Federal Judge Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Bypass NY DEC

A disappointing setback for the much-needed Constitution Pipeline–a $683 million, 124-mile pipeline due to run from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY carrying Marcellus gas. As you may recall, in April 2016, New York’s anti-drilling governor, Andrew Cuomo, decided he would cave to pressure from radical environmentalists and block the building of the federally-approved Constitution Pipeline (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Cuomo’s toadies at the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) decided not to grant (i.e. denied) the Constitution the permits it needs to cross creeks and swamps. That was finally enough for Williams and the other partners in the project, who promptly sued NY in federal, NOT state, court (see Williams Sues NY Over Constitution Pipe – DEC May Lose Authority). Judge Norman Mordue of the Northern District of New York ruled last week that since NY has not officially denied the water crossing permits–simply not yet acted on them–there is no injury to the project. Even though the pipeline is losing money every day it doesn’t get built due to NY’s inaction. We fail to see how not acting on the permits over the long-term is any different from denying those same permits. It is a distinction without a difference in our book. But that’s what the judge ruled, granting the DEC’s motion to dismiss the case. The thread of hope that remains for the project is another case in which Williams (the builder of the Constitution) filed in an appeals court. Williams is maintaining the second case will go in their favor and when it does, construction is not far behind…

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