Appalachian Basin

Constitution Pipeline, Yes Please!

The Constitution Pipeline project is currently being discussed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  The organization has been holding FERC scoping hearings in the counties directly impacted by the project.  As a proud resident of Pennsylvania I gave my testimony at the Susquehanna County hearing.

Pennsylvania has been developing natural gas for years and will continue to do so safety and responsibly for years to come.  Natural gas is used by millions of people across the United States as an energy source to produce everything from heat to electricity.  Switching to natural gas has saved people thousands of dollars on energy costs and also allowed for a larger shift to the cleanest burning fossil fuel.  Companies like Inergy Midstream, UGI, Leatherstocking Gas Company and Williams Midstream have stepped up to the plate and put the necessary infrastructure in to move this game changing resource to market.

Williams Midstream is in the process of getting approval for the Constitution Pipeline project that will bring natural gas to the Boston and New York markets.  This 30 inch pipeline will service around 3 million people with natural gas and run primarily up the I-88 corridor.  Do I think this project is necessary?  You bet I do. With the majority of my family living in New York, I know they would appreciate the opportunity to utilize this resource like the rest of the country does.

I decided to speak at the latest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scoping hearing, from my perspective  as a resident of Pennsylvania, and as a son of New York where my family continues to reside.  They will have the opportunity to potentially benefit from this project and here is what I said:

Cornell President and Vice President in Forbes magazine said:  “We cannot put this genie back in the bottle.  Fracking is already being carried out across the country.  And shale basins have been identified on six continents, making fracking a truly global issue.  The questions before us are not only whether to frack, but how, where and with what safeguards in place.”

With natural gas supplies plentiful for now and prices relatively low, we have time to make sound decisions about our shale gas resources.  In creative partnership with government and industry, universities can help make sure we get it right.

Wind is among the most environmentally friendly energy forms around, yet communities all over  have resoundingly shot down recent proposals.  I’m dating this statistic but there have been similar ones since, in Oswego, New York, more specifically.  In 2005, a proposal to build an offshore wind project on the South Shore of Long Island was torpedoed. The project was opposed by nearly a thousand Long Islanders who likened the windmills — which would have been constructed very far out in the Atlantic Ocean — to “visual pollution.”

And windmills have their own problems in terms of functionality that I won’t get into here.

We all want to believe solar energy is another viable source for our energy needs.  We all worry about pollutants in the atmosphere right. During the production of solar panels  nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is produced and is about 17,000 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Accidents can happen even with shale gas extraction, the women earlier talked about removing gas from the bowels of the earth.  In order to get the rare earth minerals needed for solar panel manufacturing we use a process called strip mining.  Ever hear of it?

My point is that we don’t have a completely clean energy.

In ten years, UGI Corp.’s gas utilities have added 50,000 customers, mostly people who have changed their heating system to natural gas.

Let the statistics speak for themselves.  The people here tonight opposing natural gas development and infrastructure are in the minority. In Pennsylvania and, more specifically in Luzerne County, the 50,000 people who have switched to natural gas as a cleaner, and economically sound energy source are the silent majority.  Some of you here tonight were in Albany and handed Governor Cuomo 3,200 signatures against natural gas development and infrastructure  I believe that has grown to 5,000. Again, still a minority.

Many who oppose these projects here call for more renewable energy sources.  You seem to not mind traveling out of your area to protest these projects.  So where were you when the wind farms in Long Island and Oswego, New York were being voted upon.  Many of you were here making your signs and backyard “documentaries.”  You had your chance to show a “better” energy source for us to solely use, you have failed to do that.  Its now time to embrace natural gas.  We have spent years here developing this resource and without pipelines we cannot move it to utilize it.

Since the FERC hearing a petition was started against the Constitution Pipeline project.  My name, along with those of FERC representatives, are at the top of the petition.  That’s fine but they could have at least spelled my name right (it’s Massaro, not Mussaro).  I guess it goes to show little research of the facts our opponents do.  When someone signs this electronic petition, I am sent an email, which I’m assuming is because I said the people opposing natural gas development and infrastructure were in the minority.

I am watching the electronic activity very carefully and finding it quite fascinating.  I stand by my comment and unless our friends in the opposition can  produce 50,000+ signatures on that petition from real people actually affected by the project they are still a minority, a very tiny uninformed one with no sense of humor and an inflated outsized take on themselves and their influence.  Then again, that seems to be the case with most of our friends on the other side.

No Comments

Post A Comment