The pipeline project has been proposed by Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas, two companies that are currently involved in drilling for shale gas in Pennsylvania. The pipeline planners have insisted that a new transmission system is needed to run through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties in order to send gas to the Boston and New York City markets. Stop the Pipeline argues that the project is unnecessary because existing pipeline infrastructure could be used to send the gas to those locations.
The comment from the DEC official is being embraced by pipeline opponents because it goes to the heart of one of their central arguments against the project: That the presence of the pipeline will spawn hydrofracking operations along its route.
But Christopher Stockton, the spokesman for the Constitution Pipeline, said the project is not entwined with any hydrofracking plans in New York. “The fact is that natural gas production in New York is still prohibited,” he said when contacted Friday. “Our position has always been and remains that this pipeline is designed to transport gas that is produced in Pennsylvania.
Stockton also noted that the Delaware County Industrial Development Agency has recently come out in favor of the project, joining other supporters such as Delaware Board of Supervisors, the Otsego Board of Representatives and the Otsego Chamber of Commerce.
Among those who have been openly skeptical of the pipeline company’s assurances is Meredith Town Supervisor Keitha Capouya. On Friday, she wrote to FERC, urging the agency to “study carefully all cumulative and indirect impacts of this pipeline, up to and including the complete build-out of gas wells, with particular emphasis on the economic and social effects of the pipeline and possible gas wells on agriculture and tourism.”
While many of us enjoy this balmy autumn weekend, Angelica Palmer of the Cooperstown accounting firm, Green Circle, and James Dean, a Cooperstown village trustee, will be among those traveling to the Rockaways today to deliver supplies to people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.