Once constructed, the Constitution Pipeline will immediately become a key piece of natural gas infrastructure in the Northeast, creating an important connection between consumers and reliable sources of clean, affordable natural gas.

Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December 2014, the Constitution Pipeline has been designed to consist of a new 30-inch, approximately 125-mile pipeline with a capacity to transport 650,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day (enough natural gas to serve about 3 million homes) from the Marcellus Shale — the most abundant and cost-effective gas supply source in the nation. Once in service, the pipeline will be capable of directly and indirectly serving consumers throughout New York, including New York City, Long Island, Westchester, the Hudson and Mohawk Valley, the North Country and Southern Tier.

Via strategic connections to other existing interstate pipeline systems, Constitution will also be able to transport gas to neighboring regions, shielding New York from the dramatic market changes taking place in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. For example, electric power prices today are 60 % higher in New England today than in Pennsylvania, thanks to Pennsylvania’s access to low cost natural gas.

Fueling a Renewable Future

Thanks to natural gas, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions more than virtually any other nation in the world, including Europe. And thanks to its affordability, natural gas has become the fuel of choice for businesses, manufacturers and consumers. What isn’t as well known is that natural gas compliments low-carbon energy solutions by providing the flexibility needed to support a growing renewables component in power generation. [Learn more]

“Natural gas and renewables complement each other very nicely … I think it’s important to recognize that these industries, although we do compete, are working together to address some of the most pressing energy needs in the country.” — (Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, January 2013)

Clean-burning natural gas currently produces one-third of all electric generation and heats about half of all U.S. homes – and those numbers continue to climb.

In New York, the affordable natural gas supplied by Constitution can underpin the state’s strategy to achieve the Clean Energy Standard, which calls for investment in offshore wind and evolution of the state’s nuclear fleet, without significant cost impact.

Because wind and solar are intermittent resources, natural gas is essential to supply reserve generation that will be called upon to secure grid reliability when the wind isn’t blowing and sun isn’t shining.

Project Benefits & Labor Union Support 

Forty-four percent of New York manufacturing jobs depend on natural gas pipelines, underscoring Constitution’s critical role in the state’s industrial sector.

To this end, Constitution will supply the Southern Tier’s largest employer, Amphenol Aerospace, which employs 1,000 people at its Sidney, NY manufacturing facility. Constitution is the plant’s only way to access natural gas, which will reduce its energy costs by 30-40%, ensuring the firm’s competitiveness.

Economic Impact Study

Constitution Pipeline Company worked with the Center for Governmental Research to develop a formal economic analysis of the potential economic benefits generated by the project. That formal study, which was completed in January 2013 and updated in July 2013, indicates the economic impact during the construction phase would result in $130 million in new labor income in the region, approximately $26 million going to residents of the region.

During the construction phase, it is estimated that the workforce will be comprised of five teams of 260 workers totaling up to 1,300 construction jobs. About 50 percent of the construction workforce is expected to come from in-state labor, with approximately 25 percent of the construction workforce being hired locally (i.e., within the 5-county project area).

The project is expected to generate $17 million in new sales and income tax revenue. Constitution Pipeline projects to spend about $683 million during the initial three year planning and building process, approximately $166 million of which would directly benefit the five county region. Once operational,  the pipeline’s economic impact is anticipated to result in $13 million in new annual sales, income and property tax revenue and more than $600,000 in new income in the region. To view the complete study, click here.

Projected Annual Property Tax Benefit:

  • Broome County – $2.1 million
  • Chenango County – $1.3 million
  • Delaware County – $4.9 million
  • Schoharie County – $4.4 million

Local Natural Gas Service:

Constitution Pipeline would be considered an “open access pipeline,” meaning that local municipalities or public utilities could potentially tap the line in the future to provide residential, commercial and industrial natural gas service.

One such provider Constitution is working with is Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC. In March 2014 Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking announced an agreement to install four delivery interconnects along Constitution’s proposed pipeline route for the purpose of facilitating potential local natural gas service. Leatherstocking’s plan is to develop local natural gas distribution systems within Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Madison Counties in New York State and Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania in locations currently without natural gas service.

 

Permitting Process

The FERC issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement on the project on Oct. 24, 2014, concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of proposed mitigation measures by the company and FERC.

On Dec. 2, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an Order granting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Constitution Pipeline project (docket number CP13-499). To view the Order, click here. FERC issued this document to signify that approval has been granted to build and operate the pipeline. The certificate details the conditions of the approval, including the final route FERC has authorized, and construction and mitigation measures that must be followed.

On April 22, 2016, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) denied Constitution Pipeline’s Section 401 Water Quality Certification. The company has appealed NYSDEC’s decision to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Despite the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s unprecedented decision, Constitution Pipeline’s sponsors remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project, which will create an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas. [Read our full statement]