Category Archives: New York

Constitution Pipeline files eminent domain lawsuits

Landowners in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida will get sued for eminent domain if we let the Sabal Trail pipeline get approved by FERC like FERC just approved the Constitution pipeline. Tomorrow is the deadline to file a motion to intervene against the Sabal Trail pipeline. That’s not the only thing that needs doing, but you can do it right now.

On 2 December 2014 FERC approved Williams Company’s Constutiontion Pipeline through Pennsylvania and New York, and a compressor station. (Joe Mahoney, Daily Star, 3 December 2014.

Julia Reischel, Watershed Post, 22 December 2014, Constitution Pipeline files 55 eminent domain lawsuits against Catskills landowners,

Since Dec. 12, the Constitution Pipeline has filed formal eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route through Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango counties, federal court records show.

The pipeline, which received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, has wasted no time Continue reading Constitution Pipeline files eminent domain lawsuits

New York State to ban fracking

Fossil fuels are going down, as the third most populous U.S. state follows the lead of dozens of its local governments and bans fracking. The sun is rising.

Jesse McKinley, New York Times, today 17 December 2014, Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks,

The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

“I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York,” said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health.

That conclusion was delivered Continue reading New York State to ban fracking

FERC nervous about being watched

FERC can’t even say how many pipelines have been approved, rejected, or went forward even if approved; no wonder they’re being scrutinized.

Hannah Northey, E&E, 3 November 2014, FERC faces heightened scrutiny as gas projects proliferate,

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission these days is drawing a crowd of companies promoting projects linked to the U.S. natural gas boom and protesters who say the agency blithely greenlights too many pipelines, export terminals and other gas infrastructure.

Foes of a FERC-approved export terminal at Cove Point, Md., recently rallied Continue reading FERC nervous about being watched

Fracked gas through Sabal Trail to Japan

New pipelines are to push fracked methane to export for profit, as fossil fuel industry analysts spell out, specifically describing a path from fracking through Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise and Transco pipelines and Spectra and NextEra’s Sabal Trail pipeline, and then naming Cove Point LNG export.

Chris Pedersen wrote for OilPrice.com 5 October 2014, Utica Boosts U.S. Natural Gas Production To Record Levels,

To find a market for both Marcellus and Utica gas production, existing pipelines are finding creative ways to move growing sources of gas, while new pipelines are proposed to take larger quantities of gas from large interstate pipelines such as the TRANSCO line. Williams’ new “Atlantic Sunrise” pipeline will connect Marcellus and Utica gas from its TRANSCO line. Sabal Trail LLC, a JV of Spectra and NextEra Energy have proposed to build the “Sabal Trail” pipeline, which would connect with TRANSCO. With the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recent approval of the Cove Point LNG plant, it is not farfetched to imagine India or Japan producing electricity from Utica gas by the end of the decade.

Sure, that paragraph doesn’t say Continue reading Fracked gas through Sabal Trail to Japan

Stop this Pipeline –Columbia Paper not buying the script

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, and Florida.

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 Continue reading Stop this Pipeline –Columbia Paper not buying the script

Departing PHMSA Administrator has let regulated companies determine testing as LNG exports increase

PHMSA Administrator Rather than stopping leaks and explosions, Cynthia L. Quarterman (no relation) seems to spend a lot of time testifying before Congress, see for example these CSPAN videos. Maybe now that “market forces” are shifting away from fossil fuels, instead of chasing the white whale of pipelines for fracked methane to LNG export, we can get a new PHMSA Administrator who will do something about the lax safety of the pipelines we’ve got while we get on with shifting to sun, wind, and water power.

James F. Bowe, Jr. and Sara E. Peters wrote for Energy Newsletter, March 2014, Congress Probes Crude by Rail Safety Developments; Voluntary Industry-Regulator Agreement Addresses Safety Concerns, Continue reading Departing PHMSA Administrator has let regulated companies determine testing as LNG exports increase

Citizens meet against Spectra’s Algonquin pipeline

Safety, property values, insurance, schools: same concerns about Spectra’s Algonquin pipeline as about its Sabal Trail pipeline. Plus Algonquin runs by the safety-paper-forging Indian Point nuke! Nothing to worry about, says Spectra’s Marylee Hanley, same as she said about that compressor leak at Steckman Ridge, and same as Spectra said about Searsmont, Maine, where residents say they were lied to. New York residents aren’t buying that; they don’t want their property and lives risked for LNG export profit. They already had 50 people in a meeting in July, and they’re doing more. And FERC has actually denied a Spectra Algonquin pipeline permit before; time to do it again!

Lanning Taliaferro wrote for Ossining-Croton-on-Hudson Patch 25 August 2014, Opponents Set Sept. 3, 4, 13 Info Sessions on Natural Gas Pipeline Project,

Residents and elected officials throughout Westchester and Putnam Continue reading Citizens meet against Spectra’s Algonquin pipeline

OpEd: Spectra Energy: Trust Facts Not Promises –Mike Benard

By Mike Benard today in the Peekskill, NY Daily Voice. -jsq

OpEd: Spectra Energy: Trust Facts Not Promises,

Speaking from experience with Spectra Energy, property owners and communities can expect the company (NYSE: SE) will not do what it says it will in terms of transparency and accountability; and the company will develop amnesia when questioned about its actual track record relating to safety and federal fines.

Managing by fact is simple. If communities and local governments want to know what to expect from Spectra Energy, ask folks who live with its facilities today.

For example, property owners in Bedford County, Pa. (about Continue reading OpEd: Spectra Energy: Trust Facts Not Promises –Mike Benard

State and local permitting for Sabal Trail pipeline

The Florida Public Service Commission has a special say in the Southeast Market Pipelines Project because the Florida Southeast Connection (FSC) leg of this pipeline is completely inside Florida and completely owned by FPL, a Florida regulated electric utility. And Florida has a say because the entire excuse for the three-part Transco -> Sabal Trail -> FSC project is that supposedly Florida needs the power (it doesn’t, but that’s the excuse). FPL is getting so desperate for public acceptance of this boondoggle they pressed their own CEO, Eric Silagy, into attempting to rebut Our Santa Fe River’s latest entry in the op-ed debate.

Sabal Trail and FERC would like everyone to believe state regulators have no say, but that’s just not true. It’s not even clear GA PSC has no say, considering that Continue reading State and local permitting for Sabal Trail pipeline

Timeline: Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline has no permit yet

Spectra, FPL, and Williams have not even formally filed with FERC for pipeline permits yet, and that process usually takes about a year. Permitting confusion benefits Spectra about its Sabal Trail Transmission 36-inch hundred-foot-right-of-way fracked methane pipeline, because people don’t know what they can do. You can file ecomments right now, and show up and protest. As soon as the pipeline company files for the formal permit process, you can file as an intervenor, which gives you legal rights to be heard, file legal briefs, and to appeal. Plus many state and local permits also have to be filed, and people can participate in those processes. Even if there ever is a FERC permit, a landowner who makes the pipeline company actually go through the eminent domain process will very likely get a better deal. If enough landowners say Come and Take It, the whole thing may become uneconomical for Spectra, as for Williams Company when it cancelled the Bluegrass Pipeline in Kentucky.

FERC’s Pre-Filing Process

Spectra and Williams and FPL are currently in the pre-filing process with FERC, Continue reading Timeline: Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline has no permit yet