As this intense year of pipeline opposition draws to a close, we would like to thank you for being part of the pipeline opposition. We are pleased to be able to announce another challenge grant: an anonymous supporter seeks to inspire others to give what they can, and is offering to match every gift to PLAN-NE dollar for dollar, up to $50,000. Because this challenge comes at a time when many have already made their year-end giving plans, contributions will be matched through January 31st. Please help spread the word and chip in what you can to help make the most of this generous offer.
Since our formation in February, we’ve mounted legal challenges to all of the major capacity contracts for Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline; formed alliances with community leaders, government officials, and other organizations; connected with experts to help analyze the company’s filings; filed multiple comments with FERC; and helped the public better understand the pipeline proposal and the basis for opposition. Just last week, we intervened in Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge proceeding, raising concerns about planned system modifications that would facilitate the flow of gas from south to north into Canada. Those system modifications could grease the skids for NED.
In the coming weeks, PLAN-NE will intervene at FERC in the NED proceeding, and your support will help us intervene effectively. FERC officials anticipate it will be approximately six months before the agency issues a draft environmental impact statement. We will continue our coordinating role over the next several months, to ensure that the NED federal and state permit applications receive thorough scrutiny. Together with other stakeholders, we will be reviewing the filings and gathering our own data on the key issues – need, impacts, and alternatives.
Subject-matter experts – from geologists to economists, from wetlands ecologists to pipeline engineers – have important roles to play in this process, as does an engaged and impassioned public. In addition to financial support, please consider intervening at FERC, as an individual or on behalf of your organization or business. Filing a motion to intervene online is free and not difficult – the process is explained here. A deadline for intervening in the NED proceeding has not yet been announced, but it could be as soon as December 28th.
In the coming year, we will continue to pursue court appeals of the state approvals of the NED capacity contracts. These contracts are fundamental to Kinder Morgan’s project, and our experts have concluded that they were approved based on highly ambitious growth projections and inadequate consideration of alternatives, putting gas ratepayers, landowners, and the environment at risk. While the Massachusetts attorney general’s study focused on electrical reliability issues, her office also continues to question the gas companies’ need for more pipeline capacity.
The work required in the year ahead is critical to the fate of this pipeline proposal. In addition to directly supporting our efforts in the legal and regulatory arena, your financial support now will help us make a transition to being a stand-alone 501(c)(3) and help sustain us as an organization.
We thank you for your ongoing support and send you our best wishes for the holiday season.
Katy Eiseman, on behalf of the PLAN-NE Board