Proposed Energy Pipeline Could Move within I-88 Corridor
Assemblyman Pete Lopez on Tuesday joined with members of the farming community, area residents and local officials to call on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Governor Andrew Cuomo to locate the Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline Project within the Interstate 88 corridor.
Energy company Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation and Williams have proposed a path for the pipeline stretching roughly 120 miles from Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County to the Town of Wright in Schoharie County, New York, to connect abundant natural gas supplies in northern Pennsylvania with major northeastern markets by 2015.
According to Assemblyman Lopez, who has met with both companies as well as residents, employers and farmers from across the region to discuss the general proposal, many acknowledge the potential benefits of having abundant, low-cost natural gas available to them as well as the benefits of additional property tax revenues to the host counties.
Assemblyman Lopez stated that while many constituents support the idea of natural gas, many also have expressed concern that the proposed route could disrupt farms, businesses and homeowners, and possibly result in the exercise of eminent domain to secure the necessary rights-of-way needed to advance the project.
Seeking a balance between the benefits and the expressed concerns of area residents, Assemblyman Lopez has requested, in a letter to FERC and the Governor, that the project be sited within the existing right-of-way along Interstate 88. In the letter, the Assemblyman makes reference to the already close proximity of the proposed pipeline to I-88 and sees it as a means of addressing landowner sensitivities.