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October 11, 2012

Delaware pols tout pipeline 'benefits'

DELHI — An overwhelming majority of Delaware County town supervisors came out in favor of a resolution Wednesday that contends the construction of the Constitution Pipeline through eight towns in the county would have a positive economic impact.

About 20 pipeline opponents attended the county Board of Supervisors meeting where the statement of support for the project drew 17 votes in favor and only three against it.

Hancock Town Supervisor Samuel Rowe Jr. said in regions of Pennsylvania, with natural gas development businesses and residents are experiencing strong growth in the economy.

“When you see what we’re missing out on, it’s disgusting,” Rowe said before casting his vote in favor of the resolution. “It’s just phenomenal, the economic boom that is going on there.”

He also said it is likely that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will certify the Constitution Pipeline, which is being proposed by two major players in the gas industry, Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas.

Referring to protesters — some of whom clutched anti-pipeline placards outside the county office building as he spoke — Rowe said: “They (federal regulators) don’t for the little signs and all the other stuff. It’s science.”

Voting against the resolution were three Democrats: Meredith Town Supervisor Keitha Capouya, Kortwright Town Supervisor Steven C. Bower and Davenport Town Supervisor Dennis J. Valente.

One day earlier, Valente had told The Daily Star that he was leaning towards voting in favor of the resolution because he did not see its wording as a direct endorsement of the controversial project.

However, after listening to the tenor of Wednesday’s debate and going over the language of the resolution, he said he determined that it amounted to a strong statement of support for the project.

“I’m going to hold to my promise to not support the pipeline and not oppose the pipeline,” he said later Wednesday. “I want to keep an open mind on this.”

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