Updates for PennEast & Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Projects

Two important pipeline projects, PennEast and Adelphia Gateway, are at various stages of approval. PennEast is a $1 billion (or $1.2 billion, depending on the source) new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. PennEast will flow PA Marcellus gas to markets in NJ. Adelphia Gateway is an old oil pipeline, already in the ground, that runs from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook. Adelphia will flow Marcellus gas to the Philadelphia region. PennEast was announced in 2014, and Adelphia in 2017. Neither has yet begun construction. What’s the status for each project?
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NJ Using Courts, “Historic” Sites to Block PennEast Pipeline

The anti-drilling zealots that populate the levers of power in New Jersey, along with their colluding Big Green compatriots, continue a holy mission to block PennEast Pipeline, a pipeline the majority of which will get built in Pennsylvania. Anti-pipeline nutters are attacking the project on several fronts, including in the courts, and by claiming the pipeline would affect nine “potential” historic sites along its path through NJ. Will federal courts and regulators fall for the ruse?
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3rd Circuit Court Grants NJ Request to Pause PennEast Pipe

Last December a federal judge in New Jersey upheld eminent domain power for PennEast Pipeline for ALL of NJ, where there are 136 holdout landowners who have refused to allow PennEast surveyors on their property (see Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain). However, PennEast still isn’t totally out of the woods. The State of NJ appealed the decision because some of the land PennEast wants to build across belongs to the state (see NJ’s Dem AG Lectures Fed Judge re PennEast Eminent Domain).
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Williams Announces Transco Competitor to PennEast Pipe in NEPA

Did Williams just float an alternative/competitive pipeline to PennEast? Sure looks that way to us. On Friday Williams announced a binding open season to add 34 miles of looping pipeline next to existing Transco pipeline along with beefing up some of it’s compressor stations, in a bid to increase flows along the Transco from Luzerne County, PA (where PennEast would originate) to Mercer County, NJ (where PennEast would terminate).
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NJ’s Dem AG Lectures Fed Judge re PennEast Eminent Domain

NJ AG Gurbir Grewal

New Jersey’s radical Democrat Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, is telling (off) a federal judge, telling him he erred in a recent decision that allows PennEast Pipeline to use the power of eminent domain to access 44 so-called “protected” properties owned by the Garden State (see Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain).
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Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain

Just last week MDN told you the first domino had fallen, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania granted the PennEast Pipeline project the right to survey and construct pipeline on a property in Carbon County, PA, the last landowner holdout in PA (see First Domino Falls: Judge Grants PennEast Pipe Eminent Domain). And now, not even a week later, the second domino has fallen. A federal judge in New Jersey on Friday upheld eminent domain power for PennEast for ALL of NJ, where there are 136 holdout landowners who have refused to allow PennEast surveyors on their property. PennEast still isn’t totally out of the woods. The project goes to court in D.C. on Dec. 21 to try and turn back a challenge by a radical environmental group that says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission erred when it approved the project. Still, work will now begin, first to complete the surveys, then construction. The pipeline is on track to be built and running in 2019.
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First Domino Falls: Judge Grants PennEast Pipe Eminent Domain

It certainly seems as if the deck has been stacked against the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey. As we pointed out in November, DTE Energy’s NEXUS Pipeline, a 255-mile pipeline from Columbia County in Ohio to Southern Michigan, received its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval around the same time PennEast did, about a year ago. NEXUS is already built and flowing, PennEast hasn’t turned the first shovelful of dirt yet. It’s been a real battle for PennEast (see The War to Build PennEast Pipeline Continues). However, things are finally beginning to look up. Last week a federal judge granted PennEast its first approval in a string of eminent domain cases, giving PennEast the right to enter and survey a property in Carbon County, PA. Mixing our metaphors, last week’s decision is the first domino falling, with the rest sure to follow.
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The War to Build PennEast Pipeline Continues

It’s been almost a year since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). DTE Energy’s NEXUS Pipeline, a 255-mile pipeline from Columbia County in Ohio to Southern Michigan, received its FERC approval around the same time. NEXUS is already built and flowing, PennEast hasn’t turned the first shovelful of dirt yet. What’s going on?
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Bumbling DRBC Doesn’t Know Who to Contact at FERC to Block PennEast

Talk about a dysfunctional mess…The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a governmental organization remote-controlled by Big Green special interests, doesn’t even know how to communicate with another governmental organization–the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Earlier this year, at the prompting of radical groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, DRBC sent a request to FERC asking the agency to block any tree felling ahead of a final approval by DRBC for the PennEast Pipeline–even though FERC and NOT the DRBC is the authorizing agency for PennEast. FERC doesn’t have to wait for anybody for any of its decisions. Regardless, FERC does listen, especially to fellow governmental organizations. FERC gets a LOT of mail, email, etc. from complainers like the DRBC, so they have strict protocols in place for how other agencies and parties talk to it. DRBC should have sent their request to FERC Secretary Kimberly Bose (she’s held that position and has been the point person since 2007), but DRBC didn’t follow protocol. Instead, they just fired off their huffy demand to someone else in a different department, so their huffy demand never got considered. Totally blown off. Funny! And now DRBC is scrambling, attempting to cover up the fact they’re so dysfunctional they don’t their know their heads from their…we’ll just leave it at that…
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NJ Rate Counsel Asks Fed Court to Overturn PennEast Pipe Approval

Using taxpayer’s money, the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, an “independent” state agency that supposedly represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer, telecommunications, cable TV service, and insurance (residential, small business, commercial and industrial customers), has sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court asking the court to overturn FERC’s approval of the PennEast Pipeline, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton, NJ area. Most of PennEast is located in PA, but the pipeline terminates and flows gas into NJ. The Rate Counsel appears to be a rogue agency using taxpayer’s money to try and defeat a project that will benefit those very taxpayers. NJ residents pay some of the highest taxes in the country. Now we know why…
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FERC Rejects PennEast Pipe Rehearing Request – Antis Sue

Elvis – song & dance

Last Friday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a rehearing request by radical enviro groups with respect to the PennEast Pipeline project. That is, FERC said “we’re sticking with our original decision to approve the project.” In January, FERC voted 4-1 to approve the $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). FERC Commissioner Richard “Dick” Glick voted against the project claiming it will lead to more man-made global warming. But the other Dem FERC Commissioner, Cheyl LaFleur, voted to approve it–at least in January. In Friday’s “order on rehearing” LaFleur flipped and said she’s had second thoughts about the project. She voted “in part” to rehear the original decision. Glick voted to rehear. Bottom line: both LaFleur and Glick want to kill the PennEast project. That’s the upshot of Friday’s FERC communication. Unfortunately FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson has abandoned us and we will now face a 2-2 deadlock on key decisions like this one for the foreseeable future–because Senate Democrats will block a vote on a new, third, Republican member of the Commission until after the November election. Thanks Rob. The radical anti groups that filed the rehearing request–THE Delaware Riverkeeper (aka Maya van Rossum) and the NJ Sierra Club (aka Jeff Tittel)–immediately filed lawsuits with the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The antis could only take their case to court once FERC had denied a rehearing request. That’s the song and dance routine we must go through on the way to fighting to build every square inch of any new pipeline project in the northeast. Pipeline company files application, FERC approves, radical groups request a rehearing, rehearing denied, lawsuit filed. That’s the formula that plays out over and over again. Below is a copy of FERC’s approval along with details about antis filing their lawsuits…
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Riverkeeper Too Late to Challenge Penn East Pipe Water Certificate

In Feb. 2017, THE Delaware Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit challenging water permits issued by PA for the PennEast Pipeline (see PennEast Pipeline Gets 401 Water Quality Certificate from PA DEP). Riverkeeper filed their challenge late, arguing it was confused over where to file the challenge–in federal or state court. Commonwealth Court told Riverkeeper nice try, but no cigar. Last Wednesday Commonwealth Court told Riverkeeper, “you’re too late.” The court said Riverkeeper’s “confusion” over where they should file is not justification for filing WAY past the deadline to challenge the permit. We doubt Riverkeeper even thought this particular lawsuit (one of dozens they’ve launched against PennEast) would bear fruit. This is just one more instance of Riverkeeper’s “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” legal strategy. This particular handful fell to the ground…
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THE Delaware Riverkeeper Loses FERC Bias Court Case

Maya van Rossum

Maya van Rossum, THE Delaware Riverkeeper (as she calls herself) has struck out once again in federal court. THE van Rossum, with backing by Big Green lawyer Jordan Yeager, asked a federal court to rule that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is biased in favor of approving pipeline projects (specifically the PennEast Pipeline) because part of the agency’s funding, via permit fees, comes from the companies it regulates. It’s Miss Maya’s attempt at shutting down all approvals for any pipeline anywhere in the United States–including PennEast. Why use a fly swatter when you can use a hammer, right? Fortunately, the judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t fall for the ruse. The judges ruled last week that FERC’s decisions about authorizing projects are not tied to, nor influenced by, how the agency is funded. Period. In typical fashion, Riverkeeper complained that the decision didn’t go their way, lying about FERC’s “nearly 100% approval rate.” We’ve explained that approval rate before. FERC project approvals are multi-staged. Pipeline projects either fix issues FERC finds in an initial review, or the sponsors pull the projects from active consideration. The end result is that pipeline projects either meet FERC’s high standards, or they don’t get built…
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Democrat FERC Commissioner Seeks to Block PennEast Pipe

FERC Commissioner Richard Glick

In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted 4-1 to approve the $1 billion, 120-mile PennEast Pipeline project that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). Democrat FERC Commissioner Richard Glick (wind lobbyist, hand-picked by hyper-partisan NY Sen. Chuck Schumer), voted against approving the project. A number of Big Green groups filed a request for a “rehearing” of FERC’s decision to approve PennEast. FERC used a “tolling order,” which gives them longer than the statutory 30 days to respond, to play out the rehearing request. The use of tolling orders is the only way to get projects built these days. FERC has to play the game–put off saying “no” to these anti groups, because as soon as they tell them “no” to a rehearing request, antis then run to the courts and try to block the project there. Glick is siding with antis. He issued a statement last week once again trash-talking PennEast, and demanding FERC answer the groups rehearing request pronto so they can hurry like a bunny to the nearest Appeals court to try to stop PennEast…
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Top NJ Officials Continue Attacks Against PennEast Pipeline

New Jersey’s Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal (Democrat), and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker (also a Democrat) continue a coordinated attack on the PennEast Pipeline in an effort to appease their radical/left base of supporters. PennEast is a $1 billion, 120-mile, 36-inch pipeline from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the project in January (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). Since that time the NJ Sierra Club along with other so-called environmental organizations have coordinated legal and regulatory attacks against the project, enlisting willing accomplices Grewal and Booker. In March Grewal asked the U.S. District Court in NJ to overturn PennEast’s federally-delegated right to use eminent domain to take state-owned AND private-owned property in the path of the pipeline. In early April, Sen. Booker asked FERC to reconsider its approval of the project. And earlier this week, the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection and Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, represented by Grewal, asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review FERC’s January approval of the project. NJ has all guns out and shooting in an attempt to assassinate PennEast…
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