Whether there is a public need for a fossil fuel pipeline is a critical question for public regulatory bodies. Last year, EELC commissioned an expert report by Synapse Energy Economics, a nationally regarded firm that provides rigorous analysis of the natural gas sector, that played a significant role in the consideration of alternatives to the NESE pipeline, which was proposed to bring fracked gas from the Appalachians through New Jersey to energy markets in New York City.
Permits for the pipeline were denied in May 2020. The Synapse report rebutted the utility’s claim that the pipeline was needed and concluded that there is no supply shortage that could justify the NESE pipeline, and that even if there were, demand response, energy efficiency and carbon-free energy solutions were less expensive than the pipeline. Synapse is now working with state regulators to plan for energy solutions that are compatible with regional climate change policies.
- State Process: On May 15, 2020, NJ DEP (and NY DEC) denied state water quality certificates / state permits. DEP responded to EELC’s OPRA request, on July 14, 2020, that it had no record of an administrative hearing request.
- Federal Process: EELC has a pending challenge of FERC’s certificate in the DC Cir. Court of Appeals. EELC Motion filed on July 17, 2020 (granted on July 21, 2020) to Hold in Abeyance until Transco receives the nec. State water quality certifications. Status report filed on Oct. 14, 2020.