APRIL REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 5/3/2020
As reported earlier, on January 30th PennEast filed an application for a new Pennsylvania-only pipeline which they call “Phase I.” PennEast freely admits that the
shortened Phase I project was created because of the legal and administrative hurdles they face in New Jersey. The company states that Phase I works as either a portion of the original project ending near Trenton, New Jersey, or as a stand-alone project ending in Bethlehem Twp., PA. The company calls the project a phased construction project and relies on the environmental impact report prepared for the original project as well as the state permits granted for the original project. The company also relies on the original statement of public need. That statement is based on the idea that the pipeline will protect New Jersey and Pennsylvania from high gas prices. But gas prices in the country at large are some of the lowest ever seen, and gas prices in Pennsylvania are among the lowest in the nation.
After initially refusing the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Basin Commission, the company now agrees that the project, no matter what it is called, is subject to the approval of the DRBC.
If PennEast must accept the shortened stand-alone project, the company will have settled far below their original goals for profitability.
FERC has yet to act on the brief Environmental Assessment submitted for the new project. The public comment period ended on March 4th. Save Carbon County and other concerned citizens’ groups submitted over 800 comments.
PennEast has submitted a brief to the Supreme Court asking the Court to overturn a lower court decision. The Court is considering whether to hear an appeal of the decision reached by the D.C. Third Circuit which found that a private company such as PennEast may not bring Eminent Domain proceedings against a state. If the Third Circuit ruling stands, PennEast will be barred from crossing over forty properties in New Jersey that are part of their planned route. The State of New Jersey will submit their brief by June 2nd. The Supreme Court has not yet issued their decision, and everyone is on pins and needles—including, I imagine, PennEast.
Save Carbon County is a member of a regional and two-state effort to stop the PennEast/UGI pipeline. Local information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop the Fracking Pipeline.” Regional Information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop PennEast Pipeline.”