Resident thinks the FERC is “short-sighted and just plain stupid”

Like many FERC commentors, Dana from Easton, PA doesn’t pull her punches. She believes the FERC is short-sighted and stupid, and PennEast has comported itself in a misleading and unethical manner.

I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed PennEast gas pipeline. Most of the properties it crosses have been preserved with either federal, state or local funds for preservation of open space. How
can a for profit endeavor outweigh the will of the taxpayers who chose to protect their land?

PennEast has NOT shown that there is a need or want for this project. I have been following the FERC filings very closely, and of the almost 800 filings I’ve saved to my hard drive, only 2 dozen or so have been in support, and all but 4 of these were from individuals, not corporate entities. Doesn’t that tell you something?

Regarding PennEast’s actions during this profiling period, there does not appear to be a coordinated regional plan for pipelines, even within FERC. FERC reviews each application in isolation, without regard to the cumulative effect on the region. This is short-sighted and just plain stupid. Also, PennEast has been deliberately vague in providing the public with the information regarding the actual route of the pipeline, has deliberately scheduled the few meetings with the public at inappropriate locations and at inconvenient times, and has overall been NOT forthright in providing the information the public needs, and is entitled to, to make informed decisions regarding support or opposition to this project. I find their actions in this matter to be misleading and unethical.

When PennEast suggests that this will bring “affordable gas to millions of homes in NJ and PA”, I have my doubts. Most of the affected lands along the course of this proposed pipeline are rural… we do NOT have any natural gas infrastructure in place, nor will there ever be. This is clearly a plan to enrich the owners and stockholders of the energy conglomerates, with no concern for the actual landholders affected.

And what of the natural lands, flora and fauna of the region? PennEast seems to care little for their welfare, only for the profits they may reap.

Finally, there have been numerous scientific findings regarding the fragile geography of the region- karst geology, sinkholes, fault lines, etc. that suggest further disturbing the topography of the region would
be a very BAD idea.

For these reasons, and for those expressed in the overwhelming opposition expressed by others on this forum, I strongly urge FERC to reject this project.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter of dire importance.

I completely agree with Dana on all points, and I think in particular the FERC needs to not acccept PennEast’s vague hand-waving and assertions. I believe federal regulations require that FERC must force PennEast to be extremely specific in their plans and their responses to scoping comments. I could spend a year documenting all of the instances where PennEast is deficient in this respect, but some of the most egregious ones include:

  • A vague and changing pipeline route.
  • Vague assertions that they will follow “industry standards” without specifying exactly which ones
  • Hand waving about “heating 4.7 million homes” without actually breaking down the expected consumption by end users
  • Saying they will re-route where “practical”, with no indication of what they consider practical or not
  • Hand waving about “mitigation”.  How do you mitigate ripping out orchards and reduced crop damage?
  • Saying they will “compensate” owners of preserved lands.  How can you compensate someone for losing their preservation status?
  • Lumping serious individual concerns on a wide variety of locales with ecological, historical, and cultural impact into single generic buckets in their scoping responses

As I say, the list goes on and on.  We can only hope that the FERC wakes up and starts doing its regulatory duty here.  Either force PennEast to give specific answers to specific concerns, or hit them with the “No Build” option and call it a day.

 
Dana’s submission is available below:

Dana’s submission – FERC Generated PDF

Dana’s submission – FERC Generated PDF Alternate Site

 

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.

One thought on “Resident thinks the FERC is “short-sighted and just plain stupid”

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