PA DEP Caves to Pressure, Extends Comment Period for Shell Pipeline

Once again, in what appears to be a pattern, the Pennsylvania State Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is caving to pressure from virulent anti-fossil fuelers. This time in regard to Shell’s proposed Falcon Ethane Pipeline project. Shell is working on an ethane “pipeline system” with two “legs” to feed the mighty cracker plant being built in Monaca, Beaver County (see Shell Working on 94-Mile Ethane Pipeline to Feed PA Cracker). Last October Shell filed an application with the PA DEP for the PA portions of the pipeline, some 60 miles of the total system (see Shell Files PA Application for Ethane Pipe to Feed Cracker Plant). The DEP advertised an official comment period for the project on Jan. 20, giving interested parties until Feb. 20 to file their comments–an entire month (see PA DEP Invites Public Comment on Shell 60-Mile Ethane Pipeline). However, one month isn’t enough time for anti-drillers to marshal the faithful to try and sink the project. FracTracker Alliance, an anti-fossil fuel organization, colluded with other groups to put the word out to flood the DEP with demands to keep the comment period open. The DEP folded, like a flimsy house of cards, and has now extended the comment period to April 17th along with three public hearings (circus freak shows), which will give the FracTracker faithful time to mount publicity and legal offensives to try and stop the project. If the pipeline doesn’t happen, work at the cracker plant stops. Which, of course, isn’t going to happen. But it illustrates the true aim of FracTracker and other virulent (way, way, WAY outside the mainstream) anti-fossil fuel groups…

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