Millennium Lateral Pipe to NY Gas-Fired Elec Plant Begins Service

This is a red-letter day indeed! We have waited so long for this day to arrive. Andrew Cuomo (ignominious governor of NY) has lost his battle to stop a short, 7.8 mile pipeline, a lateral/offshoot of the main Millennial Pipeline, to flow Marcellus gas to a newly completed gas-fired electric generating plant in Wawayanda (Orange County), NY. Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted permission for Millennium’s Valley Lateral pipeline to begin operation. As we previously reported, once the gas is flowing to the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center, the plant itself will begin operation (see Orange County, NY Electric Plant to Start Up in June). We’re a little delayed. It’s not June, as originally forecast, but hey, early July is A.O.K. As you read this, gas is flowing through the Valley Lateral to the CPV plant. Following yesterday’s announcement, CPV said it will begin final testing of the plant this week, and the plant will go operational in August. Woo hoo!…
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Orange County, NY Electric Plant to Start Up in June

As the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY gets ready to begin service, some of the neighbors are not happy with noises coming from the plant. They hope local town officials can meet with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and convince him to lean on the Dept. of Environmental Conservation to revoke permits for the plant that CPV just spent almost a billion dollars to build. We told you a month ago the only sliver of a hope antis have to prevent the plant from starting up is to convince the DEC to block it (see Big Green Begs NY DEC to Revoke Orange Co. Power Plant Permits). It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, but also not likely that the DEC will step in now. At a Wawayanda Town Board meeting last Thursday residents and town leaders discussed the noise issue and what to do about it, which is the focus of the article below. However, one tiny reference in the article is what caught our attention. The plant is waiting for a pipeline “lateral” from the Millennium Pipeline to be completed to flow natgas to the plant, which is what will fire the plant. You may recall the DEC tried to block that pipeline and was overruled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The DEC took FERC to court and the DEC lost (see Court Rejects NY DEC Attempt to Stop Short Power Plant Pipeline). The short 7.8-mile “Valley Lateral” pipeline is now almost complete. According to the article below (and the thing that caught our attention) is that CPV expects the pipeline to be done and flowing natural gas to the plant in June. When it does, the plant will start up…
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Big Green Begs NY DEC to Revoke Orange Co. Power Plant Permits

As the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) $900 million Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY gets ready to begin service THIS MONTH, antis, including Big Green group Riverkeeper, are desperate to stop it from entering service. Since they couldn’t win any lawsuits to stop it, and since they couldn’t convince the federal government (FERC) to stop it, Riverkeeper and some politicians in Riverkeeper’s back pocket (via campaign contributions) have turned their attention to the Andrew Cuomo-corrupted Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), hoping they can convince the corrupt DEC to revoke the permits issued for the plant. On what basis does Riverkeeper and their colluding politicians claim the permits should be revoked? On the basis that a CPV lobbyist paid money to Cuomo’s closest confidante and aide as a bribe to get the project approved. There’s no evidence that the project got approved because of the bribe, but the stench is certainly there, and hey, if corrupt bribes got it approved, maybe corrupt politicians colluding with Big Green can get it unapproved, right?…
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Antis Use Corruption Trial Verdict to Challenge NY Gas Power Plant

In September 2016, MDN brought you the sad news that the former head of external affairs and government relations for Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), Peter Kelly, was indicted for bribing New York Gov. Cuomo’s long-time top aide Joseph Percoco to get state approvals for CPV’s $900 million Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY (see NY NatGas-Fired Electric Plant an Inside Job for Corrupt Cuomo Aide). Both Kelly and Percoco, along with a third person, Todd Howe (lobbyist who used to work for Cuomo) were indicted. The trial was recently held and a few weeks ago the verdicts came in: Both Percoco and Howe, the people close to Cuomo, were convicted. The jury could not decide on CPV’s Kelly–so Kelly skated. While the entire sordid affair is interesting for those of us who smell the foul stench of corruption that surrounds Andrew Cuomo, and while the trial and its result is interesting to MDN because of the gas-fired CPV project in Orange County, the reason we’re bringing it to your attention is because antis are using the Percoco/Howe convictions in the case to try and shut down the now-completed CPV Valley Energy Center project, claiming the plant would have never been approved without bribes and corruption…
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Court Rejects NY DEC Attempt to Stop Short Power Plant Pipeline

Valley Lateral Pipeline map – click for larger version

The Andrew Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now out of options in its quest to block a tiny, 7.8-mile pipeline that would connect the Millennium Pipeline to a gas-fired electric generating plant under construction in Orange County, NY. Yesterday the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition by the DEC asking the court to vacate two orders by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowing the pipeline to continue construction. Which means construction on the pipeline has restarted and will almost certainly be completed within a month. The plant the pipeline will feed, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center, is wrapping up construction. Recently antis had a cow when they saw steam coming from the plant, part of the commissioning process (see Antis Apoplectic at Sight of Steam Coming from NY Power Plant). Before the new plant can go online, it needs fuel, which is why the Millennium project is so important. Now that the 2nd Circuit has rejected its petition, the DEC says it is still “reviewing its options” with respect to “next steps.” Frankly, there are no options and no next steps. The Cuomo-corrupted DEC has lost…
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Antis Apoplectic at Sight of Steam Coming from NY Power Plant

Do the anti fossil-fuel foes in Orange County, NY still not get it? Do they not understand a new gas-fired power plant is about to go online? Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) is building a legal, legitimate, safe, low-emissions electric generating plant in Wawayanda. The plant is almost done and is now preparing for commissioning. This is the same facility Manhattanite Hollywood star James Cromwell (with a summer home in the area) has protested over the past few years (see our stories here). This is the same facility that will be fed by a 7.8-mile natural gas pipeline that connects to the Millennium Pipeline, being fought tooth and nail by Andrew Cuomo’s corrupt Dept. of Environmental Conservation (see NY DEC Asks Court to Toss FERC Order re Millennium Pipe Project). One fact remains: the plant is built and it will go online–soon. Last Friday crews were cleaning in the plant, using low-pressure steam to clean the piping in advance of the commissioning/start-up process. Some of the steam (water vapor, H2O) escaped into the air and area antis were prostrate on the ground, seized with fear that the plant had started operating and was using oil to power it. Antis are still in 100% complete denial that the plant is about to start up–within WEEKS. An area newspaper ran a story which unintentionally made the antis look foolish–frightened at the site of water vapor (i.e. steam)–referring to the steam as “plumes.” The story magically disappeared from the newspaper’s website a day later–but not before we grabbed a copy…
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NY DEC Asks Court to Toss FERC Order re Millennium Pipe Project

Millennium Pipeline is building a tiny, 7.8 mile pipeline in Orange County, NY that will connect the main Millennium pipeline to the CPV Valley Energy Center gas-fired electric plant. Both projects are currently under construction. Millennium’s project, called the Valley Lateral Project, was opposed by the corrupt Andrew Cuomo Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC refused to grant necessary permits for the federal project, so the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to overrule DEC and allow it to be built anyway (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). The DEC took FERC to court, but in December, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the DEC’s request to block the beginning of construction (see Fed Court Denies NY DEC Bid to Block Power Plant Pipe Construction). Construction subsequently began immediately. The DEC, no doubt goosed on by the corrupt Cuomo, has just come back to the Second Circuit with a different request. This time the DEC wants the court toss out FERC’s approval of the project, saying if the FERC approval stands, any company could file a half-baked (i.e. “incomplete” according to DEC standards) application for a water crossing permit and that doesn’t give DEC enough time to chase in a completed application. In other words, companies would “run out the clock” by saying DEC took more than a year to approve an application. DEC calls it “sandbagging” by delaying important information. Somehow DEC’s protestations ring particularly hollow, since they themselves are famous for sandbagging…
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FERC Approves Millennium Pipe’s Eastern System Upgrade in NY

The Millennium Pipeline stretches ~244 miles from Independence in Steuben County, NY to Buena Vista in Rockland County, NY. The Millennium, which is supplied by local production and storage fields and interconnecting upstream pipelines, serves customers along its route in New York’s Southern Tier region and helps meet the energy needs of northeast markets. In August 2016, the Millennium filed an application for what it calls its Eastern System Upgrade (see Millennium Pipe Asks FERC to Approve Eastern System Upgrade in NY). The ESU would add 7.8 miles of extra looped pipeline in Orange County, upgrade a compressor station in Delaware County, build a new compressor in Sullivan County and make some minor tweaks to metering stations in Rockland County. In late March the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable environmental assessment for the project (see FERC Favorable EA for Millennium Pipeline Eastern System Upgrade). In what can only be described as completely out of character, the corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) also approved the project, in early September (see NY DEC Grants Permit for Millennium Pipe Eastern System Upgrade). Yesterday FERC gave Millennium permission to begin construction on essentially all of the project, with one tiny exception…
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Millennium Begins Building 7.8 Mile Pipeline in Orange County, NY

Last Thursday the the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) request to block of construction of Millennium Pipeline’s Valley Lateral Project (see Fed Court Denies NY DEC Bid to Block Power Plant Pipe Construction). As a quick reminder, Valley Lateral is a tiny, 7.8 mile pipeline in Orange County, NY that will connect the main Millennium pipeline to the CPV Valley Energy Center gas-fired electric plant, currently under construction. Even though there is still a court case hanging out there (DEC suing FERC) scheduled for a hearing in late January, we said this on Friday: “Construction will likely begin TODAY.” We were right. Millennium fired up the chainsaws and began cutting down trees along the pipeline’s future path, on Friday, the day after the court ruling. Millennium plans to have all trees cleared along the path of the pipeline by Dec. 31. This is a major victory for truth, justice and the American way…
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Fed Court Denies NY DEC Bid to Block Power Plant Pipe Construction

Yesterday the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s request to slap an ongoing block of construction for Millennium Pipeline’s Valley Lateral Project. As a quick reminder, Valley Lateral is a tiny, 7.8 mile pipeline that will connect the main Millennium line to the CPV Valley Energy Center gas-fired electric plant, currently under construction, due to be completed in the first quarter of next year. The DEC doesn’t like the power plant project (approved by the State of New York), and is using the pipeline as a political football to try and keep the plant from opening–no doubt at the direction of our corrupt governor, Andrew Cuomo. The DEC arbitrarily, after more than one year of review, ruled against issuing a federal water crossing permit for the pipeline. In an historic decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) overruled the DEC in September (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). The DEC, in a snit fit, demanded FERC not OK the beginning of construction until an army of DEC lawyers figures out a way to appeal, delay, obstruct and otherwise stop the project anyway (see NY DEC Appeals FERC Override of Millennium Pipe Decision). FERC didn’t listen to DEC, instead giving Millennium the go-ahead to begin construction (see FERC Humiliates NY DEC, Millennium Can Begin Construction on Pipe). NY sued FERC in federal court requesting an emergency stay of construction activities. The Second Circuit implemented a temporary stay. Yesterday the court dissolved that temporary stay and denied DEC’s request for a long-term stay until the full case against FERC is heard. Bottom line: Construction will likely begin TODAY…
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Eagle’s Nest Latest Wrinkle in Building 7.8 Mile Pipe to NY Power Plant

A bald eagle’s nest built in a pine tree near where a tiny 7.8 mile pipeline is supposed to pass in Orange County, NY is the latest wrinkle that threatens to stop the pipeline in the ongoing soap opera that is corrupt New York State. The pipeline is a short spur, an offshoot, from the nearby Millennium Pipeline. It will feed the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) gas-fired electric generation plant currently under construction in Wawayanda. The CPV plant is due to be completed early next year. According to Millennium, if they don’t start construction (tree clearing) TODAY, Dec. 6, there is no way to get the pipeline done in time to feed the plant–and that may well drive CPV’s project into bankruptcy. The eagle’s nest is being used as an excuse by New York (and rabid antis) to try and block the pipeline from getting built. Here’s the latest episode in this ongoing soap opera…
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Frenemies: Millennium & NY DEC Fight Riverkeeper on Pipeline Upgrade

THE Delaware Riverkeeper herself is back with more of her overlord’s money to file yet another frivolous lawsuit against a pipeline project in New York State. In August 2016, Millennium filed an application for what it calls its Eastern System Upgrade (see Millennium Pipe Asks FERC to Approve Eastern System Upgrade in NY). The ESU would add 7.8 miles of extra looped pipeline in Orange County, upgrade a compressor station in Delaware County, build a new compressor in Sullivan County and make some minor tweaks to metering stations in Rockland County. DON’T confuse this with another story appearing today on MDN–Millennium building a NEW 7.8 mile pipeline to a power plant in Orange County. That’s a completely separate/different project from this one. Although the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) refused to grant a water crossing permit for the 7.8 mile pipeline to connect a power plant, in September the DEC granted the same type of permit for the 7.8 mile looping project, the ESU (see NY DEC Grants Permit for Millennium Pipe Eastern System Upgrade). Here’s the new news: Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted a final OK for the ESU. The even newer new news: Immediately following FERC’s approval, THE Delaware Riverkeeper filed a request for rehearing with FERC and at the same time filed a lawsuit against the DEC’s September water permit approval for the ESU project. Which puts Millennium and the DEC on the same team opposing Riverkeeper. In one case (the power plant pipeline project) Millennium and the DEC are bitter enemies, suing and countersuing. In this case, they’re frenemies–forced to work together to oppose the nutjobs from Riverkeeper…
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Old Hippie/Actor James Cromwell “Escorted Out” of FERC Meeting

James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact

Wealthy, old, has-been actor and Manhattanite James Cromwell has a summer playground home in Upstate New York–in Orange County. When he bought his Upstate home he certainly didn’t think a natural gas-fired power plant would be built nearby. That’s like a script from a “B” movie! But such a thing happened. Cromwell, in case you don’t know, is famous for starring in movies like “Babe” and “Star Trek: First Contact.” When Cromwell learned that an electric generating plant that burns evil fossil fuels (natural gas) would be built near his summer home, he thought he would do what all Hollywood stars think will work–shut the project down by protesting. It just has to work because, you know, he’s famous. What a dope. After initial court challenges went nowhere, CPV (Competitive Power Ventures) began building the $900 million Valley Energy Center project in Wawayanda, NY (see Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant OK’d by Judge). In December 2015, Cromwell and a few star-struck sycophants got themselves arrested for illegally blocking the entrance to the construction site (see Actor James Cromwell Arrested Protesting NY Power Plant Site). The wheels of justice grind slowly, but finally, two years later, the “Wawayanda Six,” as they call themselves, were found guilty and ordered to pay a fine. Some of the six did, but Cromwell and a few others refused. So he was given a one week jail sentence. Cromwell ended up serving just a few days. Being white and famous has its privileges (see “Privileged White” Actor Cromwell Serves < Half of Jail Sentence). Since Cromwell and his sycophants couldn’t stop the plant from getting built, they changed tactics. They thought they could stop a pipeline from getting built to feed the plant natural gas. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) saw through that one and moved forward at a recent meeting to allow the Valley Lateral Project (a short 7.8 mile pipeline) to begin construction. Cromwell and a fellow jailbird from Wawayanda (Pramilla Malick) went to to the FERC meeting and disrupted the meeting by standing and chanting “FERC doesn’t work.” Catchy. Security had to escort them out…
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FERC Denies NY DEC Request for Pipeline Rehearing, Heads to Court

It’s “game on” between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC had arbitrarily, after more than one year of review, ruled against issuing a federal water crossing permit for a tiny 7.8 mile pipeline Millennium needs to build from its main pipeline to an electric generating plant under construction in Orange County. The power plant is due to be completed in early 2018, and needs a fuel supply. In a historic decision, FERC overruled NY DEC in September (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). The DEC, in a snit fit, demanded FERC not OK the beginning of construction until an army of DEC lawyers figures out a way to appeal, delay, obstruct and otherwise stop the project anyway (see NY DEC Appeals FERC Override of Millennium Pipe Decision). On Oct. 20th, Millennium asked FERC for permission to begin building the pipeline and NOT wait while the DEC tries to obstruct the project. A week later, FERC said “yes” to Millennium (see FERC Humiliates NY DEC, Millennium Can Begin Construction on Pipe). Here’s the new news: On Wednesday, FERC issued an order denying the DEC’s request for a stay and rehearing on the beginning of construction. But that’s not the end of it. Earlier this month NY’s egomaniac (and corrupt) Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, filed an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (in NY) to block construction. The court granted his request and construction can’t begin. On Wednesday Millennium filed its own emergency request to dissolve the block in place from Schneiderman’s request, because Millennium has an immovable deadline. Grab the popcorn–this one is getting good…
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Millennium Raises Stakes Against NY, Asks FERC to Begin Pipe Work

On Aug. 30, the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a letter to FERC and Millennium Pipeline denying Millennium’s request for a water permit to build a 7.8 mile pipeline spur from the main Millennium Pipeline to a natural gas power plant under construction in Orange County (see Corrupt NY DEC Denies Water Permit for 7.8 Mile Power Plant Pipeline). In their rejection, the DEC claimed that FERC’s review of the power plant project (that the pipeline will feed) is deficient based on a recently-decided court case about a pipeline project in Florida. Since the project the pipeline would feed is deficient (in DEC’s view), so too is the pipeline that feeds it. A few weeks later, in September, FERC fired back by overruling NY DEC and granting the project permission to proceed without NY approval (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). On Friday (Oct.) the 13th, the DEC filed a petition for rehearing with FERC, the first step in a situation that is sure to end up in court (see NY DEC Appeals FERC Override of Millennium Pipe Decision). The DEC wants FERC to hold up on any further action with the pipeline project until their appeal is heard. Millennium doesn’t want to wait. In an escalation of its now outright war against the DEC, Millennium filed a request last Friday requesting FERC proceed by issuing a Notice to Proceed with construction of the pipeline. It needs to get built and completed by February, in time to begin flowing natural gas to the electric generating plant that is under construction and will be done by then…
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NY DEC Appeals FERC Override of Millennium Pipe Decision

The Andrew Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Friday filed an appeal/challenge with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) contesting FERC’s recent ruling that essentially emasculates the DEC regarding their rejection of a tiny pipeline project in Orange County, NY. On Aug. 30, the DEC issued a letter to FERC and Millennium Pipeline denying Millennium’s request for a water permit to build a 7.8 mile pipeline spur from the main Millennium Pipeline to a natural gas power plant under construction in Orange County (see Corrupt NY DEC Denies Water Permit for 7.8 Mile Power Plant Pipeline). In their rejection, the DEC claimed that FERC’s review of the power plant project (that the pipeline will feed) is deficient based on a recently-decided court case about a pipeline project in Florida. Since the project the pipeline would feed is deficient (in DEC’s view), so too is the pipeline that feeds it. A few weeks later, in September, FERC fired back by overruling NY DEC and granting the project permission to proceed without NY approval (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). The DEC is now contesting that move, filing a petition for rehearing with FERC, which is the first step. If FERC decides to not reopen the case, the DEC will then file a lawsuit with the Court of Appeals. In their rehearing request, the DEC asks (begs, pleads) FERC that while this process is under way, the agency should not issue permission for Millennium to begin construction of the pipeline. Construction is urgently needed because the natural gas-fired electric plant the pipeline is supposed to feed will be done in early 2018. It will be interesting to see if FERC decides to snub the DEC (which we think/hope they will)…
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