The Russians Again? Build the Constitution Pipeline and Do It Now!

DRBC fracking ban - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The Constitution Pipeline would deliver inexpensive, low-carbon natural gas to New England but instead we’re importing Russian LNG again. Unbelievable.

The on-line journal gCaptain shares news about more Russian LNG on its way to New England. It’s coming via France and it’s gas that should have either come from a U.S. LNG facility or via the Constitution Pipeline. But an outdated U.S. statute prevents the former and a politically corrupt governor of New York stands in the way of the latter.

How insane is this?

…a tanker named Exemplar has been loitering just outside Boston harbor after picking up a cargo from France’s Montoir-de-Bretagne terminal two weeks ago, according to ship tracking data.

That ship picked up a cargo of LNG from the Yamal LNG facility in Russia that had been brought to the French terminal by another tanker…

We are importing LNG from an enemy that, because it has to be shipped halfway around the world, is much higher in carbon than our own gas. It’s another lose-lose deal thanks to incorrigibly incompetent government.

Constitution Pipeline

Photo by MSC_Michi

Congress is part of the problem; it has done nothing to address the problem created by the 1920 Jones Act, which prevents foreign tankers in which LNG is typically shipped from moving the product between U.S. ports. It’s not a new problem and, yet, nothing has been done to address it. If it was addressed it would be easy to bring gas from Texas, for example, to Boston, which is one heck of lot easier and better for our energy security and the environment than bringing it from a Russian Arctic port.

The greater insanity, though, is the obstruction of the Constitution Pipeline by Andrew Corruptocrat Cuomo. If the Constitution Pipeline had been constructed by now as it should have been, it would delivering Marcellus Shale gas from Northeastern Pennsylvania to the Albany area and from there to New England. Instead, Corruptocrat has, for the sake of appeasing his NRDC gang masters, has opted to fight the project every step of the way.

Cuomo might very well like to see the Constitution Pipeline approved, as long as he’s on the record opposing it, but that’s another story. The point is that he’s standing atop the pipeline route that could deliver the gas the Russians are selling Boston and saying “stop.” He bears the responsibility for undermining our energy security and forcing Bostonians to buy more expensive higher-carbon gas. And, it has to stop.

The nation’s security cannot be held captive to the demagogic brain farts of a sick, craven politician nurtured on corruption. Its time for Congress, the Trump administration and the industry to take Governor Corruptocrat and his ilk directly, instead of relying upon FERC and the good will of District court judges.

Constitution Pipeline

The Trump administration needs to use its power of appointments, executive orders and existing authority under various security statutes to ensure the Section 401 Water Quality Certification is not infected with the disease Cuomo Corruptus. Trump has the pulpit and needs to call out Cuomo, take him on and make it painful ti abuse Section 401.

Congress needs to do something meaningful for a change and take up this issue. It can clarify Section 401 with new legislation but even this, it can hold hearings to expose the abuse of the statute and, by doing so, educate the public and the courts on the intent of Congress, which was to give states a role with respect to pipeline water quality issues, not a veto power based on the political whims of corrupt governors. While it’s at it, Congress should also amend the Jones Act.

Finally, the industry needs to start playing offense. Defense, no matter how well played, will not win the day. ft will only soften the blows. The pipeline and natural gas industry needs to come together and sue Andrew Cuomo and like-minded governors on the basis of the Commerce Clause, as I suggested here. There is a clear-cut case to be made. Cuomo isn’t just abusing Section 401; he’s directly interfering with interstate commerce and, by doing so, undermining both the U.S. Constitution and our national security .

It’s time to get tough, in other words. It’s time to sweep Cuomo’s corruption away and build the damned pipeline before yet more shiploads of Russian LNG make their way to Boston.

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3 thoughts on “The Russians Again? Build the Constitution Pipeline and Do It Now!

  1. 1) REPLACE the Hollerans’ woods (I understand machines are available with which to transplant, for only a few thousand dollars per trip, mature, ready-to-tap maple trees like the ones that were cut without the landowner’s permission and at gunpoint on March 1, 2016, a day that will live in infamy for real Susquehanna Countians), and 2) find WILLING landowners for every linear centimeter of the way the next time, before you expect me to care about the oddly-named “Constitution” Pipeline.

  2. One might pause before pointing to the Jones Act as being culpable in this ongoing New England gas shortage debacle.

    There are several powerful reasons to consider the positive impacts of the Act not the least of which is the protection of of US jobs working in the offshore Gulf industry.

    The Act also inhibits a slew of European offshore wind components from shipping into Massachusetts, only to be loaded upon specialized European vessels which will do the actual (if ever) construction.

    Biggest consideration may be the impact on US seagoing LNG carriers as at least 1 Articulated Tug Barge of 8,000 cubic meters is currently being built in a Mississippi shipyard.
    While this is a fraction of the Exemplar’s capacity, it still displays the impact that the Act can have.

    Longer term, the Everett facility may shut down in a few years’ time, along with the Mystic River power plants.

    The LNG plants being planned for Bradford county and outside Charlton Massachusetts may well be the future sources to keep New England lit during cold winter spells.
    These plants will obviously use Marcellus gas that the New Englanders will overpay to be chilled, trucked/railed/barged to their region, only to be regassified into their pipelines.


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