NG Asks Judge to Toss Case Blocking Virtual Pipeline in NY

NG Advantage wants to build a “virtual pipeline” operation in ultra-liberal Broome County, NY, in a suburb of Binghamton. The location NG picked, after considering up to six locations in the region, was selected because of it’s proximity to major highways, proximity to the Millennium Pipeline, and availability of high-power electric lines. A virtual pipeline is nothing more than a compressor plant (series of compressor plants) that grabs gas from a pipeline, in this case the Millennium, and compresses it and loads it onto special tractor trailers that then deliver the gas to industrial customers like manufacturing plants, hospitals, and even small regional systems servicing homes. The location NG selected, in the Town of Fenton (within spitting distance of Hillcrest and Port Dickinson) was approved by the Town of Fenton after a detailed review. The area they selected is zoned industrial and is, in fact, a former dump site. However, residents from nearby neighborhoods (Hillcrest and Port Dick) were not aware of the project (so they claim) and when construction began to clear the dump site, and residents learned what was going to be built at the site, some of them demanded court action to oppose it. So far we’ve had two court cases asking county-level court (called “Supreme Court” in NY) to stop the project, which it temporarily did (see Court Halts Work on Broome Co. Virtual Pipeline, Residents Sound Off). MDN editor Jim Willis attended a meeting by NG Advantage held for area residents and he has to say the company is bending backward, forward, sideways, upside-down, back flipping–and in general doing anything and everything they can–to prove to residents that a few trucks an hour hauling natural gas is not the horror they have been led to believe it will be. But in an all-too-familiar pattern, the residents’ minds are made up and nothing short of shutting the project down will be acceptable. And so the fight now goes to court. Last week NG responded to the temporary restraining order, asking the judge to toss it out so they can get back to building the facility. If for some reason NG is blocked, the company will be out $23 million…
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Court Halts Work on Broome Co. Virtual Pipeline, Residents Sound Off

Tractor Trailer NG proposes to use at Fenton location – Click image for full size version

MDN editor Jim Willis attended one of the information sessions offered by NG Advantage at the Port Crane fire hall last night. NG Advantage is making a concerted effort to dispel false rumors and misunderstandings on the part of neighbors who live near a proposed “virtual pipeline” site that is a series of compressor stations grabbing gas from the Millennium Pipeline in a Binghamton suburb, compressing it and loading onto tanker trucks. Jim knew it was going to be an interesting night when he arrived at 7:15 pm to find a packed previous session that began at 5 pm was still going strong. Jim wandered to the back of the facility (in the parking lot) to view one of the tanker trucks that NG hopes to have accessing the facility (see our pic). In fact, two of these trucks each and every hour of the day will enter and leave the facility, some 50 trucks per day, on average, according NG officials. As Jim approached the truck, a woman also walking in the same direction said loudly, “My God! Look how BIIIIIIGGGG it is!” Like she’d never seen a tractor trailer before (actually, it’s shorter than a standard trailer). Since no one else was close to her, Jim assumed she said it for his benefit–likely hoping he would join in and agree. Jim said nothing. The same woman grilled the NG rep standing there, asking how many trucks per day, etc. And then she said, “I’m against this–I’m just glad there’s now a stop work order,” which was the first we had heard the news (more on the stop work order below). The woman’s demeanor and her ebullience that the project is now halted was an early signal: Jim knew he was in for a long night of high emotion from local residents who don’t want the facility, largely because of truck traffic. Jim was right…
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NG Advantage Meets with Virtual Pipe Neighbors in Broome County

NG Advantage is making a concerted effort to dispel false rumors and misunderstanding on the part of neighbors who live near a proposed “virtual pipeline” site that is a series of compressor stations grabbing gas from the Millennium Pipeline in a Binghamton suburb, compressing it and loading onto tanker trucks. As MDN reported yesterday, two different groups have now filed lawsuits to stop work at the site, one by a local elementary school (more than a half mile away) and one by residents living nearby, including a local Catholic church parish (see Church Asks NY Court to Stop Broome County CNG Virtual Pipeline). Last night officials with NG held a meeting for area residents (with more meetings scheduled for tonight) to answer questions and get the truth out about the facility. Two items in particular were front and center: (1) There are no emissions from the compressor station–it is a series of compressors (4 initially, up to 12 in all) that are powered with electricity, not diesel. So there are zero emissions from the plant. NONE. (2) The plant will be quieter than the Interstate highway it sits next to. If you are walking in the nearby Port Dickinson park (as MDN editor Jim Willis sometimes does), you will continue to hear the highway which runs overhead–but you won’t hear the compressor station. Neither will neighbors like the Catholic church hear it. Here’s a summary of last night’s meeting…
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Church Asks NY Court to Stop Broome County CNG Virtual Pipeline

NG Advantage is building a new compressor station to tap into the Millennium Pipeline where it crosses the Chenango River near Port Dickinson, a suburb of Binghamton, in Broome County, NY (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline May be Coming to MDN’s Backyard). NG already has three businesses lined up to buy CNG (compressed natural gas) from the project. So-called virtual pipelines compress natural gas and load it onto tanker trucks, and then distribute the CNG to businesses that are not fortunate enough to be located near a natgas pipeline. It’s a cool concept that bypasses anti-drilling objections to pipelines. However, virtual pipelines have one negative side-effect for local residents: LOTS of truck traffic. The Town of Fenton Planning Board recently approved the project, and MDN can report (since we swung by the site) that bulldozers and backhoes are hard at work transforming the site, getting it ready to construct the compressor station. However, a local elementary school, more than half a mile away, decided to sue to try and stop the project (see NY School Saddles Taxpayers w/Legal Fees to Oppose Virtual Pipe). Now, a local Catholic church’s parish center, St. Francis of Assisi, has joined several nearby residents to launch their own lawsuit/petition asking a local court to halt construction…
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NY School Saddles Taxpayers w/Legal Fees to Oppose Virtual Pipe

We just knew getting a “virtual pipeline” facility built in ultra-liberal Broome County, NY was proceeding a little too easy. MDN recently told you about a proposed virtual pipeline (i.e. natgas trucking system) coming to MDN’s neighborhood. NG Advantage wants to build a new compressor station and tap into the Millennium Pipeline where it crosses the Chenango River near Port Dickinson, a suburb of Binghamton, in Broome County (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline May be Coming to MDN’s Backyard). NG already has three businesses lined up to buy CNG (compressed natural gas) from the project. So-called virtual pipelines compress natural gas and load it onto tanker trucks, and then distribute that gas to businesses that are not fortunate enough to be located near a natgas pipeline. It’s a cool concept that bypasses anti-drilling objections to pipelines. However, virtual pipelines have one negative side-effect for local residents: LOTS of truck traffic. The Town of Fenton Planning Board recently approved the project and although we thought it wasn’t quite yet a done deal, apparently it is a done deal, as a small group of antis learned earlier this week at a Town of Fenton meeting (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipe “Done Deal” in Broome County, Antis Stymied). However, that may not be the end of it. Antis (in New York as elsewhere) don’t fade away without a LOT of loud-mouthed opposition, and a LOT of legal action. Antis are now pegging their hopes to defeat this fossil fuel intruder on the actions of a local school district. The Chenango Valley School District operates the Port Dickinson Elementary school close to (half mile? quarter mile?) the proposed compressor station for the virtual pipeline project. The CV school board voted last night 8-0 to hire a law firm to fight the project, with no cap on how much in legal fees local taxpayers will have to pay for this folly. The clock is now ticking. It’s quite likely the project will get built before it ever sees its first court hearing–and antis know it…
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NG Advantage Virtual Pipe “Done Deal” in Broome County, Antis Stymied

MDN recently told you about a proposed “virtual pipeline” (i.e. trucking system) coming to MDN’s neighborhood. NG Advantage wants to build a new compressor station and tap into the Millennium Pipeline where it crosses the Chenango River near Port Dickinson, a suburb of Binghamton, in Broome County (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline May be Coming to MDN’s Backyard). NG already has three businesses lined up to buy CNG (compressed natural gas) from the project. So-called “virtual pipelines” compress natural gas and load it onto tanker trucks, and then distribute that gas to businesses that are not fortunate enough to be located near a natgas pipeline. It’s a cool concept that bypasses anti-drilling objections to pipelines. However, virtual pipelines have one negative side-effect for local residents: lots of truck traffic. Fenton’s Planning Board recently approved the project and although we thought it wasn’t quite yet a done deal, apparently it is a done deal, as a small group of antis learned earlier this week at a Town of Fenton meeting. Town of Fenton Planning Board approval is all that’s required. The Fenton Town Board has no say in the matter. It’s “a done deal” according to a town official speaking at the meeting. MDN friend Vic Furman attended the meeting and filed a report. Vic says he faced down the antis following the meeting with some hard truth: the reason they now have to live with this virtual pipeline and the traffic it will generate…is because they objected to an in-the-ground pipeline (the Constitution). Vic said they grudgingly agreed that he’s right…
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NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline May be Coming to MDN’s Backyard

For the past few years MDN has had an eye on a trend we find exciting–“virtual pipelines”–by which we mean facilities that are located along a pipeline that compress natural gas (CNG), load it onto tanker trucks, and then distribute that gas to businesses that are not fortunate enough to be located near a natgas pipeline. With irrational opposition to pipelines rampant, virtual pipelines are a good alternative. We were first alerted to this trend when International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill in northern New York, near the Vermont border, opted for a virtual pipeline from NG Advantage, back in 2015 (see NY Paper Plant Opts for “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline Over Real One). NG Advantage has established a presence throughout New England, most recently adding Maine to their delivery options (see NG Advantage’s “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline to Maine Begins Flowing). In January, a competitor of NG Advantage–Xpress Natural Gas (XNG) set up a virtual pipeline in Susquehanna County, PA–not far from MDN HQ (see Major CNG Virtual Pipeline Coming to Susquehanna County, PA). Imagine our surprise–and delight–to find out that NG Advantage wants to build a virtual pipeline about 9 miles from MDN HQ–along the edge of Binghamton in an adjacent suburb called Port Dickinson! This one flew mostly under the radar. NG Advantage has proposed a new compressor station and tap into the Millennium Pipeline where it crosses the Chenango River. They already have three businesses lined up to buy CNG from the project. Port Dickinson approved the project last night, but it’s still not a done deal yet…
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NG Advantage’s “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline to Maine Begins Flowing

In Oct. 2015 MDN reported a story about International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill in northern New York, near the Vermont border (see NY Paper Plant Opts for “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline Over Real One). The plant had converted to using natural gas–yet there are no natgas pipelines to be found in the region. International Paper planned to build a pipeline from Vermont to feed the plant as a permanent solution. In the meantime, it was using a “virtual pipeline” of a constant stream of trucks delivering compressed natural gas (CNG) from NG Advantage (subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp.), trucking CNG to the plant 24/7. International liked the CNG trucking operation so much, and disliked the regulatory hassles of building a pipeline so much, they decided to keep the virtual pipeline over a real one as a permanent solution. Cool story. NG Advantage, the hero in this story, continues to expand. Last November they picked up a new CEO, and at the tail end of last year, the company expanded beyond Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and began delivering CNG via their virtual pipeline trucks to customers in the state of Maine…
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NY Paper Plant Opts for “Virtual” NatGas Pipeline Over Real One

virtual pipelineLast year International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill in northern New York, near the Vermont border, received $1.75 million in grant money from Andrew Cuomo and New York State (that is to say, from we the taxpayers) to help with an $11 million project to convert the plant from using oil to using natural gas (see the Albany Times Union story: $100M in upgrades at International Paper mill in Ticonderoga follows state deal for aid, cheap power). Kind of ironic that Andy was willing to give big money to an evil corporation to use more natural gas because he banned the extraction of fracked natural gas in NY later that same year. However, the plant was threatening to close. It’s the biggest employer in the area representing 600 jobs. Because of Cuomo’s $1.75M grant, the plant stayed open and converted to natgas, but that means it needs a lot of natgas on a regular basis. International Paper had planned to build a pipeline from Vermont to feed the plant as a permanent solution. In the meantime, it was using a “virtual pipeline” of a constant stream of trucks delivering compressed natural gas (CNG) from NG Advantage (subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp.), trucking CNG to the plant 24/7. International liked the CNG operation so much, and disliked the regulatory hassles of building the pipeline so much, they’ve decided to keep the virtual pipeline over a real one as a permanent solution…
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