JAN. REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 1/28/2020
As noted in last month’s report, PennEast Pipeline has asked FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for an extension of two more years in which to get the project operational. FERC has not yet scheduled a hearing on the extension request. The company filed its last-minute request on Dec. 30th. The certificate was to end on 1/19/2020.
PennEast has also asked FERC to weigh in on a legal dispute with the State of New Jersey regarding using Eminent Domain. PennEast has lost a federal legal battle to seize the New Jersey land it needs to build the pipeline, stalling the project. But the company intends to appeal to the Supreme Court and has asked FERC for a declaratory order where the commission would state that PennEast should be able to use federal eminent domain powers even to seize state-owned lands. Some observers think FERC is unlikely to grant PennEast’s request because it could have filed briefs in the earlier legal battles if it supported the company’s position. FERC was originally scheduled to make a decision on the 23rd but has moved the hearing to the 30th.
PennEast intends to file its petition to the Supreme Court on February 3rd. Legal observers say that the odds of the Supreme Court taking up the case are slim. The Court only takes about 1% of the cases it receives and there is strong precedent upholding a state’s immunity from suits by private parties. Until the petition is filed, we will not know the basis for the company’s appeal.
While homeowners in Carbon County are battling PennEast, homeowners in Delaware County are dealing with the impact of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. This pipeline is proposed to carry volatile natural gas liquids from Ohio to an export facility in Delaware County. The pipeline construction has contaminated surface and groundwater sources by hundreds of drilling mud spills, created sinkholes in parks and backyards and ruined wells for dozens of homeowners. Some homeowners have not had potable water for over six months. The company denies responsibility for any of the well contamination. The DEP has shut down the project for a month and issued fines of $12.6 million. The FBI is investigating the Wolf administration’s handling of the permit process for 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.”