Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
NGSA filed a brief in federal court and also with the New York DEC to move forward with two critical pipeline projects, including the Constitution.
The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) has gone into action to support two currently-stalled pipeline projects in the People’s Republic of New York, where Chairman Cuomo rules. Yesterday the NGSA filed a brief in federal court to respond to an effort by the rogues gallery of environmental extremist groups (including Catskill Mountainkeeper, Riverkeeper, Sierra Clubbers and other ne’er–do–wells) to stop the Constitution Pipeline from getting built.
The Constitution is a $683 million, 124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY carrying Marcellus gas. The enviro groups sued in federal court to challenge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) environmental review of the Constitution. If the wackos can get FERC’s review cast aside, they can slow the project to the point where they can (hopefully for them) kill it. That’s the game plan.
NGSA is pushing back, legally. Also this week the NGSA asked the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to get off its rear-end and approve air permits for Dominion’s New Market Project, a fairly dull $159 million capacity upgrade to an existing natural gas pipeline which runs across upstate New York from the PA line, west of Horseheads, and then northeasterly to the state’s Capital Region.
Once again the DEC is doing their master’s bidding by refusing to grant necessary air permits for the New Market Project to proceed. Basil Seggos, the DEC Commissioner is happy to play along, being an environmental radical himself.
In a brief filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) called on the Court to deny a petition by Catskill Mountainkeeper, et al., challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of the Constitution Pipeline.
NGSA pointed out that the group’s petition should be rejected for many reasons, chiefly because petitioners are erroneously claiming that natural gas production is the result of pipeline development. NGSA’s brief points out that production actually precedes the pipeline. NGSA says, “The true aim of the petition is to advance Sierra Club’s [Beyond Natural Gas campaign] to eliminate the use of fossil fuels… which would deprive the region’s businesses and consumers of the benefits of abundant and accessible clean natural gas supplies.”
As NGSA’s brief explains, “Petitioners incorrectly argue that authorization of the Constitution Pipeline itself will cause cognizable increases in domestic natural production … incorrectly reversing the causal connection between natural gas production and the infrastructure necessary to transport natural gas.”
NGSA said, “As FERC has recognized … the proposed pipeline is the result of substantial increases in natural gas production, not the cause of that production.”
NGSA added that the environmental impacts of natural gas production are already properly evaluated and regulated by states and the Bureau of Land Management. NGSA said that upstream production impacts should not be incorrectly “piggybacked onto decisions to authorize downstream infrastructure made by a federal agency [FERC] that has no jurisdiction over natural gas production.”
Here’s a copy of the full brief:
Below is a copy of the letter sent by the NGSA to the NY DEC politely requesting they get off their considerable rear-ends and approve air permits for Dominion’s New Market Project: