Update 28 Sep 2014: With details from Bill Huston. The main point remains:
“Supporting the pipeline proposal as it stands amounts to surrendering our future to the petroleum industry.”
That about sums it up, both for Kinder Morgan’s
Constition Pipeline Northeast Direct project (NED)
through Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts,
and for Spectra and FPL’s Sabal Trail pipeline through Alabama, Georgia,
Parry Teasdale wrote for The Columbia Paper of Ghent, NY 25 September 2014, EDITORIAL: Stop this pipeline,
The proposed pipeline would reportedly run beneath 55 private properties in Columbia County if it’s approved by federal regulators. The property owners would have to grant rights of way to the company. Neither the towns nor the county could intervene.
The editorial doesn’t really buy that last: it laster asks local governments to intervene.
Opponents say that property values along and nearby the roughly 50-foot-wide pipeline right of way would lose value. The company’s website, www.kindermorgan.com, dismisses that claim, saying research shows pipelines have little or no impact on property values. One of the sources the company cites in support of that conclusion is the INGAA Foundation, founded by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, which represents gas pipeline companies. Not exactly an impartial source.
The editorial also doesn’t think much of PHMSA’s safety record
or the alleged need to build a new compressor station
and the alleged need for the massive amount of fracked methane
the Constitution Pipeline NED would carry.
Then it starts focussing on its main point.
While a larger pipeline does pose some risk to the county, that argument by itself sounds selfish compared to the presumed benefit consumers throughout the region might get from more plentiful gas supplies. But when you include the environmental damage that results from fracking, whether it’s caused by the secret brew of toxic fluids used to extract the gas or the shoddy plumbing on the wells themselves, the pipeline equation begins to shift.
Environmental damage from drilling is a big cost and Kinder Morgan isn’t going to pay for any of it. But Pennsylvanians will. Should we New Yorkers support a project that pollutes the water in our neighbors’ wells so much that you can ignite it with a match?
The country still needs natural gas, and a new pipeline might be necessary to replace one nearing the end of its useful life. But the scope of what Kinder Morgan proposes is far greater than what this region will need… unless you assume that we will never wean ourselves from our perilous reliance on fossil fuels.
Supporting the pipeline proposal as it stands amounts to surrendering our future to the petroleum industry. It accepts the proposition that we bear no responsibility for the changes already apparent in our climate here—that we are helpless to act. But opposing the pipeline in its present form puts the company and the industry on notice that we want change and we want it to start with here and now.
Urge the Town Boards of Canaan, Chatham and New Lebanon to adopt resolutions opposing the Kinder Morgan plan and ask the county Board of Supervisors to adopt a similar resolution prepared by the county Environmental Management Council. And contact the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at www.ferc.gov, and tell that agency to reject the Kinder Morgan plan.
Ditto for the Sabal Trail pipeline.
Bill Huston has supplied details about NED and the Constitution Pipeline:
- Constitution Pipeline is a partnership of Williams Partners, Cabot Oil and Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas, and WGL Holdings. FERC docket number is CP13-499
The Constitution Pipeline is ~122 miles and runs from Brooklyn Twp, Susquehanna County PA, to Wright, Schoharie County, NY.
- There is a NEW proposed pipeline, which runs parallel to the Constitution Pipeline between Susquehanna County PA, to Wright NY, AND ALSO continues East from there to Dracut Mass. This pipeline is owned by Kinder-Morgan and is called the Northeast Direct project (NED). FERC docket number is PF14-22.
And of course
- Spectra and NextEra’s Sabal Trail Transmission is PF14-1,
- while Williams Transco’s Hillabee Expansion Project is PF14-6
- and FPL’s Florida Southeast Connection (FSC) is PF14-2.
Here are some suggestions for resolutions or ordinances.