January 2021 Report To Stakeholders

JAN. REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS

By SAVE CARBON COUNTY

PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 2/1/2021

There are only two remaining permits to be issued by the PA. Dept. of
Environmental Protection (PADEP) for the shortened Pennsylvania-only
PennEast pipeline.
These are permits concerning erosion and sediment control
and water obstruction and encroachment. Carbon County is particularly
impacted with nearly half of the affected streams within our county. PADEP held
a virtual public hearing on Jan. 13 th and over 70 speakers attended. Most of
them opposed the pipeline including Save Carbon County and the Aquashicola
Pohopoco Watershed Conservancy (APWC) which are local groups.

The Jan. 19th meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
turned into a big setback for PennEast.
The project was on the agenda to
receive a certificate which would allow the company to begin construction and cut
trees. We fully expected that FERC would rubber stamp the certificate with no
discussion. But we were surprised when Commissioner Chatterjee announced
that he would be voting “no” on the issuance of the certificate, not because he
opposed the project, but because he was concerned that FERC lacked proper
jurisdiction since PennEast still has a case before the Federal Court that has
been appealed to the Supreme Court. Opponents have long contended that
once a court has taken a project under its jurisdiction, FERC may not allow
construction to proceed. To do so would deny litigants meaningful intervention
by the courts since construction would continue while a case was under
consideration. When Chatterjee announced his vote, the two Democrats on the
FERC concurred and the Chair, wishing to avoid a defeat for PennEast, removed
the item from the agenda. Pres. Biden has appointed one of the Democratic
members of the FERC as chair. The new chair is unlikely to place PennEast
back on the agenda until July when the Democrats will have a majority.

Once Biden’s appointments hold the majority, FERC is likely to change
dramatically. The Commission has the power to institute carbon pricing and
other market changes that will facilitate Biden’s push for renewable and zero-
emission energy sources. One of those changes will be increased scrutiny of
fossil fuel infrastructure projects such as PennEast.

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.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s