NY’s Anti-Fracking Crusade Continues Against New Natural Gas Pipeline

Environmental activists successfully pressured New York into denying a building permit for a natural gas pipeline.

The Northern Access Pipeline would shuttle gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to the Empire State where it would then reach consumers in NYC and Boston. It had already received federal approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Ronald Tanski, the CEO of National Fuel Gas Company, has been waiting on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)’s approval to begin construction on the $455 million project. He objected to the agency’s last-minute denial.

“[T]he NYS DEC waited literally until the 11th hour to issue this denial, even though we had detailed discussions with NYS DEC staff over a 34-month period and undertook detailed engineering and environmental studies at the agency’s request, to support the stream-crossing techniques that now form the basis of their denial,” he told reporters.

DEC acknowledged that anti-pipeline demonstrations prompted the move, which could negatively affect the state’s energy grid. The Empire State consumes the fourth most amount of natural gas in the country behind only Texas and California, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

“This decision follows opposition from nearly 150 organizations across the state, as well as three heavily attended public hearings and more than 5,700 public comments,” DEC officials said shortly after scuttling the pipeline.

Some landowners in the Western New York area expressed gratitude for Cuomo’s and DEC’s decision. Activist and resident, Lia Oprea, for instance, told reporters the move renewed her family’s faith in local action.

“It feels as if a tide is turning in the right direction and our voices are finally being heard,” said Oprea. “When a fuel company comes to you with threats to condemn your fourth-generation farmland under eminent domain for a pipeline right-of-way, it can be very intimidating.

The pipeline’s proponents, meanwhile, believe the DEC moved the goal posts on regulatory procedures needed to secure a permit. They argue that New York sets an impossibly high standard for infrastructure projects.

Tanski, for his part, believes the decision is “inconsistent with the Clean Water Act” and “attempts to set a new standard that cannot possibly be met by any infrastructure project in the state that crosses streams or wetlands, whether it is a road, bridge, water, or an energy infrastructure project.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, also publicly opposed the Northern Access Pipeline, telling reporters that project would hurt his ability to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas levels. He also banned hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in 2015, claiming it used too much water and could potentially contaminate the state’s drinking source.

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Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Look at all those useful idiots ina nother rediclous anti-fracking protest these idiots just beleive everything they read in their eco-wacko newsletter and they probibly have Gores junksceice film A INCONVENT TRUTH as well as DiCaprios leftists propeganda films THE11th HOUR and AFTER THE FLOOD and they have watched AVATAR until their brains turned to the consistancy of melted ice cream

  • Avatar

    G

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    I wish these eco-socialists would just have the decency to be honest – to tell us what they REALLY want – which is to replace our free market economy with a socialist central authority.

    Let them build their case openly, instead of hiding behind phony environmentalism. Let them explain how Karl Marx got it right. Let the show how examples of socialist states like the Soviet Union, China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and more recently Greece and Venezuela have served their people with respect and dignity.

    Let’s just have an open and honest public debate of socialism verses free markets and representative democracy instead of this disingenuous eco-claptrap…

    • Avatar

      Sonnyhill

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      Why do you expect a concensus from the Left when there’s no concensus on the Right? The Tea Party, for example. Rad left, Rad right, retarded. Rome rotted despite their Triumvirate. Wise up, people.

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    This will make the supply of natural gas in New York more limited than it would have been and therefore more expensive. People will gripe about their bills but most will no clue as to the cause.

    Unfortunately it this will give extremists every where the idea if they have demonstrations they can rule their state.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    All these amt-fracking idiots should go live in a dank drafty cave with no heat no fire, with creepy crawling things going scurry scramble up their back in the middle of the night with bats hibernating over their heads all dark and dank and drafty since these idiots think fracking is so bad let them live a year in a fossil fuel free utopia and suffer the consiqences for their ignorance

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