PennEast says: Well, no, this pipeline isn’t really for PA and NJ….

Recently PennEast revamped their “Proposed Route” link to involve multiple pages showing all of the various alternate routes and the reasoning behind each of them. This was done to help minimize confusion over the routes – which makes sense, as there were tons of alternatives and residents and organizations were predictably confused as to exactly where the pipeline’s supposed to go.

So kudos to PennEast on trying to do something right.

However, whoever wrote the copy for the pages probably didn’t pass it by the right PennEast censors public relations people for release. Specifically the page for “Prior Alternative 4” pretty much says the only reason PennEast exists is to get gas out of PA and out to much, much wider markets. PA and NJ are just the states they have to pass through to achieve that goal. The page says:

PennEast considered a loop of Transco’s Leidy Line pipeline system as an alternative to the proposed Project. A loop of Transco’s Leidy Line could access the same production region that the PennEast Project accesses; however, the Transco Leidy Line does not offer the same access to specific delivery point locations provided by the PennEast Project.

PennEast will offer direct delivery to both UGI Utilities in Pennsylvania and Elizabethtown Gas in New Jersey that cannot be made by utilizing the Transco system. PennEast’s proposed route is also uniquely capable of providing an interconnection with Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin) and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) at one location, which will provide supply for growing markets served by each transmission system in the capacity constrained northeast and New England. Because the Transco Leidy Line cannot make these direct deliveries to UGI Utilities and Elizabethtown, and Transco does not access Algonquin and Texas Eastern at one location, any Transco system alternative does not satisfy the purpose and need of the PennEast Project. In addition, if Transco were to loop its Leidy Line pipeline system as an alternative to the Project, there would not be an additional new pipeline system to deliver production from this region to the markets to be served by the Project, providing a further reason why this system alternative does not satisfy the purpose and need of the Project. PennEast is also considering requests for interconnections with existing power generation located within a short distance of PennEast’s proposed route that cannot be served from Transco’s ROW.

Let’s look at the key point: “PennEast’s proposed route is also uniquely capable of providing an interconnection with Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin) and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) at one location, which will provide supply for growing markets served by each transmission system in the capacity constrained northeast and New England. Because the Transco Leidy Line cannot make these direct deliveries to UGI Utilities and Elizabethtown, and Transco does not access Algonquin and Texas Eastern at one location, any Transco system alternative does not satisfy the purpose and need of the PennEast Project“.

It’s funny that none of this is mentioned in PennEast’s submission to the FERC in justifying the project. They are required by law to prove why this project is required and in the best interests of the United States (and to allow them to use emminent domain). They said this pipeline was required to serve the commercial and residential consumers in PA and NJ. Well, guess what? They lied. It’s PennEast blatantly comes out and tells us that their pipeline is uniquely setup to get gas into Algonquin and Texas Eastern, and their by make the gas available to the entire eastern seaboard.

Of course, this coincidentally includes the Cove Point LNG export terminal which will be delivering LNG to customers exclusively in Asia and India.

It also (coincidentally, I’m sure) includes the proposed Downeast LNG export terminal in Maine.

You may say “well, wait, UGI and Elizabethtown gas are mentioned too! And they’ll deliver gas to PA and NJ!”. This is true – as far as it goes. But deliveries to those points are going to be relatively small and used mostly to smooth out volatility during peak usage times. They certainly aren’t going to be using a billion cubic feet of natural gas per day! This pipeline is not sized to serve those companies.

No, as PennEast admits, they sized their pipeline to service the entire North East. And Asia. And India. And Europe.

This pipeline is not for us.

For more background into how this is playing out, read this article from Reuters. As the article states, the cover story of energy companies is that they’re here to provide natural gas to cover the winter months where usage spikes and shortages occur.

The reality is that the energy companies are looking at the 9 months of the year where there is no shortage to pump it all to the LNG export facilities and make a killing with it in Europe.

Published by

Mike Spille

I'm a thinker, an analyzer, a synthesizer. Maybe not in that order. I live in West Amwell NJ with my wife Kristina, our two kids Day and Z, our two dogs Fern and Cinna, and two cats Ponce de Leon and Xavier.

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