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We Stopped the NY Fracked Gas Pipeline!

We did it!!! Congratulations to us all!!

Kinder Morgan suspended the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline. They say it is due to insufficient sales commitments. But we think that is only a part of the story. WE are the other part.

Congratulations to everyone who has taken part in this fight. We will keep our antennae up for any further word about this project.

But we must remember that there are still lots of gas and oil pipelines in the process of getting permitted. We must continue to try to stop these other pipelines. In addition, this is just a suspension. We’ll watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t get resurrected.

Kinder Morgan just released this statement…

Kinder Morgan Statement on Northeast Direct Energy project As a result of inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan, Inc., (NYSE: KMI) and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP), have suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project. In July 2015, KMI’s board announced that it had authorized TGP to proceed with the project’s “market path” segment from Wright, New York, to Dracut, Massachusetts, a $3.3 billion investment designed to help alleviate New England’s uniquely high natural gas and electricity costs caused by severely limited natural gas transportation capacity currently serving the region.

The board’s initial approval was based on existing contractual commitments at the time by local gas distribution companies (LDCs) to purchase natural gas from the project, as well as expected commitments from additional LDCs, electric distribution companies (EDCs), and other market participants in New England. Unfortunately, despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, TGP did not receive the additional commitments it expected. As a result, there are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured.

The insufficient contracted capacity is due to several factors. They include the fact that the New England states have not yet established regulatory procedures to facilitate binding EDC commitments, that the process in each state for establishing such procedures is open-ended, and that the ultimate success of those processes is not assured. In addition, innovations in production have resulted in a low-price environment that, while good for consumers, has made it difficult for producers to make new long term commitments. Further, current market conditions and counter-party financial instability have called into question TGP’s ability to secure incremental supply for the project.

Given these market conditions, continuing to develop the project is not an acceptable use of shareholder funds. TGP has operated in New England for more than 60 years and remains committed to meeting the critical need for constructing additional natural gas infrastructure in the region. Although we have suspended work and further expenditures on the NED project, TGP will continue to work with customers to explore alternative solutions to address their needs, particularly local distribution companies that are unable to fully serve consumers and businesses in their areas because of the lack of access to abundant, low-cost domestic natural gas.

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Here is a statement from SNYFGP
KINDER MORGAN SUSPENDS “NORTHEAST ENERGY DIRECT PIPELINE PROJECT”

The massive fracked gas pipeline proposal that pipeline company Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline planned for the Northeast has been officially “SUSPENDED”.

“Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline” (SNYFGP) a grassroots group formed over two years ago in opposition to this project, has confirmed this news with several sources. In addition, SNYFGP has seen an official looking document on Kinder Morgan’s letterhead that explained the reasons for the NED’s suspension.

Our opinion from the beginning was that KM/TGP wouldn’t succeed primarily because of current market forces that made gas prices plummet and that made KM/TGP stock price plummet as a result. We believe that this reality, combined with fierce, cumulative and cohesive public opposition in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York, was the final straw that broke KM/TGP’s back.

This could not have happened without the combined work of so many organizations and individuals along the proposed NED pipeline. SNYFGP would like to thank our mentors Rosemary Wessell, founder of “No Fracked Gas In Mass,” Jane Winn, executive director of  “Berkshire Environmental Action Team,” and “Stop the Pipeline” organization fighting the Constitution Pipeline.

The educational model that SNYFGP created resulted in building support from local towns, county, state and federal legislators, culminating in Congressman Gibson, New York State Senators Gillibrand and Schumer publicly opposing the NED.

Last, but not least, special thanks go to the many, many hundreds of tireless members of SNYFGP who have done the canvassing, distribution of flyers, made phone calls, placed lawn signs, and assisted with the fourteen educational public forums held throughout Columbia, Rensselaer, and Albany Counties.

But its important to remember that although this project has been suspended there are many other pipeline projects that are still continuing in New York State and beyond. We must bring the forces we brought to defeat the NED to many of these other projects.

On a personal level, both Becky Meier and myself, the co-founders of SNYFGP, have a great sense of relief and joy that we can now start a new chapter in our lives.  Our plans include, but are not limited to, fostering the growth of renewable energy, efficiency and conservation. Maybe we’ll have time to just relax.

The apparent demise of the unneeded and unsafe NED project is another nail in the coffin for fossil fuel usage in the USA and beyond. We hope we are witnessing the very end of the stranglehold on energy supplies by the fossil fuel industry and experiencing the beginning of a safer, saner energy future.
Bob Connors & Becky Meier
co-founders of Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline
1409 County Route 5
Canaan, NY 12029
518-781-4686

Other news stories about the KM suspension:

Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP)

Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP) is an all-volunteer group of concerned citizens who oppose Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project. Its current activities include increasing public awareness about this project and its many risks, educating members of the impacted communities about their rights at public forums, and communicating with local, state and federal officials. In addition to our activities in Rensselaer County, SNYFGP is also a member of the three-state Stop NED Coalition, which combines the efforts of more than two dozen like-minded organizations along the pipeline’s proposed route from Wright, NY to Dracut, MA.

Find us online here as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

OUR PLATFORM

SNYFGP opposes NED for the following reasons:

  • The stated “need” for this project is highly questionable. . According to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy’s report this pipeline is not needed.
  • It is likely the majority of the fracked gas that would flow through this pipeline will be exported to Canada and overseas, potentially via Kinder Morgan’s own companies such as American Petroleum Tankers and State Class Tankers, which would negatively impact energy prices for the domestic customers who would be subsidizing the cost and construction of the pipeline through tariffs, property taxes and loss of their private land.
  • Residents along the New York route of the pipeline will NOT receive gas service, lower energy prices or permanent jobs from this project, but will bear the majority of the risks and costs, including serious threats to their health, established conservation land, water supplies, property values and individual rights as private landowners.
  • We do not support the use of public land or hundreds of acres of private property taken by force through Eminent Domain by a for-profit company, nor do we believe families, farms, churches and schools should be placed in what the industry itself terms “incineration zones.”
  • New York recently banned fracking statewide on the grounds that the health risks outweigh any potential benefits, yet this same fracked gas would be piped at very high pressure (1460 psi) through our communities, in close proximity to electric transmission wires and beneath numerous bodies of water if NED is approved.
  • Continued extraction of fossil fuel is causing climate warming and is endangering life on our planet. Fracking as an extraction process is endangering the health and safety of people living near the fracking fields and workers in the industry. Continuing to rely on fossil fuel is slowing our transition to renewable energy.
  • Neither the process of fracking, nor the transport of the resulting gas, which contains hundreds of chemicals the industry refuses to list, is safe, sustainable or clean. This is made clear in numerous daily news items (unsolved wastewater problems, earthquakes, explosions, leaks, large-scale spills, pollution, lack of oversight, etc.) from across the country and around the world, including coverage of five major pipeline incidents in January 2015 alone.
  • As documented by a recent Harvard-led study, the poorly maintained existing gas infrastructure in Boston alone currently leaks “15 billion cubic feet of natural gas, worth some $90 million” each year, enough to service 200,000 homes. There is much work to be done inspecting, servicing and maintaining the pipelines already in the ground before billions of dollars worth of larger and more dangerous pipelines are considered.
  • In addition to the many long-term risks of the pipeline itself, the new, high-power compressor stations it would require present their own well-documented light, sound, security and environmental concerns, including the regularly scheduled venting of methane (which the EPA reports has 20 times more impact on climate change than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period) called a blow down.
  • The true cost of expanding the region’s antiquated pipeline infrastructure (tax and utility-payer burdens, air and water quality, public safety, climate change impact, continued reliance on fossil fuels, etc.) is incalculable, and many safer options with long-term benefits for local workers, energy customers and alternative energy development are available now.

 

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