Constitution Pipeline Doles Out Another $50K in Grants, Despite NY

money-bag.jpgSince announcing the project in 2012, the Constitution Pipeline has handed out more than $2 million in community grants to fire departments, police departments and a variety of nonprofit organizations that benefit the community. Recently New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided to block the Constitution Pipeline to placate his radical left supporters (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Williams and its partners in the project have taken NY to court to overrule their blockage (see Williams Sues NY Over Constitution Pipe – DEC May Lose Authority). Even though Cuomo’s dastardly action has thrown the project’s future into some doubt, Williams and the Constitution are expressing no doubts. They’ve just handed out another $50,000 in grants (the eighth time they’ve done it) to worthy organizations along the pipeline’s proposed route. Here’s who got the money, and how much…
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Constitution Pipe Denial May Destroy 2K Existing Upstate NY Jobs

Raymond forkliftNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s action to stop progress on the Constitution Pipeline has very real, tangible negative effects on jobs in Upstate New York. This is the true story of two large regional employers in New York’s Southern Tier that would benefit from cheap, abundant, and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from northeastern Pennsylvania. Wait. You believed the anti’s lie that all of the gas traveling through the Constitution would be transported to other areas, with much of it exported, and would not in any way benefit local residents? Yeah, that’s a lie. Another 100% lie pedaled by irrational fossil fuel haters. As the Constitution crosses places like Broome, Chenango and Delaware counties in the Southern Tier of New York State (i.e. “Upstate”), the pipeline will be tapped in several locations by Leatherstocking Gas Co.–a small but important local utility company. Leatherstocking will then provide gas to area communities and to two large businesses. One of those businesses is the Amphenol Aerospace plant in Sidney, NY. Amphenol is the largest employer in Delaware County with some 1,100 employees. Amphenol needs cheap Marcellus Shale gas from the Constitution to stay competitive and to keep the plant open. The second business is located in the small Chenango County village of Greene–Raymond Corporation. You know those bright red-colored forklifts you see in warehouses and factories? They’re all built at Raymond, which ships them worldwide. The facility is now owned by Toyota. Raymond also needs natural gas from the Constitution Pipeline. With over 800 1,600 employees at Raymond, it is the third largest employer in Chenango County. Does Gov. Cuomo really want to play Russian roulette with nearly 2,000 upstate jobs? Here’s the sad story of a corrupt governor bowing to political pressure and screwing his own constituents in Upstate…
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Cuomo Needs to “Snap on a Pair” and Approve the Constitution Pipe

Constitution Pipeline Meeting in Afton – click picture for larger version

“What do we want? Pipeline! When do we want it? Now!” It was a raucous crowd who gathered last Saturday in the tiny village of Afton, New York to show support for the Williams Constitution Pipeline project. The River Club in Afton was jammed with people–by our estimation some 250-300 people. The meeting was organized and hosted by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY). The JLCNY’s attorney, Scott Kurkoski (from Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP) began the meeting with a full-throated yell: “New York Can’t Wait!” That simple sentence summed up the focus of the rally. The Constitution Pipeline is fully permitted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The only thing holding up construction of the pipeline is a stream-crossing permit from New York State. The tail is wagging the dog. Speaker after speaker (politicians, business people, labor reps) outlined the reasons why New York State can no longer wait for Gov. Cuomo to continue his waffling on this project. The frustration with Cuomo and the DEC was palpable in the audience. Whenever Cuomo’s name was mentioned there were cat calls and boos. Perhaps the best line of the day, from all of the speeches, was uttered by Assemblyman Clifford Crouch. Cliff mentioned he had called the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) just a few days prior to ask about the status of the permits. Without saying so, the DEC rep indicated the delay is not due to the agency itself. The implication was clear: Cuomo is holding it up. Crouch then said this: “We need to contact Snap-on Tools and get the governor a pair to snap on!” The crowd roared. They loved it!…
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Rally to Support Constitution Pipeline in Afton, NY Tomorrow

comejoinus.jpgAs we’ve previously mentioned, a few times, there will be a meeting tomorrow in Afton, NY to support the Constitution Pipeline. The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is sponsoring this rally to support the Constitution. MDN editor Jim Willis plans to be there–and we hope you do too. Meeting details are listed below. It’s time–in our opinion long past time–to sue the state and force the issue. It’s time to build the Constitution Pipeline!…
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NY Econ Dev Grant Signals Constitution Pipeline Approval Imminent

celebrateSome very good news for supporters of the long-overdue Constitution Pipeline slated to run from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY. So far, New York has delayed granting stream-crossing permits for the project. We’ve advocated that it’s time for Williams and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take NY to court (see Time to Force NY DEC to Issue Permit for Constitution Pipeline). In fact, a Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) official has said the DEC is in danger of permanently losing control over issuing such permits if they don’t approve the Constitution’s request (see DEC Official Says NY in Danger of FERC Taking Over Pipeline Permits). The good news is that NY has approved funding for a project that will build a $1.5 million, 18-mile feeder pipeline from the Constitution Pipeline to a forklift manufacturing plant in Chenango County. After banning fracking and the multi-billion dollar economic bonanza it would have brought to upstate NY, Andrew Cuomo has stolen $2 billion from taxpayers statewide to fund “economic development” via something called Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants. There are four grants of $500 million. One of those grants was just made to the Southern Tier area, where fracking would have been the strongest had it been allowed. In other words, this is a bribe being paid to upstate voters. But we digress. Tucked into the $500 million “grant” (i.e. bribe) for the Southern Tier is $1.5 million to build a feeder pipeline from the Constitution Pipeline to Raymond Corporation in Greene, NY. Why approve $1.5 million for a feeder pipeline if you’re not going to approve the Constitution Pipeline itself? You wouldn’t–ergo the Constitution is about to get approved…
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NY Secession Movement Gains Momentum – Landowners to Rally Sunday

secedeIt is an issue that simply won’t go away. Frankly, we’ve thought (until now) that it was more or less a publicity stunt. Pro-drillers and pro-gun rights residents of New York State have, since Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned fracking last December, called for upstate counties to secede from New York and either form a new state, or join with Pennsylvania. On the surface it may sound silly, but did you know secession has happened in our country three times before? And one of those times was for land that used to be part of New York State? No, we didn’t know that bit of history either. This Sunday, August 30th, a rally will be held in the tiny village of Bainbridge (Chenango County), NY from 1-3 pm for Marcellus/Utica landowners, gun owners and other overtaxed and over-regulated NY residents to demonstrate their support for secession. This is a movement that is gaining momentum. It’s a serious movement. None other than the liberal USA Today files this very serious report…
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Special Election for NY Senate in Binghamton Tied to Fracking

Sadly, pro-drillers in New York State recently lost a big supporter in the NY Senate–Sen. Tom Libous. For those who don’t live in New York, Libous was the long-time Senator from the Binghamton area, in the Senate for 27 years and a powerful member as deputy majority leader of the Senate. Libous was recently found guilty of lying to the FBI about using his influence to get his son a politically connected job. Libous has been removed from office. Essentially Libous got his son a job he didn’t have to work at but got paid for (see this Gannett story). Slimy to say the least, but we can list numerous ethics violations far worse on the Democrat side of the isle. For all of his faults, Libous was a friend to the pro-drilling movement in the state. The race is now on to replace Libous in a special election. The early leader, if you believe local news outlets (which we don’t), is Democrat Barbara Fiala–someone who once supported drilling but now, because she’s in Andrew Cuomo’s back pocket, opposes it…
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Kinder Files with FERC, NED Pipeline Changes Path in NY & MA

MDN has chronicled the sad state of Massachusetts and its obtuse opposition to the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project, a pipeline that would make both their natural gas and electricity costs a lot cheaper. We told you Kinder planned to change the path of the pipeline to avoid about half of Massachusetts on its way from New York to the Boston area (see Kinder Morgan Changes Route for Pipeline from MA to NH). What you may not know is that MA doesn’t have sole ownership of obtuseness. New York wants in on some of that action too. NIMBYs in Columbia County, NY have been kicking up a fuss over the pipeline, so when Kinder filed their new preferred route yesterday (see updated map below), they altered the course and shifted it north from Columbia County to Rensselaer County, following an existing right-of-way owned by National Grid…
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NY Landowners Get Eminent Domain Threat from Constitution Pipeline

As we reported last week, it’s great news that the Constitution Pipeline has now received its final green light and construction is about to begin (see FERC Issues Final Approval for Constitution Pipeline in PA/NY). Some of the hardest work now lies ahead. Unfortunately, some landowners refuse to negotiate a right-of-way and so, just a few days after FERC gave the go-ahead, those landowners have received a “sign now or else” letter threatening the use of eminent domain, from Williams…
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FERC Issues Final Approval for Constitution Pipeline in PA/NY

We’ve been writing about the Constitution Pipeline for, like, forever! The Constitution is planned to run 124 miles from Susquehanna County, PA up into New York State, all the way to Schoharie County where it will connect to both the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. It will flow some 650,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day (enough natural gas to serve approximately 3 million homes), most of it produced by Cabot Oil & Gas, one of the owners of the pipeline. In October, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final environmental approval (see Constitution Pipeline Gets FERC Final Environmental Approval). Yesterday, FERC issued its final approval for the project–meaning the shovels will now hit the ground and construction will now begin. Horray!…
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Cornell Grad Students Publish Well Water Study from Upstate NY

Some real science coming from Cornell University–who knew it was possible? Normally we associate the discredited theories of professors Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea with the storied Cornell. They claim burning coal is better for the environment than burning natural gas (see Forbes Article Exposes Cornell Prof Howarth and His “Research”). It took a grad student at Cornell to conduct some real, fundamental, in-the-field research that will benefit Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling–IF it ever happens in New York. Doctoral student Lauren McPhillips is the lead author of a research paper recently published in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. The study is titled “Assessing dissolved methane patterns in central New York groundwater” (full copy below). McPhillips and her fellow researchers recorded the chemicals found in 113 water wells in Chenango County, NY, to serve as a baseline when/if widespread shale drilling comes to the county…
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Final EIS for Constitution Pipeline Delayed Another 2 Months, Ugh

The Constitution Pipeline, which MDN has covered for more than two years, is a $683 million Williams pipeline project with backing from Cabot Oil & Gas that will run from Cabot’s gas fields in Susquehanna County, PA all the way to Schoharie County, NY. It’s an important project for Cabot Oil & Gas since it will move an additional half billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for the company. A month ago MDN told you the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was due “any day” (see Constitution Pipeline Update from Cabot – Final EIS Due Any Day). The EIS was already delayed, and now we learn that it’s delayed yet again. According to top energy blogger and analyst Richard Zeits, the EIS for the Constitution is now delayed until the end of October–another two months…
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Vicariously Attend FERC Scoping Hearing on Constitution Pipeline

microphone in auditoriumMDN editor Jim Willis attended the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scoping hearing for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Constitution Pipeline last Wednesday night (April 2nd) in Afton, NY. Held at the local Afton High School auditorium, there were 250-300 people in the audience. Some 50 or so signed up to address the three FERC representatives who were there to listen to public testimony about the DEIS and proposed plan to build a 30-inch, 124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY to carry cheap, abundant Marcellus Shale gas to markets that include New York City and New England. The pipeline project is projected to cost $683 million (money pumped mostly into the upstate New York economy), and provide 1,300 temporary jobs while it’s built.

To say it was a lively audience would be an understatement. Jim stuck around for more than two hours to listen and observe. In one sense the hearing was not unlike others Jim has sat through. But in another sense, it was different–even instructive. More than one speaker on the anti-drilling side bemoaned the fact that Williams and the Constitution Pipeline has “split the community” and has “pitted neighbor against neighbor.” Really? What Jim witnessed was a vibrant, healthy, vigorous political discussion not unlike the discussions neighbors have been having with neighbors since the founding of our great country. We gather and engage in a spirited debate–sometimes shouting matches–to avoid killing each other. We are not (yet) a banana republic. We are still (for now) a nation of laws. Loud and boisterous debate is our proud heritage and it should be encouraged–not discouraged. What Jim saw heartened him, instead of the opposite.

And what did Jim see? You could say the speakers broke into two camps–for and against the pipeline. But that would be too simplistic. Come along with Jim as he introduces you to several speakers from that night, representing not a simple for/against mindset, but a continuum of outright support to outright opposition–with many shades in between. We’ll do it through the lens of four archetypes that we think best represent the passion, emotions and arguments presented at the meeting…
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JLCNY Encourages Support of Constitution Pipeline — This Week

MDN has done a fair bit of reporting on a desperately needed new natural gas pipeline due to be built from Susquehanna County, PA all the way to Schoharie County, NY. The Constitution Pipeline will be built by Williams starting later this year, if all goes according to plan (see New Marcellus Constitution Pipeline Announces “Final” Route). Last week MDN told you that both the federal EPA and Dept. of Interior have asked for more time to provide their own comments on the new pipeline (see EPA/DOI Ask for More Time to Review PA-NY Constitution Pipeline). FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has itself told Williams they will need to make a few adjustments to their plans (see FERC: Constitution Pipeline Should Make Changes to Lessen Impacts).

FERC will ultimately decide whether or not to allow Williams to build the pipeline. We doubt there’s much doubt about the plan–it’s almost certain to be built. FERC themselves say it’s really really needed. However, FERC must go through the motions, and one of those motions is to hold public “scoping” hearings where people (often anti-drillers) show up to gripe and moan about the plan. FERC is conducing a series of four hearings this week, starting today. The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York sent the following email (with hearing details) to request members of the JLCNY and all pro-drillers attend a meeting near them, to show support for natural gas in our region…
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Leatherstocking to Tap Constitution Pipeline for Local Deliveries

Rural residents (and an aerospace manufacturer) located in New York’s Southern Tier and Central New York areas have a lot to be thankful for with the upcoming Constitution Pipeline–a natural gas pipeline that will deliver natural gas from the Marcellus Shale gas fields of Susquehanna County, PA all the way to two major interstate pipelines near Schoharie, NY (see New Marcellus Constitution Pipeline Announces “Final” Route). Williams is building the 124-mile pipeline with backing from Cabot Oil & Gas, whose gas will flow through it.

However, a regional gas pipeline company (think gas utility) founded just a few years, Leatherstocking Gas, will tap into the Constitution at (so far) four different locations along the pipeline so they can deliver that homegrown Marcellus gas to rural customers who are not being served by the big utilities like New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG, owned by Iberdrola). Yesterday Williams and Leatherstocking announced the deal to tap into the Constitution Pipeline in four locations…
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Cornell “Shale Gas Team” Visits Norwich, NY

Cornell was once a great university–before lazy liberal opinion started to substitute for real scientific investigation (a la Tony Ingraffea, Robert Howarth, et al). Oh there’s still a few good profs at Cornell, profs that do real research, like Larry Cathles, Larry Brown and Andrew Hunter. But by and large Cornell has just faded into the background when it comes to being a voice on shale energy and energy research. Cornell is a has been.

So we found it interesting that a group of Cornell profs and grad students calling themselves the Cornell Shale Gas Team made a visit to Norwich, NY this week (MDN editor Jim Willis’ home town) to offer an “information seminar” on current issues and research in shale. Who knew there was a “Shale Gas Team” at Cornell? Jim couldn’t be there in person (he wasn’t aware of it!), but the Norwich Evening Sun had a reporter who filed this:
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