Constitution Pipeline Study Shows Benefits to All Areas
We have covered the Constitution Pipeline project in various stages. The proposed pipeline will be 122 miles long and will help deliver natural gas to two major markets who use natural gas in abundance, New York City and Boston.
The proposed 122 mile Constitution Pipeline could mean big things for New York, and not just because of the natural gas it will be bringing into New York City. Not only will the pipeline create jobs but it will bring enormous tax benefits to the five counties it traverses; Susquehanna in Pennsylvania and Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Schoharie in New York. There was a study finalized in January 2013 by the Center for Government Research (CGR) to calculate the actual benefits of the pipeline. The results are shocking and in a very good way.
Despite the moratorium on natural gas development in New York, the state is one of the largest consumers of this natural resource and pipelines are needed to meet growing demands. The Constitution Pipeline is one such proposed project to bring much needed natural gas to the New York City market, even while many in the city are protesting not only the natural gas they use, but the pipelines that deliver it to them. And this project will mean much more to the counties it runs through than the lower energy costs city consumers will see.
Let’s Talk Numbers During Construction
The Constitution Pipeline, during the three year planning and building process, will net approximately $188 million in direct benefits for the five involved counties, according to the CGR report. Once the pipeline is up and running, it will result in an additional $13 million in new annual sales, income, and property tax for the counties. That’s right, these five counties will collectively receive some $200 million for allowing this pipeline to proceed.
Let’s look at the numbers a little more closely. During the construction phase the company projects spending $683 million (the first three years) which is where the CGR estimate $188 million (28%) of the initial investment would directly benefit the counties.
The economic impact would be seen in different areas. There would be approximately 2,400 full-time jobs annually in the region, with 1,400 of those in the construction industry where jobs have been suffering greatly the past few years in the state. There would be an increase of $96 million in income in the region, with $60 million in the construction industry. Five million dollars would be split between New York and Pennsylvania state tax revenue. The final $9 million would be in regional sales tax revenue in the region; New York State specifically would see $7.5 million.
By the Numbers for Operation
The operational phase would not let us down either. If people against natural gas think economic development in the state would stop once the pipeline was constructed, they are wrong. During the operational phase there will be 12 full-time jobs maintained in the region. Now before scoffing at the difference in temporary jobs versus permanent, think about this. We need jobs in upstate and 12 employed people is 12 families no longer on unemployment, 12 families spending money in the community.
New income in the region would total $700,000. There would be a total of $100,000 in income tax revenue in New York and Pennsylvania. The five counties would see $13 million in property tax revenues and the study broke down the estimates by county.
- Delaware: $4.9 million
- Schoharie: $4.4 million
- Broome: $2.1 million
- Chenango: $1.3 million
- Susquehanna: $0.25 million
The Constitution Pipeline strives to work with the community to move this project ahead as noted by the company:
“Constitution Pipeline Company is committed to working with landowners, as well as local, state and federal agencies, to design and construct the project in a manner that minimizes environmental and landowner impacts. The company is committed to extensive public outreach in advance of submitting our application to the FERC. Our goals are to:
- Generate a broad awareness of the project, its purposes and value to the region’s economy and to meeting the future energy needs of the state and region.
- Ensure that community residents and a broad range of stakeholders have ample opportunity to understand the process and their rights, ask questions, voice concerns and present ideas about the project.
- Create an atmosphere of openness, disclosure and public dialogue in which we can respond to questions, concerns and suggestions presented by the community and other stakeholders.”
All counties in the area are in desperate need of an economic boost and the millions each county would see each year would be a big help to the region’s economic outlook. The Constitution Pipeline will benefit the area and the company has already been working with local communities to discuss their plans and develop the best route, not only for the company, but for the properties and people impacted.
New York particularly needs the help because they have not yet approved natural gas development. The pipeline would give the economy a boost and sustain it while the state completes the SGEIS. The amount of money coming into the area would boost and benefit everyone. It’s time to look at the numbers and start supporting economic growth. We can start with the pipeline!