While national attention is focused on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, another project expanding on the natural gas revolution in Pennsylvania remains unheralded in the national media.
That would be the proposed 36-inch wide, 120-mile underground PennEast pipeline that would originate near the Pocono Mountains, cut through eastern Pennsylvania and extend across the Delaware River into Hopewell Township, New Jersey. Energy consumers residing in those parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey received some good news just a few days ago when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released an environmental impact statement that said the project would not harm the environment.
When it’s completed, the PennEast pipeline will provide energy consumers with access to the rich deposits of natural gas available within the Marcellus Shale formation that runs through parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
The fed’s positive environmental impact statement giving the green light to PennEast is not what anti-energy activists and their allies in government wanted to hear. But it now appears that construction will begin next year. Once the pipeline is up and running, the natural gas it delivers will translate into lower energy bills, accelerated economic activity and more jobs, according to a study from Concentric Energy Advisors. Energy consumers will save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs assuming the project goes forward, the study says.
PennEast began as a consortium of companies that includes: NJR Pipeline Company, PSE&G Power, SJI Midstream, Southern Company Gas, Spectra Energy Partners and UGI Energy Services.
In March, PSE&G, which is N.J.’s largest utility, announced it was withdrawing from the project. A spokesman for PennEast attributed PSE&G’s decision to “normal business activity” while opponents of the project took it as a sign the project has faltered. But that hardly appears to be the case. PennEast has resisted pressure…