Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
The Atlantic Sunrise, despite FERC approval, is facing DAPL-like opposition from the usual suspect radical fractivists. Fight back against these extremists.
Anti-fossil fuel protesters (some of them paid) will go on a camp-out in Amish country (Lancaster County, PA) beginning this Friday to protest the imminent start of construction for the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. The same group built themselves a magic tree house along the planned route of the pipeline . Then the bottom dropped out of their world. Last Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final authorization to begin construction.
Williams still needs permits from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, permits from PA & the Army Corps is perfunctory. The only thing antis can do now is attempt to gin up hundreds (or thousands) of people to attempt an illegal blockade to prevent construction of the pipeline. You know, a “peaceful” act of civil disobedience, like that in North Dakota. So, beginning Friday the antis will grab their sleeping bags and head to the magic tree house.
A group of pipeline opponents in Lancaster, Pa., have set Friday as the kickoff date for a planned “large-scale encampment” to protest construction of the Atlantic Sunrise project, a $2.6 billion effort to connect natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale formation to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
The Atlantic Sunrise project is being developed by a subsidiary of Williams Cos. and involves 183 miles of new pipeline to be laid in Pennsylvania as well as modifications to equipment and pipelines in its Transco system in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Once built, it would allow the company to deliver gas throughout the Eastern Seaboard and as far south as Florida.
The project won conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday during the last hours before FERC lost its decisionmaking ability as a result of the resignation of its former chairman, Norman Bay. That departure puts major decisionmaking by the body on hold until the Trump administration is able to secure Senate approval of a replacement for him (Energywire, Feb. 6).
Christopher Stockton, a spokesman for Williams, said the next steps for the project will be to certify within 30 days its plans to comply with the environmental and safety conditions that FERC put on the project. The project has yet to obtain approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for wetlands crossings and from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for wetlands and waterbody crossings, he said.
Stockton said work within the fence line of existing facilities is expected to start by April, and the company hopes to proceed with so-called greenfield construction by the second half of this year, once those permits are obtained…
A group called Lancaster Against Pipelines has been organizing opposition to the project based on worry that it would bring safety and environmental risk to the area and threaten agriculture and the “rural way of life” of local communities.
Yesterday, the group live-streamed on Facebook a gathering of protesters at a farm that they said would be disrupted by the new pipeline route, inviting opponents of the pipeline to gather in opposition to the project.
“Starting Friday of this week, on Feb. 10, the Lancaster Stand encampment will officially open for campers and for supplies to be donated,” an unidentified man read in a prepared statement.
A webpage for the group describes the gathering as “a peaceful gathering place formed in opposition to the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline,” to be hosted on a private farm on the banks of the Conestoga River.
In the video, a woman who identifies herself as Malinda Clatterbuck, a founding member of the opposition group, said Lancaster Against Pipelines opposes the use of eminent domain for private gain — a rallying cry popularized in the fight against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines that activist Jane Kleeb, founder of the Bold Alliance, has used to draw bipartisan opposition to pipeline projects (Greenwire, Sept. 19, 2016).
“We are forced to relocate our selves and our families out of our homes and live in the pathway of this route in order to protect what is most dear to us, and necessary for our health and safety,” Clatterbuck said yesterday.
This weekend, opposition groups will host a two-day workshop on “nonviolent mass action scenarios” that they say will serve as an orientation to the encampment.*
“Nonviolent mass action.” Right. Just like the bullet-shooting, rock-throwing, tire-burning antis in North Dakota, right? That kind of “nonviolent mass action”?
Editor’s Note: We earlier noted the extremist nature of the Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP) group, which loves hanging with the Marxist CELDF and the miasmatic Clean Air Council. They also long to emulate their radical brothers and sisters who left that incredible environmental mess protesting DAPL.
LAP has also hired radical attorney Jordan Yeager for legal representation. Yeager was a member of the National Lawyers Guild, represents the Delaware Povertykeeper and loves attacking local officials who happen to think natural gas development is a legitimate enterprise. The LAP website indicates it has hired Yeager’s firm to assist it in its battles at a cost of $50,000 to $100,000 but has raised a mere $4,000 to pay for the lawyers, making us wonder if someone else is paying the bill.
Regardless, the nature of the group is apparent from its lack of identification of any officers on it’s website, which is typical of radical groups who don’t like others learning too much about them. A number of the “news” articles are written by a Marita Hines, who appears to be a local artist (aren’t they all?)
There’s something readers can do to fight back against this extremism, though, and it’s to write to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has already issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the Atlantic Sunrise. It will help move Marcellus Shale gas to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast which is very important to the future of drilling in our region. It will also help millions of urban Americans gain access to affordable Pennsylvania-
We need to take action to tell Governor Wolf and other Pennsylvania’s leaders how important it is to support Atlantic Sunrise. We can’t take chances, not after what New York’s governor did to delay the Constitution Pipeline. We don’t expect that from Governor Wolf but he needs to hear from all of us. Just go here to sign a letter to Governor Tom Wolf and support an Atlantic Sunrise. Be proactive!