MARCH REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 3/30/2020
All local Carbon County governments along the pipeline route and the County government have signed on as intervenors except Kidder Township. We were not able to get to a Kidder Twp. meeting prior to the deadline for signing up as an intervenor, but we were pleased that our local governments, the governments that are closest to the people, recognized that becoming an intervenor was the responsible course of action.
As announced in the February Report to stakeholders, PennEast has announced a Pennsylvania-only version of their pipeline but they continue to change the original pipeline route. Amendments to the route were approved by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) in February. Save Carbon County has joined HALT (Homeowners Against Land Takings) to hire Attorney Anne Marie Garti to file for a rehearing on the amendment approvals. We believe FERC is not allowed to amend the original certificated route while that certificate is under the jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit Court.
The PennEast application for the new Pennsylvania-only pipeline, called Phase I, included a request to adjust the capital costs of the pipeline to reflect current increased construction costs. This is bad news for the end customers of this pipeline because they will pay for all construction costs plus up to a 14% “return on investment” (ROI). These costs will be added to the monthly gas bills of customers for UGI in Pennsylvania and New Jersey Resources and Elizabethtown Gas in New Jersey. Where else can a company obtain a 14% ROI in today’s economy? No wonder we have so many pipelines.
PennEast also asked FERC to approve a two-year extension for construction of the original pipeline project. This project has been underway for five years and the company has already spent approximately half a billion dollars. The project was originally to be operational by January of 2018; the extension gives them until January 2022.
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.”