Albany, N.Y. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, today urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject the current permit application for the Northeast Energy Pipeline (NED) pipeline project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan. The $5 billion NED pipeline covering over 400 miles would cut through the Schoharie Valley to Albany and Rensselaer Counties in the Capital Region. It would also require compressor stations in Delaware, Schoharie and Rensselaer counties.
“I keep an open mind on energy infrastructure projects, but in this case it seems that too many residents’ quality of life, health and safety are being compromised for a pipeline that has not demonstrated any long-term benefit to the communities it impacts. We have asked the company multiple times to consider less impactful sites for the compressor stations, and to demonstrate the benefits to New Yorkers, but they have failed to satisfactorily address either concern,” said Senator Schumer. “So I am urging FERC to reject the permit application because this proposed pipeline would result in New Yorkers bearing all the environmental, security, quality-of-life and health risks while receiving none of the benefits from the pipeline.”
“The NED pipeline represents a redundant expansion of natural gas infrastructure in New York State,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “The potential impacts to the communities and their residents along the proposed route far outweigh any stated benefit. It remains unclear if NYS rate payers will ever benefit from this proposal, but what is clear, the health, safety and quality of life of hundreds of New Yorkers could forever be altered.”
Last April, Schumer and Gillibrand called on the FERC to expand the range of the scoping meetings to include communities that are also impacted by the compressor stations, valve stations and meter stations. In the beginning community meetings were held only where the pipeline would be positioned. Residents in these meetings all expressed serious concerns of the project; these concerns were also addressed in hundreds of calls and letters to the senators.
In their letter, the senators explained the proposed project represents a redundant expansion of industrial natural gas infrastructure on a route that travels from Pennsylvania and through a number of rural communities in New York State in Broome, Delaware, Schoharie, Albany, and Rensselaer Counties. Schumer and Gillibrand noted that at no point did Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline make a case that there is a compelling economic need for this project in New York and explained that these New Yorkers would bear all the environmental, safety, quality-of-life and health risks while receiving no benefit from the pipeline. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company officially filed its formal application last November.
Full text of the senators’ joint letter is included below:
Dear Chairman Bay:
We write to express our opposition to the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline (NED) (Docket No. PF14-22-000) project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, and request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reject the current permit application for construction of this project.
The NED Pipeline project represents a redundant expansion of industrial natural gas infrastructure on a route that travels from Pennsylvania and through a number of rural communities in New York State in Broome, Delaware, Schoharie, Albany, and Rensselaer Counties, which will bear all the impact and risk, while receiving little to no benefit from this project. Since the announcement of this project, our offices have received comments from community leaders, advocacy groups and individuals all who have legitimate concerns about the safety and potentially negative environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline and associated infrastructure. Most specifically, the gas compressors stations proposed for Rensselaer and Schoharie counties, have the potential to negatively impact air quality, public health, and the quality of life currently being enjoyed in these communities.
The overwhelmingly negative feedback we have received from the public during scoping sessions hosted by FERC, and community meetings hosted by Kinder Morgan, has made it clear that this project, both the construction of the pipeline and building of these compressor stations in New York, does not have the support of our constituents. The proposed infrastructure would disrupt the lives of hundreds of New Yorkers, many who rely on the land for their livelihoods and have resided in and contributed to these communities for generations. At no point has it been made clear that there is a compelling economic need for this project in our state, however, the potential for long lasting environmental and health impacts is clear. It is for these reasons that we must express our opposition to this project and ask FERC to consider alternatives to this proposal.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
United States Senator