Williams Plans to Start Clearing Trees for Constitution Next Week

Since last October MDN has been calling on Williams, the company planning to build the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY, to take the gloves off and go after New York State, aggressively (see Time to Force NY DEC to Issue Permit for Constitution Pipeline). Earlier this month we re-posted an article from MDN friend Tom Shepstone and his Natural Gas Now website (always excellent, must read) that chronicles where we are at and how we got here with ongoing delays of the Constitution from the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (see Time for Williams/FERC to Sue NY & End Constitution Pipe Delays). In short, the DEC is now arbitrarily (for political reasons) intentionally withholding stream crossing permits that are delaying construction of the Constitution. The state is in danger of being sued by, and their authority to grant those permits taken over by, the federal government if they don’t issue those permits forthwith. Williams is attempting to advance the ball, still playing nicey nice, hoping to coax the DEC into issuing the permits. Williams has asked for and received permission (from the DEC) to begin clearing trees along the pipeline’s path, a process that will begin next week. However, rabid anti-drillers have asked NY’s out-of-control Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, to step in and stop the tree clearing. If Williams doesn’t start the tree clearing now, they risk losing another entire construction season. There is a finite window each year you can clear trees because of nesting Northern long-eared bats, an endangered species…

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