FERC glitch & NY Constitutional Pipeline

Excerpt from article by Joe Mahoney in The Daily Star:

Scores of residents in Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango counties have already officially signaled to FERC they’d like to have intervenor status.
In one motion to become an intervenor, filed Monday, Nancy Turick of East Meredith, said she has lived for the past 14 years in a house that is now about a half-mile from the pipeline pathway.
 
Turick wrote that she believes the pipeline will lead to local natural gas extraction, and that the project is unnecessary. Other existing pipelines, she contended, can transport the gas to the Boston and New York City markets.
 
“I believe that it will drastically alter the rural character of the community and transform it into an industrial area,” Turick wrote.
 
The company is hoping that FERC approves the project within the next year so that it can commence constructing the 122-mile natural gas transmission system after July 1, 2014. The company has said it believes the project will be completed by March 2015, a deadline that project critics say is destined to be missed.
 
About 1,400 laborers would work on the installation of the pipeline if the project is approved, according to the pipeline planners. An additional 1,000 jobs would result from spillover activity generated during the building of the pipeline.
 
The project is a partnership of four players in the energy industry: Williams Partners, Cabot Oil & Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas and WLG Holdings. Williams holds the biggest share in the venture, with 41 percent.

http://m.thedailystar.com/thedailystar/pm_112947/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=xSP2UOxH

Northeast Wildlife habitat threatened

“If you wanted to create a perfect storm for biological invasion, you would do what the energy companies are doing in north-central Pennsylvania,” said Kevin Heatley, an ecologist with the national firm Biohabitats who works to restore areas that have been damaged by human activity. “You can only put so many bloody parking lots in the woods.”

Energy companies, which say they are being responsible stewards of the land, have rushed to unlock the natural gas lying in the shale beneath Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The gas has lowered energy costs, allowed the U.S. to lessen reliance on foreign energy and provided private landowners who sit atop well sites with a gold mine in royalties. New York, which also has large reserves, is trying to decide whether to allow fracking.

The new energy development is “almost a spider web coming down to the forest,” said Nels Johnson of the Pennsylvania chapter of The Nature Conservancy, which estimates the state could see thousands of miles of new pipelines over the next two decades.

Even northeastern states that have put a hold on fracking aren’t immune, because many import natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that 245 miles of new pipelines were laid in the Northeast last year, and that figure is projected to grow.

Wind turbine development poses similar threats, too. The Nature Conservancy says Pennsylvania already has more than 600 of the giant blades, with the potential for thousands more in coming decades.

The total acreage taken up by the pipelines, wind projects and related development isn’t that large, but the open spaces they create allow predators and invasive species to permeate a canopy of trees that once kept them at bay.