Monday, March 30, 2020

Delaware RiverKeeper, Groups Submit Report To FERC Saying Up To 3,000 New Gas Wells Needed To Feed PennEast, Adelphia Pipelines

On March 30, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Clean Air Council and PennFuture released a report from Synapse Energy Economics, LLC saying between 1,913 and 3,061 new Shale gas wells would be needed to support the PennEast and Adelphia Gateway pipeline projects now pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
DEP now receives applications for between 1,200 and 2,000 Shale gas wells every year.
The PennEast and Adelphia pipeline projects are two interconnected pipelines, proposed to carry natural gas from the Marcellus shale through southeastern Pennsylvania. 
In a new filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the PennEast Pipeline company is now proposing to build its 116 mile long pipeline project in two phases, with the Pennsylvania phase being first. 
The new pipeline project includes an interconnection with the Adelphia Gateway pipeline project with the two pipelines clearly being interconnected and co-dependent. PennEast is proposing this new, modified project in direct response to successful legal opposition from the State of New Jersey regarding eminent domain authority.  
According to the report, if the newly proposed PennEast/Adelphia pipeline is built, the number of unconventional gas wells drilled and operated in Pennsylvania will increase by between 1,913 and 3,061. 
The report estimates that the cost in climate damages from the upstream gas development to the combustion of the gas delivered ranges up to $6 billion in the United States and up to $43 billion globally over a 40-year projected lifespan. 
The increased gas well development would alone result in greenhouse gas emissions between 2.6 and 4.2 million metric tons (M)t of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). 
Using the social cost of carbon, the report estimates the cost of damages from the wells induced by these projects could range from $13 million in the United Stated to $153 million in global climate change damages.
“FERC is required by law to consider the climate changing and environmental impacts of the projects it approves, as part of its legal duty to weigh the project harms against the public good and to make informed decisions. Yet time and time again, FERC refuses to undertake the climate assessment and worse yet falsely claims it can’t be done. It is disgraceful that as a non-profit, we must commission expert reports to do FERC’s job for them,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “We do not need any more fracked gas pipelines when there is already a glut of fracked gas in Pennsylvania, and when the Earth is already experiencing the devastating effects of climate change. The impacts of this highly polluting industry will be felt everywhere, from communities near the wells experiencing the devastating community, environmental, and pollution effects of fracking, to the downstream communities already feeling the effects of climate change, including increased flooding and destruction of property. The costs of these proposed projects are too great for our communities to bear, and as our report demonstrates they are also too costly for our world and future generations.” 
The report, secured by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, was included as part of a March 30, 2020 comment submitted by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, in conjunction with Clean Air Council and PennFuture, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the Environmental Impact Statement for the PennEast Pipeline Company’s new, two-phase construction plan. 
The comment urges FERC to review the new project plan as a whole, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
For more information, visit the Delaware Riverkeeper Network website.
[Posted: March 30, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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