From compressor station emissions to damage from pipeline right-of-ways to the risk of explosions, transporting natural gas is a hazardous endeavor.
By Sandra Steingraber, EcoWatch
[Editor’s note: Since the We Are Seneca Lake campaign began on Oct. 23, 2104, there have been 216 arrests, with six of those arrests yesterday. The campaign is working to protect Seneca Lake and the surrounding Finger Lakes region from the gas storage expansion project by Texas-based energy company, Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood’s intention is to repurpose the crumbling salt mines underneath Seneca Lake’s hillside into massive gas tanks for highly-pressurized products from fracking: methane, propane and butane.]
I told the guy at the wilderness outfitter store that I needed footwear appropriate for standing motionless in frigid temperatures with occasional bouts of below-zero wind chill. For possibly long periods of time.
He asked if I was going ice fishing.
There are no guidebooks for how to carry out a sustained civil disobedience campaign during winter—let alone one that involves human blockades that intercept trucks attempting to enter a compressor station site on a steeply sloping lakeshore with 18 inches of snowpack. Continue reading Seneca Lake Uprising Continues
Elise Keaton with Greenbrier River Watershed Association meeting thousands of people
By Michael M. Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle
LEWISBURG, W.Va. – Keeping up with Elise Keaton as she crisscrosses West Virginia – and beyond – is not an easy task. But then, Keaton has a big job – to stay ahead of energy companies rushing to receive approval for the development of several natural gas pipelines.
In fact, the pace and tactics of the companies seeking to build the pipelines are such that even the most informed of citizens is finding it difficult to keep abreast of developments. So Keaton, the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA), keeps moving from her office here.
An attorney, Keaton began with the GRWA in mid-October last year. There has been little time for rest since, she revealed. “We’ve held meetings in Montgomery and Roanoke Counties in Virginia as well as in Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Upshur, Pocahontas, Lewis and Monongalia counties in West Virginia. We will be in Braxton, Harrison, and Franklin counties within the next month. I’ve probably spoken to and with about 1,500 folks.” Continue reading Attorney Crisscrosses West Virginia and Beyond to Teach About Pipelines
By Joe Fisher, Natural Gas Intel
Dominion CEO Tom Farrell says his company’s pipeline infrastructure makes up “the spine of the Marcellus/Utica shale.” On Monday he outlined how Dominion is working a slate of producer-push and market-pull infrastructure projects to meet the region’s continually growing demand for takeaway capacity.
“There’s a lot of infrastructure demand to get the gas out of the Marcellus and Utica region,” Farrell said during a meeting with financial analysts following the company. “We’re obviously not going to get all of this, but we’re going to get our share of it.”
For instance, the company is about midway through a package of producer-push projects, what it calls “producer outlet projects.” Dominion started with nine projects and completed the first five of them last year. These were small affairs costing a combined $100 million. The four remaining projects will cost about $400 million. “All will come online next year,” Farrell said. Continue reading Dominion ‘Going to Get Our Share’ of Marcellus Buildout
By Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | The Express-Times
Forks Township supervisors Thursday told residents they would take action on Columbia Gas Co.’s expanded compressor station if the project doesn’t adhere to township ordinances.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has oversight of the project, in December allowed Columbia Gas Transmission to move forward with plans for the East Side Expansion project.
The project seeks to more than quadruple the horsepower of the compressor station, from roughly 5,000 horsepower to 22,000. Columbia spokesman Brendan Neal previously said the project is intended to meet increased demand for natural gas. Continue reading Columbia Gas Thumbs Nose at PA Town, But Officials Prepared to Enforce Rules
By Patrick Robbins, The Indypendent
When we heard in December that Governor Andrew Cuomo would prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing, many activists breathed a sigh of relief — it looked like a frack-free New York was becoming a reality. Unfortunately, New York is already being fracked, if you understand “fracking” to mean the full life cycle from drilling to transportation to consumption. Right now, there are many ongoing infrastructure campaigns that could use your support:
Liberty Natural Gas LLC (a shell corporation made up of anonymous Cayman Islands investors) is pushing a plan to build a liquified natural gas port called Port Ambrose in the New York Harbor. This project would bring dangerous, super-sized liquified natural gas tankers into the harbor at a rate of roughly one per week over the course of a year. In addition to the security risks associated with a highly volatile fuel and the danger to marine ecosystems, this project will create financial incentives for more fracking all over the Northeast. It is also being proposed in an area that is under consideration for building offshore wind power, which we desperately need. Continue reading New York’s Fracking Battles Heat Up
By Peter Mantius, DC Bureau
In the 1960s, a 400,000-ton block of rock fell from the roof of an old salt cavern in the Finger Lakes region of New York — a cavity that new owners now want to reopen and use to store highly pressurized natural gas.
The Midwestern energy company that seeks a federal permit for the storage project has denied knowing the roof failure ever happened. And the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is poised to rule on the company’s permit application, has never publicly acknowledged the event.
But a Houston geologist hired by lawyers for opponents of the project characterized the omission by Arlington Storage Co. and FERC as “an incredible error” that heightens safety concerns about the project next to Seneca Lake, less than three miles from the Village of Watkins Glen, population 1,860. Continue reading Geologist Says Feds Made “Incredible Error” Ignoring Huge N.Y. Salt Cavern Roof Collapse