Today I submitted to FERC a comment that was somewhat more personal than most of mine have been. And I can tell you it was far and away the most difficult one for me to write. The full submission is available here:
You can find it on the FERC site as well in the usual place, I’m not going to bother to link to it because the FERC site has been even worse than usual lately. It took me several hours to get this submitted, and others have told me they’ve had similar problems.
Back to the comment. This one was difficult, because it involves the route variations around my house. And commenting about your own property to FERC puts you in a serious predicament, one that every homeowner along the route has to face.
It’s an interesting, if tragic, dilemma. You can choose to comment that the route in your area is unfair and unfit. And the minute you do so you’ll be branded as a “NIMBY”. Worse, FERC might take your complaints as acceptance that the pipeline is inevitable and you’re just negotiating details.
Or you can choose not to comment on the route at all, and thereby leave a whole litany of issues undocumented and unstated on the FERC docket.
Either way you go is unacceptable, either way you’re going to be screwed somehow.
In my submission I tried to walk a fine line and get a little bit of both in. I most likely failed, but I had to at least give it a shot. The submission basically says the following:
- We are fundamentally opposed to this project, and do not believe it should be approved based on its complete lack of public benefit.
- PennEast puts every property owner in a bind who believes there is no need for the pipeline, as I describe above.
- I go on to describe the inaccuracies of the various route variations in my area, how they are flawed and inaccurate, and tie it back to the lack of public need as making it 10x more galling than it would be for a “justified” project.
- In our particular case, the pipeline was clearly routed for the convenience of an enormously wealthy neighbor who has contributed millions of dollars to ultra-conservative causes (she is co-founder of “Club for Growth”). This undocumented favoritism violates the social justice mandates all NEPA reviews must go through.
As I said this is a tough comment to make. But at the end of the day, you do have to fight for your freedoms and the freedoms of your family and loved ones. Hopefully I’ve done that for my family without dumping this awful burden on someone else.