DC Court Tells Millennium FERC Can Override NY DEC Pipeline Delay

An Appeals Court decision issued Friday has (in our opinion) HUGE ramifications for New York State and the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that has been corrupted by political influence from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It also has ramifications in other states with overactive environmental agencies too. It is hard for us to overstate how important we think this decision is. The NY DEC has been corrupted and politicized by one of the most corrupt governors New York has ever had: Andrew Cuomo. The Cuomo DEC has unilaterally decided not to issue 401 water crossing permits for several federally-authorized pipeline projects, including Williams’ Constitution Pipeline, NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline, and a teeny tiny 9-mile pipeline Millennium wants to build from their main pipeline to an under-construction natgas-fired electric plant in Orange County, NY, called the Valley Lateral Project. Millennium took the bull by the horns early on, when it was apparent the DEC was following the same pattern of delay and then deny, suing the DEC (see Millennium Pipeline Sues Cuomo’s Corrupt DEC Over Expansion Delay). On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the lawsuit by Millennium, which at first blush may seem like a blow. But it was the reasoning and opinion of the judges in dismissing the case that may change everything in New York. The judges said there is no case because if, as Millennium says, the DEC is denying the water permits, FERC itself has the power to jump back in and simply override NY DEC and issue the permits. This is a BOMBSHELL decision. That is, it’s a bombshell if FERC (with a soon-to-be-in-place quorum) exercises its constitutional authority…

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