PR Campaign Gets Atlantic Sunrise Pipe to Change Course in PA

Nesbitt Memorial Hospital – click for larger version

If you’re a landowner and want to dissuade a pipeline, like, say, the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, from crossing your property–what can you do? It helps if your property belongs to one of the local dynasties (i.e. BIG money) and if you can hire high-priced lawyers and issue a blizzard of press releases via Business Wire at $500 a pop. Apparently that’s what it takes to convince a pipeline company to change its course. At least, that’s the lesson we take away from Geraldine Nesbitt, landowner of The Nesbitt Parcel in Dallas Township (Luzerne County, near Wilkes-Barre), PA. Nesbitt has been 100% against the Atlantic Sunrise project since learning its proposed route would cross her big-monied estate. Nesbitt’s heir, Abram Nesbitt, once built a hospital in Kingston, PA that reminds of Downton Abbey (see the picture). Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. In February the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its final seal of approval for the project (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC). After FERC’s approval, Ms. Nesbitt’s lawyers began an aggressive publicity campaign to try and convince FERC to stop the project. Last week Williams (builder of Atlantic Sunrise) filed a request with FERC to adopt an alternative route around the Nesbitt estate–and all of a sudden Ms. Nesbitt “has never been opposed to natural gas pipelines.” What disgusting hypocrisy. If Joe Farmer wants the pipeline rerouted around his prized hay field–good luck with that. But if an old-line establishment family with BIG MONEY like the Nesbitts wants a reroute, they get it. We don’t like it…

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