYS DEC, Crestwood is making the following voluntary concessions in its proposal to store propane in salt caverns in the Town of Reading:
- Reduce storage capacity from 2.1 million barrels to 1.5 million
- Store only propane in the salt caverns, instead of propane and butane
- Eliminate one of the two proposed brine ponds and include only one small pond west of State Route 14
- Ship propane in and out only by pipeline, removing both railroad and trucking options
Crestwood describes these changes in a letter to the DEC and said the changes reduce the scale and environmental impacts, (potential, actual and perceived) of the project, responding meaningfully to the concerns of those participating in the issues conference and by stakeholders outside of the DEC proceedings, and will result in further avoidance or mitigation of the impacts.
On Monday August 8, 2016, the Schuyler County Legislators passed a resolution of support for the revised Crestwood project. Crestwood remains committed to building this facility with Local Union labor under the existing MOA between Crestwood and the Southern Tier BCTC. In return, they need our help pushing this proposal through the political process. The first step will be this rally of support.
Be there, please, to support this project and help fight back against the job killers!
Mr. Crea is a US Salt technical professional employee who is involved with their brinefield, wells management, and environmental work, but writes this as an interested citizen-observer, not as a spokesman for Crestwood or US Salt.