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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Antis Redux Court Strategy on Orange County, NY Gas Power Plant

Antis certainly learn from one another. If an anti-fossil fuel tactic works (in court) in one place, antis in other locations jump on it like white on rice. Ninny nanny antis in the Chenango Valley School District (suburb of Binghamton, NY) got their knickers in a twist when NG Advantage proposed building a “virtual pipeline” project about a mile from one of their schools. A virtual pipe is a compressor station that compresses gas from a pipeline (the Millennium in this case) and loads it onto specially fitted tanker trucks to haul the gas to industrial users. The school paid $40,000+ for an outside-the-area law firm, which sued and in a county-level court (called “Supreme Court” in quirky NY). The Big Money law firm won the case, convincing the judge to proclaim that the local planning board didn’t do a good enough job in considering NG’s application (see Judge Rules Against Broome Virtual Pipe, NG Advantage to Try Again). Hey, it worked in Broome County, NY, so the ninny nanny antis in Orange County, NY (close to New York City) thought they would give it a try. Competitive Power Ventures is in the midst of building a $900 million natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Wawayanda, Orange County. Early on local antis sued to stop the project, but a local judge threw out the case in 2015, clearing the way for construction (see Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant OK’d by Judge). Antis next tried to deny a source of fuel for the plant. They were successful in pressuring New York’s corrupt governor, Andrew Cuomo, to instruct his corrupt Dept. of Environmental Conservation, to deny a permit for a 7.8 mile pipeline to feed the plant. Eventually, in an unprecedented (and embarrassing for NY) action, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission overruled the DEC to allow the pipeline to be built. So that avenue to stop the CPV electric plant bombed out for the antis. Back to square one. Antis are now suing the local planning board in Wawayanda, claiming they didn’t do a good enough job in reviewing the original application. Sound familiar? A court date is set for tomorrow in the case…
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Antis Rally in Orange County, NY Against Clean-Burning NatGas Plant

For more than two years MDN has chronicled the journey of Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) to build a $900 million Marcellus gas-fired electric plant in Wawayanda, NY, called the Valley Energy Center. Early on the project faced court challenges, but a judge gave final approval to build it in September 2015 (see Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant OK’d by Judge). On Aug. 30, the Cuomo-corrupted NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a letter to FERC and Millennium, denying Millennium the right to build a 7.8 mile pipeline to feed the new plant (see Corrupt NY DEC Denies Water Permit for 7.8 Mile Power Plant Pipeline). Two weeks later overrode the DEC and told Millennium they can build it anyway (see History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit). A group of anti-everythings in Orange County are adamantly opposed to the project–and they think if they can stop the pipeline, they can stop the project. Not true. If a gas pipeline is not run to the plant, CPV plans to use fuel oil instead (see If NatGas Pipeline is Blocked, NY Elec Plant Will Use Oil Instead). One way or the other, the plant will be completed in early 2018–and go online, producing electricity. As for what powers it–that remains to be seen. We found it interesting (and amusing) that a group of ninny nannies staged a rally on Monday in Wawayanda (where the CPV plant is under construction), to once again oppose the project–and to encourage the Orange County Legislature to pass a non-binding resolution against the project, hoping for…hoping for we’re not sure what! The plant is getting built. It’s a done deal. It’s going online early next year. It’s a done deal. The only thing that remains is to decide if clean-burning natural gas will power it–or much dirtier fuel oil. Apparently the antis are too obtuse to grasp this simple fact…
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History Made! FERC Overrules NY DEC on Millennium Pipe Permit

Finally the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has had enough shenanigans from the corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). In a historic, precedent-setting decision, on Friday FERC overruled DEC’s denial of a water permit for Millennium Pipeline’s tiny 7.8 mile pipeline spur from the main Millennium Pipeline to a natural gas power plant under construction in Orange County, NY. On Wednesday, Aug. 30, the DEC issued a denial letter to FERC and Millennium. In it, they claim 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 (see Corrupt NY DEC Denies Water Permit for 7.8 Mile Power Plant Pipeline). The radicalized DEC used the Florida case as an excuse to refuse stream crossing permits for the Millennium Pipeline project–claiming FERC had not considered long-term effects of mythical man-made global warming that would come from the power plant if the Millennium pipeline is connected to and feeds the plant. The DEC decision was a naked attempt to grab power not given to it under federal law. FERC said ENOUGH, and ruled on Friday the DEC had taken too long (over one year) in dithering with a decision on the Millennium pipeline request. A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said FERC has the power and authority to overrule the DEC when they take longer than one year to grant permits (see DC Court Tells Millennium FERC Can Override NY DEC Pipeline Delay). So FERC just exercised their federal, court-approved authority and smashed the DEC into the ground. LOVE IT! Of course the humiliated DEC spit and sputtered and said they will likely sue…
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NY’s Critical Error in Denying Millennium Pipe for Power Plant

On August 30th the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a refusal to grant a water permit to Millennium Pipeline to build a tiny, 7.8 mile pipeline spur from the main Millennium Pipeline to an under-construction natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County (see Corrupt NY DEC Denies Water Permit for 7.8 Mile Power Plant Pipeline). The electric plant will get finished either way, whether it’s fed by natural gas or, alternatively, by dirtier fuel oil. The DEC has blocked many (not all, but many) recently filed pipeline projects in the state–because of undue and corrupt influence from our governor, Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo seeks to appease his radical/left base. The DEC previously denied a water permit for the Constitution Pipeline, stating Constitution had not provided all of the required information the DEC needs to properly evaluate the project (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). The DEC later refused a water permit for NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline project (see Cuomo’s Corrupt NY DEC Blocks NFG Northern Access Pipeline Permit). In the case of Northern Access, the DEC claimed they did have enough information, but in their opinion the project would do too much damage to Mom Earth. Both the Constitution and Northern Access projects are in court to try and overturn the DEC’s decision to block. However, in refusing Millennium’s tiny 7.8 mile pipeline to the Valley Energy Power plant, the DEC claimed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) didn’t do a proper job in evaluating the project’s impact on mythical man-made global warming. The pipeline will feed gas to an electric plant, and the DEC says the electric plant will produce air emissions that will help toast Mom Earth. A couple of top energy attorneys from the law firm Blank Rome explain how the DEC has made a critical error in judgment with their refusal of the Millennium project, a decision they say stands a “very high” chance of being overturned on appeal…
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