NJ Antis Rally Against Williams NE Supply Enhancement Compressor

Stop compressor station rally in NJ

The Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) is a Williams Transco Pipeline project meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). There are a number of components to NESE, 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 pipeline offshore. Williams wants to build a compressor station on the Jersey side to help push the gas through. Antis rallied yesterday just prior to a NJ DEP public hearing on the project, to express their opposition to the Franklin Township (Somerset County) compressor station.
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NY Constitution Pipeline Not Dead Yet, FERC Grants 2-Yr Extension

Miracle of miracles, two (!) Democrat FERC commissioners (Cheryl LaFleur and Dick Glick), along with one Republican commissioner (Chairman Neil Chatterjee), voted unanimously to extend the time frame by another two years for Williams to build the Constitution Pipeline. As you may recall, the Constitution was stopped cold by corrupt NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his lackeys at the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Constitution is planned to run from Susquehanna County, PA up into, and mostly situated in, New York State. Cuomo won’t be happy with this decision because it’s a very loud and clear signal that FERC believes the project *will* some day get built.
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Williams 3Q18: More Transco Expansions Coming to Flow M-U

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. (Transco) is the crown jewel of Williams. Transco is a 10,200-mile pipeline system with 53 compressor stations extending from South Texas to New York City. The recent Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project in northeast PA that went online Oct. 6 is part of Transco, feeding more Marcellus gas into the Transco system to flow that gas south. During yesterday’s Williams third quarter update, CEO Alan Armstrong hinted that yet another new Transco project, “Project #1,” is in the works and will be announced during 4Q18. Project #1 will expand Transco’s capacity in Zones 3-6, allowing more Marcellus/Utica gas to flow south–perhaps all the way to the Gulf Coast.
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Transco Wins “Precedential” Fed Court Decision to Use Eminent Domain

Williams’ Transco Pipeline has just won a major eminent domain court case for its Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project that will have implications for all pipelines. Yes, Atlantic Sunrise is now in the ground and flowing natural gas (see FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6). However, a small group of landowners in Lancaster County opposed to Atlantic Sunrise resisted and would not allow Transco to build. So Transco sued and won a court order, based on the right of delegated eminent domain granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to immediately take possession of those properties and build the pipeline. The landowners continued to fight the order and the case eventually ended up in federal court.
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Williams Withholds Payment Forcing Pipeline Builder into Bankruptcy

On Monday Welded Construction, a pipeline construction contractor headquartered in Perrysburg, OH, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because, they say, Williams is refusing to pay them $23.5 million for work completed, and that refusal/dispute leaked out into the marketplace and created a “liquidity crisis” (crisis of confidence) with other Welded customers and their projects. By filing for bankruptcy protection, Welded hopes to create “breathing room” and settle folks down and reassure them their projects are OK.
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Lancaster Nuns Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Pipeline Case

The Sisters of the Corn (our name for the a group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA) are not giving up their hypocritical lawsuit against Williams for building the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline across their property. As we told you in September, the sisters planned to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, claiming infringement of religious freedom (see Lancaster Nuns Appeal Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Case to US Supreme Court). The sisters made good and filed. Yesterday morning they held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to try and catch a little more attention for their hypocritical case.
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Cabot, Seneca Resources Grab 100% of New Transco Leidy Expansion

Williams is expanding its mighty, 10,500-mile Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co (Transco), again. Sometime this month Williams will prefile a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Leidy South expansion project. The new project will bump up “compression” (either build new compressors or refit existing compressors) and build new “looping” pipeline in Pennsylvania, in order to increase capacity of Transco in the northeast Marcellus region by another 580 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).
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FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6

Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally (finally!) granted Williams permission to open the taps up and let natural gas flow along the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, a 200-mile greenfield pipeline from northeastern to southeastern PA. Startup was delayed two months from Williams’ original estimate (due to Williams, not FERC). But that’s all behind us now. Beginning tomorrow, Marcellus molecules from Cabot Oil & Gas, Chief Oil & Gas, and Seneca Resources will begin flowing along the pipeline, heading out of our region where those molecules will fetch higher prices.
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Williams CEO Compliments PA Gov Wolf, Roasts NY Gov Cuomo

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong

On Friday Williams CEO Alan Armstrong addressed CEA’s Energy and Manufacturing Summit in Pittsburgh. Ahead of that address, Armstrong granted an exclusive interview to the Pittsburgh Business Times, an interview in which he had some flattering words for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (i.e. sucked up to him), and some rather unflattering words for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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How Much Does it Cost to Build a Pipeline in the Northeast?

The short answer to the question posed in our headline is, “Too much.” The reason it’s costing too much is because of a blizzard of frivolous lawsuits launched by anti-fossil fuel groups, funded with money from big foundations (see Big Green Exposed: List of Liberal Foundations Donating $3.7B and New Study, Video Exposes 19 Foundations Funding Climate Hoax), and because of the heavy hand of government regulation. Those two things together–lawsuits and punitive regulations–drive the cost of pipeline construction in the Marcellus/Utica region to heights where it may not make sense, economically, to build new projects. How much per mile does it cost to build a major pipeline that flows 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) or more of low-carbon, clean-burning Marcellus/Utica shale gas? These days, it costs anywhere between $2.9 million to a whopping $13 million *per mile* to build a new pipeline in the northeast. Yeah, way too much. How much did Atlantic Sunrise cost Williams to build per mile? And how much is Atlantic Coast Pipeline costing Dominion Energy to build? We’ve got the numbers below…
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New Williams Board Appointment Raises Ethics Question

On July 31 midstream giant Williams announced it had added a new member to its board of directors, Vicki Fuller. We didn’t think much of it at the time. We included a mention in our “best of the rest” section the following day (see Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Aug 1, 2018). Fuller is an accomplished woman–very smart. Prior to assuming her part-time role at Williams (for a cool $275,000 per year), she was the chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. That is, she decided how and where to invest the $207 billion worth of investments in the pension fund, put there by New York State workers (teachers and others), used to cover their retirement pensions. That’s a lot of responsibility riding on one person’s shoulders. And therein is the rub. Anti fossil fuel radicals have been pushing New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (a wildly left liberal himself) and Fuller (appointed by DiNapoli) to divest the Common Retirement Fund from fossil fuel companies–companies like Williams. To his credit, DiNapoli has resisted the political pressure to divest, realizing that millions of pensioners’ investments would fall by billions of dollars if that happens. And to her credit, Fuller did not cave to the pressure either. Liberal media (PBS) is now going after Fuller and her appointment to the Williams board, implying it’s some sort of quid pro quo–that Fuller got the job and a big salary for doing part-time work, in return for not divesting the pension fund from Williams stocks and bonds. Which is a stretch. A big stretch. However, the timing of her departure as CIO of the pension fund and her appointment to the Williams board (both in the same week) doesn’t look good…
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Did Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Contribute to Mobile Home Park Flood?

Sometime this week we expect to blow the trumpets and wave the flags that finally (finally!) the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Pennsylvania has begun flowing Marcellus gas south. Typically pipelines like Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise do a good job of working with landowners and municipalities to address concerns and tweak the route. We’ve heard some legitimate complaints over the past few years when a pipeline company seemed to turn a deaf ear to concerns by landowners. But usually those complaints were from other builders, not Williams. This time we have a story to share that (for us) is atypical. When building Atlantic Sunrise in Lancaster County, Williams said it was necessary to “temporarily” remove a stormwater basin (small pond to catch runoff) near two dozen mobile homes in Rapho Township. Over the objections of the local town, Williams went ahead (with state Dept. of Environmental Protection blessing) and completely removed the stormwater basin. Then a series of unfortunate events happened. Some 10 inches of rain fell–quite unheard of, supposedly a 1,000-year event. And the mobile home park got flooded. Would the nearby stormwater basin have helped prevent the flood if it were still there? Maybe, but (according to town officials), probably not. Not with 10 inches of rain. Still, it does raise a question. Was the flooding of the park made worse because the basin was gone? And if so, how much worse?…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Now Ready to Open Valves and Let it Flow

It’s been a years-long wait, but the week/day/minute Atlantic Sunrise will open the valves and begin to flow natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania is finally here! Yesterday Williams, the company building the 200-mile greenfield pipeline in northeastern and southeastern PA, filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to open up the valves and let it flow. No response yet, but we expect within a day or two FERC will give the high-five to Williams. It’s been a loooong time in coming–overcoming multiple lawsuits by radical leftists who pretend to care about the environment. The startup date was delayed from August to the week of Sept. 10 (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10), and then delayed again to the week of Sept. 17 (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Delayed Another Week, Now Sept 17). It’s now the week of Sept. 17. and Williams told FERC in a letter yesterday (copy below) that the project is “mechanically complete” and ready. And as soon as FERC gives the OK, Williams will turn the valves and let it flow…
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Williams Donates $100,000 to Cuomo/Democrats? Say It Ain’t So!

It’s just coming to light (for us anyway) that earlier this year Williams donated $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association–a group that is devoted to electing more Democrats as governors, and a group that heavily supports Andrew Cuomo in his reelection bid here in the Empire State. Shame on Williams. Are they insane? Cuomo, who is CORRUPT, has blocked Williams project after Williams project in New York. But apparently he has not blocked all Williams projects. Less than three months after the Williams “donation,” the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which ONLY does the bidding of Cuomo, denied “without prejudice” a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, allowing Williams to submit a new application (i.e. keeping it alive). Oh, and Cuomo hired the lobbyist who was working on that same pipeline project…to run his reelection campaign. Sniff sniff. Do you smell something? We’re not accusing anybody of anything–least of all Williams, which has to do what they have to do in a state that’s run like a third world dictatorship. However, you have to admit the situation raises questions. And we still can’t get over the fact that Williams donated a hundred grand to the other side. That boggles the mind…
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FERC Delays Enviro Review of Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just slowed the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project. In March 2017, Williams filed a full, official application for NESE (see Williams Files with FERC to Expand Transco Pipeline to NYC, NE). The project will 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, 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. Much of the Raritan Bay pipeline is located in New York territorial waters, meaning the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which is controlled by anti-everything Andrew Cuomo, must sign off. So far the DEC has issued two “application incomplete” notices to Williams, the most recent in July (see NY DEC Tells Williams NE Supply Water Permit App is “Incomplete”). Which is not a bad thing as it keeps the project alive, allowing Williams to resubmit the application again. In other words, although the project is delayed because of NY, it’s not dead like some of the other Williams projects in NY. FERC issued a favorable draft environment impact statement (DEIS) in March of this year (see Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipe Gets Favorable DEIS). FERC was due to issue the final environmental impact statement this month, on Sept. 17, but last week FERC told Williams they’re delaying. Now the final EIS is due by Jan. 25, 2019. Is this bad news for the project?…
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Lancaster Nuns Appeal Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Case to US Supreme Court

The Sisters of the Corn (our name for the a group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA) are not giving up their wildly hypocritical lawsuit against Williams for building the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline across their property. The good sisters are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, claiming infringement of religious freedom. The nuns use natural gas to heat an old folks home they operate, yet are trying to block the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline from traversing that very same property. We don’t know how they justify using natural gas yet actively try to block a pipeline that delivers it. The nuns, with the help of local anti group Lancaster Against Pipelines, stuck a garden trellis and a few wooden park benches in the middle of a corn field owned by the nuns (leased to a local farmer) directly in the path of the pipeline, declaring the site a “chapel.” Hence our attempt at humor, calling them “Sisters of the Corn.” The sisters then sued to block the pipeline based on religious grounds (see Lancaster Nuns Demand “Religious Freedom” Trial re Pipeline). It was a flimflam lawsuit from the beginning and the courts saw through it. The case was thrown out by a lower court, and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District. In July, the Third District tossed the case too (see Fed Court Tosses Lancaster Nuns’ Lawsuit re Atlantic Sunrise Pipe). The only legal option left to the sisters is to pray for a miracle–that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case, and find in their favor…
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