Atlantic Coast Pipeline Nearly Done in Lancaster County – July

Good news. The main part of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project–where it runs through Lancaster County, PA–is almost finished. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. The most opposition to the pipeline has happened in Lancaster County. Right now 90% of the pipeline has been welded in Lancaster County and sits above ground. By the end of July, all of it will be done and buried in the ground. It won’t be long after that that the entire 198 miles will begin to flow northeast PA Marcellus gas…
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FERC OKs Start of Bidirectional Flow on Transco/Atlantic Sunrise

On Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Williams’ Transco Pipeline permission to reverse the flow along part of the pipeline to begin sending more Marcellus gas south. The order allows Transco to start up modified compressor stations in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, and to begin flowing an extra 150 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of yummy Marcellus gas southward. Most of the time when we report on Atlantic Sunrise, we talk about the greenfield (brand new pipeline) being installed in 10 Pennsylvania counties. What’s often overlooked are other aspects of the project, like this one, that will kit out the Transco to flow 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus gas to the south and to the Gulf Coast. The greenfield portion of the pipeline is due to be completed sometime soon–by “mid-2018.” This latest order allowing the startup of bidirectional flow along certain portions is an important part of the project…
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Atlantic Sunrise Doles Out $264,300 in Grants to Schools, Towns

Pipeline companies are known for their largess in showering local schools, towns and nonprofit agencies with money for worthy causes. Among those who engage in this civic practice is Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County, PA. In 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program was established to benefit community organizations in communities within the Atlantic Sunrise footprint. Since 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise has doled out more than $2 million across the 10-county project area in support of noteworthy projects. And they’ve just done it again. A total of 41 PA organizations have just received a total of $264,300 in contributions–more than a quarter of a million dollars! We have the full list below, along with information about how your organization can apply for the next round…
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Cuomo-Corrupted DEC Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipe Project

A new fight is shaping up in the (crumbling) Empire State. Once again Andrew Cuomo, at the prompting of Big Green groups (corrupted by their big donations to his campaign war chest) has instructed his lackeys who run the Dept. of Environment Conservation (DEC) to reject a modest pipeline expansion proposal by Williams’ Transco Pipeline subsidiary. The project, which we’ve previously written about and are actively promoting, is called the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). The project is meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. In a pattern we’ve seen before, the DEC claims, falsely, that an application for a state water crossing permit is “incomplete.” The DEC, like Lucy with her football in the old Charlie Brown cartoons, offers the promise that “if only” the pipeline company will submit a “complete” application THEN they will approve it. But just like Lucy with the football, when the company gets close, the DEC pulls it away yet again. Fool me once… The DEC used this same tactic to defeat the Constitution Pipeline project. It sure feels to us like “here we go again”…
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Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

In March the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Williams Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project (see Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipe Gets Favorable DEIS). The project is meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. In particular, Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. This project needs *your* help. Please join MDN in supporting the project by signing this online petition to FERC. A second way you can support the project is by attending and speaking at one of four regional FERC hearings, which begin next week…
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Williams Seeks OK to Expand Transco to Move Marcellus Gas South

The hits keep comin’ from Williams. Yesterday Williams announced it has filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand capacity along the mighty Transco Pipeline to increase the amount of gas the pipeline can flow to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S by 296,375 dekatherms (296 million cubic feet) per day. The Southeastern Trail expansion project (SET), as it is called, includes building 7.7 miles of 42-inch pipeline looping (pipeline laid next to existing pipeline) in Virginia, adding extra horsepower at existing compressor stations in Virginia, and making some pipe and valve modifications on other existing facilities in South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana to allow for bi-directional flow. The project aims to bring more gas to utilities, including PSNC Energy, South Carolina Electric & Gas, Virginia Natural Gas, the City of Buford, Ga., and the City of LaGrange, Ga. Note that Mountain Valley Pipeline recently announced they want to expand the MVP project an extra 70 miles to serve PSNC Energy (in North Carolina) too. Williams is currently working to finish up the Atlantic Sunrise project, which includes new pipeline to feed Marcellus gas from northeastern PA into the Transco mainline. Bottom line: This new Southeastern Trail expansion project will bring Marcellus gas to more customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. And that’s a good thing!…
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FERC OKs Transco Garden State Expansion Phase 2 for Startup

In April 2016, three Obama-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners approved the $116 million Williams Transco Garden State Expansion pipeline project (see FERC Approves NJ Pipeline – More Marcellus Gas on the Way!). The project was created to address supply disruptions following Superstorm Sandy in 2012. By upgrading compressor stations and adding a new meter station, the Garden State Expansion project will supply an extra 180 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas to a new delivery point on Transco’s existing Trenton Woodbury Lateral pipeline. However, two towns in Burlington County, NJ (Bordentown and Chesterfield), where some of the work would be done for Phase 2 of the project, filed a lawsuit last year asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to overturn FERC’s previous decision to allow the project (see FERC Fights NJ Town Effort to Decertify Garden State Expansion). We’re happy to report the lawsuit was unsuccessful. We’re even happier to report that both compressors are built and as of Friday, FERC granted permission for both stations to come online and begin pumping extra Marcellus gas through the system…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Now Flows to Charleston, SC via New Pipeline

In March 2016, Dominion filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a 55-mile pipeline project called the Transco to Charleston Project (see Dominion Files Application to Move Marcellus Gas to Charleston, SC). As the name implies, it will be a short pipeline to connect the Transco pipeline, which is in the process of reversing flows to bring Marcellus and Utica Shale gas south…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipe’s Positive Impact in Lancaster Already Felt

Money–a lot of money–is flowing into Lancaster County because of construction work now being done on Williams’ $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. Local media pitches the revenue and jobs created by the project as “temporary.” MDN once heard a union pipeline worker respond to that very argument at a FERC hearing (for the Constitution Pipeline) by saying he’s had an entire career of “temporary” pipeline jobs that last a few months or a year–making enough money to put his kids through college and make a nice living for himself and his family. Lancaster residents should jump for joy at their “temporary” blessing of this pipeline’s construction. Among the beneficiaries of these “temporary benefits” are “dozens of local businesses” and “more than 100 workers” who are employed full-time working on the project. An estimated $75 million (!) is now flooding into the Lancaster County economy, thanks to Atlantic Sunrise…
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Williams Marcellus Buildout Leads to Record Transco Pipe Volumes

Transco Pipeline Map – click for larger version

Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) is the largest natural gas pipeline (by volume pumped) in the United States. Transco and its various branches stretch from the Texas Gulf Coast all the way to New York City. As MDN previously reported, Transco completed five important expansion projects in 2017: Gulf Trace, Hillabee Phase 1, Dalton, New York Bay, and Virginia Southside II (see Transco Pipeline Update: 5th Expansion Done, More Coming 2018). Because of those expansions, Transco flowed a record-breaking, all-time high of 15.58 million dekatherms (15.58 billion cubic feet, or Bcf) of natural gas in a single day–on Jan. 5, 2018. That’s approximately 20% of all the natural gas consumed in the entire country on that day. Amazing! Two more important expansion projects that are part of the Transco system are due to complete construction and go online in 2018: Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline and Garden State Phase II. Atlantic Sunrise will feed 1.7 Bcf/day of Marcellus Shale gas from northeastern PA into the Transco system, moving it south. As an interesting aside, Cabot Oil & Gas will provide 1 Bcf/d out of the 1.7 Bcf/d on Atlantic Sunrise when it’s completed (see FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline! Cabot Grabs More Capacity). Here’s the Williams statement about their recent Transco record-breaking day…
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FERC Launches Review for for Transco “Gateway Expansion Project”

In November Williams filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to upgrade certain facilities in New Jersey along Williams’ mighty Transco Pipeline (see Williams Files FERC Appl for Transco “Gateway Expansion Project”). The $85 million project, called the Transco “Gateway Expansion Project,” will flow an extra 65,000 dekatherms per day (or 65 million cubic feet) of natural gas to a couple of utility companies that have already signed on the dotted line as customers. The upgrades include a new compressor unit at Transco’s existing Compressor Station 303 in Essex County, NJ, a new valve and electric transformer also in Essex County, and equipment upgrades at a metering station in Passaic County, NJ. Both PSEG Power and UGI Energy Services have signed up to receive the extra gas–to be distributed to their customers in the region. On Tuesday FERC announced it has launched an environmental review of the project–the first step in approving such a project. FERC is accepting comments on the project through February 2nd…
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FERC Rejects Antis’ Request to “Rehear” Atlantic Sunrise Decision

In March of this year, a variety of anti-fossil fuel Big Green groups filed a rehearing request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), asking the agency to reconsider its decision to approve the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see Antis Attempt to Stop Atlantic Sunrise Pipe by Attacking FERC Order). Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile natural gas pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. Before Big Green groups can sue FERC in federal court to try and stop a project, they must first file a request for rehearing. If the antis can get FERC to agree to a re-hearing, it effectively slows, even stops, an active pipeline project. So in an effort to prevent important projects from being slowed or stopped, FERC developed something called a “tolling order” which grants FERC more time to consider whether or not a full rehearing is justified. During the time of the tolling order, work on a pipeline continues. Sometimes the work even gets completed! Which of course drives antis bonkers. By using a tolling order, FERC can drag out the process of deciding to deny a rehearing, avoiding the inevitable frivolous lawsuit that follows. That is, work on important projects actually gets done. Even though a tolling order was in place for the Atlantic Sunrise decision, antis still sued in federal court (several times, for a myriad of reasons), in an attempt to stop Atlantic Sunrise. It hasn’t worked. Construction is going strong. Last week FERC finally responded to the original request for a rehearing lodged back in March. FERC denied the request. When you read through FERC’s response, you’ll find many of the people and groups who requested a rehearing didn’t follow the rules and were simply dismissed as not having standing in the case. For those who do/did have standing, FERC methodically, meticulously, patiently explained why they are full of it…
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Transco Pipeline Update: 5th Expansion Done, More Coming 2018

Transco System Map – click for larger version

Williams issued a press release yesterday to (deservedly) crow about completing it’s fifth (of five) expansion projects for the mighty Transco Pipeline–a pipeline that stretches from the Gulf Coast to New York. Transo just completed a pipeline segment in Virginia that will feed Virginia’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant, currently under construction by Dominion Energy (see Dominion Begins Building Virginia’s Biggest NatGas Power Station). Williams will provide the gas required by the plant via its Virginia Southside II project, which started service on Dec. 1. But wait–the Dominion plant isn’t done yet, so where will the extra gas go? We expect either (a) even though the pipeline segment/expansion is done, they won’t begin flowing extra gas through it just yet, or (b) extra gas will flow through the expansion, but someone else will buy it, for now. Regardless, the important news is that this is the fifth of five major expansion projects for Transco completed by Williams this year, joining the Gulf Trace, Hillabee Phase 1, Dalton, and New York Bay projects. As part of Williams’ update, they also project Atlantic Sunrise, another major expansion of the Transco system, will be done in “mid-2018.” Good news indeed! Here’s the full update from Williams, with lots of exciting news…
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15 of 23 Lancaster Pipeline Protesters Plead Guilty or No Contest

In October MDN told you about 23 radicalized protesters who tried to block access to equipment being used to construct the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Lancaster County, PA–on property owned by a sect of Catholic nuns whom we call Sisters of the Corn (see Lancaster Pipeline Protesters ‘Do the Hokey Pokey’ & Get Arrested). The protesters began singing the Hokey Pokey as they waited to turn themselves around into a set of handcuffs. The 23 finally got their day in court yesterday (the wheels of justice grind slowly). Out of the 23 arrested, 13 pleaded “no contest”–which means they neither dispute nor admit they committed a crime. The 13 were sentenced to pay a $100 fine (not nearly enough) and perform 10 hours of community service (not nearly enough). It was a slap on the wrist. Of the 23, another 2 pleaded guilty and have entered a “first time offenders” program which means after they pay a fine and perform community service, the charges will get dropped–as if they never committed the crime they did commit. Which leaves the final 7, who all entered a plea of “not guilty” with the stated purpose of holding a show trial where they can bleat and blat and carry on for the media. So said the clattering Malinda Clatterbuck, one of the organizers of the illegal protest. If they are found guilty, they can be sentenced to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Below we have all of the names of the criminals (and alleged criminals), minus one name withheld because a parent actually dragged his or her 16 year-old to the protest. That case is in juvie court…
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Lancaster Farmland Trust Settles Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise

Lancaster Farmland Trust, a leftist group that seeks to stop all development of land in and around Lancaster County, PA, sued a farmer and Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline after the Lancaster farmer signed an easement on a piddly 1.5 acres of land. The Trust claimed according to the terms of the deed the landowner didn’t have the right to sign the easement (see Atlantic Sunrise Files 13 Eminent Domain Cases in 4 Counties). The previous owners of the property “donated a conservation easement to the trust that specifically stated various man-made activities, and specifically listing pipelines, could not be built on the property.” We think that’s particularly sleazy (and should be illegal)–forever saddling future owners of the property with restrictions. No matter–it’s frequently done, and a lesson to landowners to beware, DON’T buy properties with such restrictions. If enough people refused to buy such properties, property owners would quit doing it because their property is no longer salable. But we digress. Transco Pipeline (of which Atlantic Sunrise is a part) tried to get the case tossed, but a Lancaster County judge refused. So Transco terminated the easement with the property owner, then turned around and filed a eminent domain lawsuit against the property owner and the Trust, which got the Trust’s attention. They’ve just settled the case, fearing (knowing) a judge would rule against them anyway. In the end, it seems to have come down to the Trust wanting money. They got $12,470 for the easement plus another $25,000 to cover their legal fees. The actual landowner got (as near as we can tell), nothing…
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NY Idiots Demand Cuomo Stop Burning All Fossil Fuels by 2030

A small group of people whose bubble isn’t in the center of the level staged a “protest” on Saturday in Long Beach, NY (Nassau County), nominally against the Williams Rockaway Delivery Lateral pipeline project. The Rockaway project adds 3.2 miles of new Transco pipeline and related facilities in New York, from the Marine Parkway Bridge in Far Rockaway to offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. The protesters’ stated reason for opposing the project? Not because it may disturb underwater ecosystems. Not because it would temporarily disrupt the lives of those living nearby during construction. Not because of fears over water contamination. No. The stated reason is, “for the end to burning fossil fuels” and because they want NY state “to convert to renewable energy by 2030.” It is, literally, an impossibility to end the use of fossil fuels within the next 100 years. But these idiots refuse to use logic and reason. So now they’re targeting a minuscule 3 mile pipeline in an effort to vent their irrational rage. Meanwhile, up the Hudson in Westchester County, a different small group of nutters also gathered on Saturday to vent their rage for the same reason (anti-fossil fuel extremism), except the focus of their rage is Spectra Energy’s Atlantic Bridge Pipeline project…
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