October 2019 Report To Stakeholders

OCT. REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS

By SAVE CARBON COUNTY

PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 11/1/2019

Yesterday, the Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons (9,120 barrels) of oil into wetlands in North Dakota. The leak is already the eighth-largest pipeline oil spill of the last decade. The tar sands oil transported through the Keystone pipeline is particularly hard to clean up because, unlike crude oil, it sinks in water.  There is little difference between an oil pipeline under pressure and a gas pipeline—except the leaked gas explodes.

New data reveals that damaging air pollution has increased nationwide since 2016, reversing a decades-long trend toward cleaner air.  An analysis published this week by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that fine particulate pollution increased 5.5 percent on average across the country.  The research identified recent increases in driving and the burning of natural gas as likely contributors to the uptick. Particulate pollution has been linked to a range of health problems including asthma, lung cancer, heart attack and stroke.

As reported last month, on Sept. 10th, the 3rd District Appeals Court upheld the State of New Jersey’s appeal.  The Court ruled that PennEast, as a private company, cannot use the power of Eminent Domain to take easements owned in whole or in part by the State of New Jersey because the state has sovereignty rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

During the hearings, PennEast was asked if a federal agency such as FERC could bring Eminent Domain proceedings on their behalf.  PennEast answered, “No” because the Natural Gas Act (NGA) only allows the “certificate holder” which is PennEast to assume the power of Eminent Domain.  Not withstanding their answer, PennEast is now asking FERC to make an emergency interpretation of the NGA that would allow FERC to proceed against New Jersey on behalf of the pipeline company.  Obviously, this is an attempt to work around the Court’s ruling but their own answers, on the record, should work against them. 

Save Carbon County held their fourth annual Pipeline Blowout on Sunday the 27th.  Approximately 45 impacted landowners and supporters attended a lunch and basket auction at the Big Creek Grange.  Speakers at the event were Eve Miari of the Clean Air Council and Margaret Shinsec, a local impacted landowner. The event was a great way to lift spirits after our fourth year of fighting this pipeline. 

Save Carbon County is a member of a regional and two-state effort to stop the PennEast/UGI pipeline.  Local information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop the Fracking Pipeline.” Regional Information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop PennEast Pipeline.”

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