ALBANY — The energy industry said the Constitution pipeline would be a huge loss to New York if the state’s decision to block it stands during an appeal.
“Thousands of dollars could be saved by average people in their heating bills alone,” said Karen Moreau of API New York
DEC rejected a permit needed for the project to move forward. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC, approved the pipeline in 2014. It would carry natural gas from hydrofracking in Pennsylvania into New York through the Southern Tier, and Schoharie County.
This is different from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline that followed a similar route and continued all the way to New England. Kinder Morgan suspended that project.
The Constitution pipeline is the work of Williams Companies. Moreau said the project was desperately needed, especially for two major manufacturers in the Southern Tier.
“Over 3,000 employees. Those factories Emphanol and the Raymond Corporation were waiting for this pipeline to go in,” Moreau said.
She added that the pipeline would have also created thousands of construction jobs and rural communities along the way would have benefited. Environmental groups have been protesting this plan since it was first announced. E.J. McMahon from the Empire Center said the decision to block the project was not based on science.
“It’s difficult to conclude that this was based on anything other than politics,” McMahon said. “This is contrary to the state’s own energy master plan and strategy, which relies on expanded capacity for natural gas.”
The energy industry said the lion share of electricity produced in New York State comes from natural gas. The state is the number 4 natural gas consumer in the nation. But experts have said energy cost is also very high in the northeast.