Seward Calls On FERC To Reject Tennessee Gas Pipeline Plans

ONEONTA, 06/30/15 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced his strong opposition to plans to site a second gas pipeline through portions of his district. 

“Plans to make portions of my district a new thoroughfare for gas pipelines are not in harmony with what residents want or support,” said Senator Seward.  “The concerns raised by local officials and residents alike are reasonable and understandable and provide strong evidence why the proposal submitted by Tennessee Gas Pipeline (Kinder-Morgan) should be soundly rejected.”

In a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Secretary Kimberly D. Bose, Senator Seward writes:

“My concern is simply this: the area through which the pipe will be routed is already under FERC approval for one pipeline.  The Constitution Pipeline will supply much needed natural gas to certain areas it is crossing, but no such plan seems in view from Kinder Morgan.  If that is the case, then areas I represent are simply being asked to host a pipeline ‘highway’ with no additional benefits.

“The cumulative effect of multiple pipelines through portions of Delaware and Schoharie Counties should be reviewed by FERC.  It is not unreasonable to project that multiple pipelines would place arithmetically higher pressure on public infrastructure and public services, land values and the environment.  This ‘multiplier’ effect should be evaluate carefully.”

Senator Seward also echoed a demand made by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors that, should the project be approved,  a formal agreement be executed to ensure that any local costs attributable to pipeline construction, now and in the future, be paid for by Kinder Morgan. 

“Roads and bridges through our rural area were not built to support the type of industrial usage and heavy truck traffic that would accompany pipeline construction.  Plus, long-term environmental and safety costs can also be anticipated.  If the Kinder-Morgan project is given federal approval, none of these expenses should be the responsibility of local property taxpayers who are receiving absolutely no benefit and being forced to assume all of the risks associated with the unwanted pipeline,” Seward added.

While Senator Seward has backed the development of natural gas distribution systems locally in the past, it has only been in instances where strong local support existed and local benefits were anticipated.

“Natural gas is an affordable energy alternative and I have supported its use when beneficial to local residents, businesses and municipalities.  For example, the Constitution Pipeline project which will directly benefit Amphenol, the Village of Sidney, and other local interests.  In this instance, however,  there is no local benefit and no reason for me to support an additional pipeline,” Seward concluded.