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Press Release: Stop the Pipeline Blasts Constitution's "Arrogance"

Written By Editor on 12/19/13 | 12/19/13

Central NY - Stop the Pipeline (STP) filed extensive comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today, blasting the Constitution Pipeline Company’s lack of directness and transparency in its responses to requests for information made by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corp) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The comments were prepared by the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, which represents STP. The Clinic spent weeks analyzing the pipeline company’s responses after FERC told the company that it had to provide answers to all agencies’ comments before FERC releases its draft Environmental Impact Statement. 

“We were shocked by the evasive techniques the pipeline company used to avoid answering questions,” said Anne Marie Garti, a founding member of STP and a volunteer at the Clinic. “They ignored most of the agencies’ comments, developed legal theories to try to avoid answering others, and then buried the rest in thousands of pages of submitted files so that no one could find them.” 

The Constitution Pipeline Company requires permits from both the Army Corps and the DEC before it can begin construction. Both agencies have submitted comments that require extensive analysis from the pipeline company under laws that are outside of FERC’s authority.  

Stop the Pipeline (STP) is a grass roots organization of landowners and citizens who are committed to preserving Central New York from the countless negative impacts of the proposed 30”, 124-mile high-pressure gas transmission line that would run through pristine territory, from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania to Schoharie County, New York. STP retained the Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic last Fall to help stop the pipeline. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. founded the Litigation Clinic, and co-directs it with Professor Karl Coplan.  Professor Daniel E. Estrin is the Clinic’s Supervising Attorney working on the case. 

“A gas pipeline project such as this, proposed to cut through pristine wilderness areas, including trout stream beds and vital wetlands, has potential to cause enormous adverse environmental impacts,” explained Professor Estrin.  “We have been pleased with the efforts of the Army Corps and DEC to obtain data that are absolutely necessary to assess those impacts, as well as to analyze whether there is a need for the pipeline project.  Conversely, we have been extremely disappointed by the Company’s game of hide the ball, which is clearly designed to make it so hard to find responsive data that the agencies and public will eventually lose interest and give up.  The company should know that the public is tracking this process very carefully, and that its efforts to prevail through atrophy of energy or interest will not succeed.”

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Richard A. Sherman said...

So just where is this "pristine territory"? we have a glorious piece of God's earth here, but I am not sure just how much is "pristine".
It would be interesting to see what is being considered. That is a serious concern.
After reading the article and attending far more meetings and public hearings than I would wish on anyone, I have a few simple questions and possible answers.
Does anyone stop to think how many office buildings, skyscrapers, public venues and private homes have had pipes running through their cities, streets, basements, schools and parks in just one minor sized city that uses natural gas?
How come we do not see these folks being blown up on a daily basis?
I really think it is a safe and affordable alternative that can actually do the job right now.
Compare 1 supertanker oil spill to all of the natural gas accidents and environmental impacts we have on record. Nothing is fool proof and accident free guaranteed, however if the Global Warming folks really care about carbon and fossil fuel environmental impact, I would think they would be whipping this horse to death to get it to the starting line.
Also it has never been known to kill our National bird and other flying creatures, will not make you glow in the dark, and is much closer to being able to fulfill the power demands of our large national power grid efficiently.
All or some will likely reach a level of efficiency and effectiveness to one day be independent of fossil fuels (personally my money is on hydrogen), but then comes at 25 - 30 years to refit our entire industrial to private energy and support system, to be able to use them.
My real guess is it would take 75 - 100 years to get fully off fossil fuels. Change comes slowly and the courts come slower and money takes the day. Resistance will be brutal and daunting. Just look at the push back from all sides of the issue now. Plus we need to be able to accommodate the rest of the world's industry and shipping and most will NOT have any interest or be able to afford to make such monumental changes.
We could isolate ourselves just by being inconvenient for the rest to bother with.
The world is no longer driven by the US economy. The Chinese will buy what ever we do not of any commodity and the world just passes us by. We are no longer the worlds biggest glutton.
Oh! Then the government will step in and it could easily turn in to 200 years.
We need a reliable, abundant, safe, clean, and affordable energy supply that can maintain the needs and demands at current levels, but causes far less pollution (for the GW folks), get us OUT of the Middle East and put millions of Americans to work while restoring greatness to this country. By the way, even if we reduced our total consumption of energy by 25% the new innovations, other than nuclear, still could not handle the demand. They are just not there yet.
Do I think natural gas is the final end all answer, absolutely not, but it has a lot of pluses until we perfect the others.
We need to be less emotional and more logical.
By the way, I am not against Hydro - Fracking either.
I just don't see the threat here in the Schoharie Valley that some day it will be one big "fracking" site.
By the time the industry become capable of making it worthwhile in Schoharie County to even go after the shale gas they will have developed the technology to be able to do it with a very limited impact, otherwise it would not be cost effective for them..
Please do not follow the zealots on any side of this issue, they always have an agenda.
We have been thinking for ourselves here in the Schoharie Valley for over 300 years.
Stop being afraid to have an opinion, it is the ultimate form of being a bullied.
Merry Christmas to all!

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