The promoters of the project, Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas, both involved in gas drilling in Pennsylvania, have said the pipeline is “fully subscribed.” The pipeline would connect in Schoharie County with two existing pipelines.
Garti said local opposition to the project has multiplied since FERC required the pipeline planners to study placing the transmission system in the Interstate 88 corridor. That idea was promoted by Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie and Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller, a Democrat, all of whom said that pathway would impact fewer landowners.
However, Garti said, Route M ended up traversing the homes of some 600 landowners whose property had not been impacted by the companies’ preferred route.
She also said recent resolutions by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors and the Otsego County Board of Representatives in support of those counties deriving benefits from the pipeline has fueled the opposition.
“They did us the biggest favor in the world by passing these resolutions because it made their citizens of their counties — the citizens they are supposed to be representing — mad,” Garti said.
Garti said one way the project could be killed is for the pipeline planners to abandon the effort and not go forward with filing an application for a federal permit early next year, as scheduled. She said the fact that gas prices are near a historic low and that new estimates suggest there is far less Marcellus shale gas available than originally projected could doom the Constitution Pipeline.
But Stockton said the “abundant supply” of gas being extracted in Pennsylvania and the lower prices are “driving this project.”
“If you can’t get it to market, then it does not serve anyone,” he said, noting the application for a license will be filed in early 2013.
Local advocates of the pipeline have said they believe the “open end” transmission line could be tapped to provide natural gas to the Amphenol plant in Sidney, schools and government buildings, helping to achieve significant energy savings.