Constitution Pipeline Responds to Critics

  • Project designed to deliver gas to NY and New England, not overseas
  • Project to deliver significant environmental and economic benefits
  • Project to support 2,400 jobs and $130 million in labor income

Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC today addressed sentiments expressed by pipeline opponents at a rally in Albany on April 5, 2016.

  1. This project is needed by New York

The truth is that more than any other fuel, New York runs on natural gas. And that dependence isn’t changing anytime soon. The 2015 NY Energy Plan calls for increased natural gas usage during the next few decades, much of which will be used to generate electricity. In fact, 97 percent of the natural gas supply required to meet the demands of New York consumers comes from other states, including supply areas as far away as Canada or the Gulf of Mexico.  The Constitution Pipeline will provide consumers in New York with direct access to one of the most abundant, economically-priced natural gas supply sources in the nation – right in its own back yard.

 The project is not sending gas to Canada to ship overseas

The truth is that the natural gas transported by Constitution Pipeline will be consumed in New York and New England, including by homes and businesses in Southern New York who currently do not enjoy natural gas access. Constitution is working with a local utility to install delivery taps along the proposed pipeline route. Currently, more than fifty percent of Southern Tier and Central New York residents rely on fuel oils to heat their homes; while a mere eight percent are able to utilize lower-cost, cleaner-burning natural gas.

  1. The project provides tremendous environment benefits

It is ironic that some would oppose the project for environmental reasons when the environmental emissions benefits of natural gas are one of the major drivers behind its popularity today. During the past five years, electric generation from coal has fallen one-third, from 48% to 32% due to the popularity of gas. As a result, CO2 emission levels have dropped to 20-year lows. New York City’s air quality has reached its cleanest level in 50 years, thanks to its increased utilization of cleaner-burning gas. Since 2008, levels of sulfur dioxide dropped 69 percent, and since 2007, soot pollution dropped 23 percent. The primary driver: the phase-out of heating oil in more than 2,700 buildings across the city.

President Obama acknowledged the important role that natural gas plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He recently said: “We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer because, in the medium term at least, it not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions.”  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy agrees, calling natural gas a “game changer with our ability to really move forward with pollution reductions that have been very hard to get our arms around for many decades.”

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Pending receipt of the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Constitution anticipates beginning limited mainline construction in the summer of 2016. Full mainline construction would continue after October 1 to minimize and avoid adverse impacts to migratory birds and the Northern Long Eared Bat. All activities are subject to third party environmental monitoring.  In coordination with state and federal agencies, Constitution Pipeline has agreed to voluntarily provide $8.6 million in conservation funding for the restoration and preservation of migratory bird habitats in New York and Pennsylvania as a conservation measure.

The Constitution Pipeline project was thoroughly reviewed and approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December 2014.   Once complete, the pipeline will become a key piece of critical utility infrastructure in the Northeast, creating an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas.

Construction of the Constitution Pipeline project is estimated to directly and indirectly support more than 2,400 jobs and generate $130 million in labor income for the region. The pipeline will deliver enough natural gas to serve approximately 3 million U.S. homes. Once operational, the pipeline’s economic impact is anticipated to result in more than $13 million in local tax revenue and more than $600,000 in new income in the region.

In addition to serving markets in New England and New York City, Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have announced plans to install delivery taps along Constitution’s proposed route to facilitate local natural gas service to homes and businesses in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania.