PennEast Spins FERC Delay as a Good Thing – Optimism or Denial?

We understand the value of a healthy, optimistic attitude. We consider ourselves to be a “glass half full” rather than “glass half empty” type of people. But we’re also realists. Last week the builders of the proposed PennEast Pipeline–a $1.2 billion, 114-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline that will deliver approximately 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus gas fields of northeastern PA to locations in southeastern PA and across the border to Trenton, NJ–received what we considered bad news. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told PennEast they would extend the amount of time they are taking until December of this year, rather than August, to complete their Environmental Review. And FERC won’t issue their final decision on authorizing the project until March 2017–at the earliest. PennEast had requested FERC wrap it all up by this August–an 8-month delay. In our book, that’s mildly bad news. But yesterday PennEast issued a press release saying the FERC announcement is an “important milestone,” almost lauding FERC for moving so quickly given a plateful of pipeline applications–even though it means the PennEast project now won’t be completed until 2018 instead of 2017. Is this a “glass half full” optimistic attitude? Or self-deluding denial? We can think of many reasons why it’s a manifestly bad thing that FERC has delayed–not the least of which is are multiple lawsuits sure to be launched by the radicals at THE Delaware Riverkeeper…

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