Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
The FERC PennEast Pipeline hearings attracted all the usual suspects among the fractivist moths but also some significant support for a much needed project.
We’ve been to a number of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scoping hearings, as well as hearings by the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Whether it’s a hearing on pipelines, compressor stations or shale drilling, anti-fossil fuel nutters always show up and it seems as if they read from the same script every time.
The latest example of this role playing comes from Carbon County, Pennsylvania where the silly antics of antis was on full display once again, this time at a FERC hearing on the PennEast Pipeline. Example: One anti-pipeline nutter used part of her three minutes of talk time to read the lyrics from a Disney movie (boggles the mind):
Whether it was the impassioned plea of a mother fighting for the open space her son uses for recreation or a resident using her allotted three minutes to read lyrics from a Disney movie, the message from the majority of speakers Wednesday night at Penn’s Peak was clear: “We don’t want the pipeline.”
More than 120 people attended the scoping meeting hosted by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission, the agency that will cast the yes or no vote on the proposed 114-mile PennEast natural gas pipeline.
FERC officials said they will use the comments when drafting an environmental impact statement on the project, slated to carry natural gas through Luzerne, Carbon, Northampton, and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania, and Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey.
Those who chose to speak in front of FERC wasted no time expressing their opinions.
For Tammy Plevretes of Palmerton, the issue is personal.
She moved to the area in 2013, eight years after her son Preston suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing football for LaSalle University.
“While he sat in his wheelchair, he said he missed driving the most,” Tammy said. “We moved to a place in the country that was touched by God, but untouched by development, malls and corporations. Preston could drive on our land because he was unable to drive on the highway. Now, we face another fight trying to protect his health and welfare.”
Come on people! It’s a pipeline in the ground. You dig a trench, you lay the pipe, you cover it up and a couple of years later you can’t even tell where it is! It’s the safest form of transportation bar none. Why all of the histrionics and irrational fear around this?
Click here to keep on reading, and laughing. When you’re ready to get serious again, check out this neat video on the real work is done:
Meanwhile, FERC held another scoping hearing on the PennEast last night in Northeast Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County. It seems there were many more voices of reason at that hearing than the one held the previous night in Carbon County. The further away from the Philly orbit you get, the more common sense you encounter:
From energy independence to mine subsidence, supporters and opponents of the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline had their say on Thursday.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is holding a series of hearings on potential environmental impacts of the proposed $1 billion, 108-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline which will run from Dallas Township to Mercer County, New Jersey, to supply gas to markets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
During Thursday’s hearing at the Genetti Best Western Hotel and Conference Center, people were given three minutes to speak, and 32 did. Many were opposed to the pipeline, but there were also numerous supporters.
The pipeline is a joint venture among UGI Energy Services, AGL Resources, New Jersey Resources, Public Service Enterprise Group and South Jersey Industries. The company is expected to file a formal application with FERC this summer; currently the project is in the study and public comment phase.
Kelly Beaver, vice president of UGI Utilities, supported the opportunity for customers to receive naturally produced Marcellus and Utica Shale natural gas and reducing gas costs. PennEast, along with other pipelines, will provide plentiful supplies of reasonably-priced natural gas now and in the future, she said.
Doug McLinko, chairman of the Bradford County commissioners, spoke of the benefits the additional 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day the PennEast would supply, and the need for energy independence in the United States.
Tom Shepstone of Wayne County, a natural gas advocate, talked about how important the industry is to the revitalization of the rural northeast.
Editor’s Note: As one of the commenters last night, I share in Jim’s observations. It was a fairly balanced event and well run by FERC. What was apparent to all of us on the pro side of things was how little the fractivists had to offer. It was 100% speculation punctuated only by emotional outbursts with zero attachment to reason. They have nothing. Testimony from building trades union representatives about what the project would mean for them, by contrast, was far more effective.
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