Williams Scraps Northeast Pipeline Project While Pennsylvania Gas Transport Plan Advances

(P&GJ) — According to the Associated Press (AP), a significant pipeline project aimed at transporting natural gas through New Jersey to New York and under two bays has been terminated.

Conversely, plans persist for the transportation of liquefied gas from Pennsylvania via tanker trucks, despite regulatory hurdles. Environmental activists, who had vehemently opposed both initiatives, received conflicting news on May 3, as federal regulators charted distinct courses for the two ventures.

Last week marked a pivotal moment as Williams Companies, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, opted to discontinue its Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline endeavor. The decision, conveyed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, signaled the project's cessation, as Williams chose not to pursue an extension for a crucial construction application.

The move elicited jubilation from a coalition of environmentalists and local communities, who had vigorously opposed the proposal for nearly eight years. They had contended that the pipeline would exacerbate reliance on fossil fuels, exacerbating climate change while jeopardizing air and water quality, and posing safety risks along its route.

Executive director of Clean Ocean Action Cindy Zipf hailed the development as "an extraordinary victory, a David and Goliath moment." She told AP, using the project's acronym, "NESE has gasped its last gassy breath. It means the project has died, and we won!"

Williams corroborated its decision in a statement to AP, affirming its decision to cease pursuit of a federal certificate necessary for project continuation. The company expressed continued faith in the Northeast Supply Enhancement project's capacity to offer a cleaner and more cost-effective alternative to heating oil.

However, it stated that, at present, it would not seek an extension of the certificate, effectively halting the initiative.

While the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline initiative met its end, plans for LNG transport through Pennsylvania and New Jersey remain on course. Delaware River Partners and Bradford County Real Estate Partners conveyed their unwavering commitment to their proposed project, involving the liquefaction of natural gas in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania.

From there, the LNG would be transported to an export facility in Gibbstown, New Jersey, via tanker truck, as opposed to the initially proposed rail transport. Despite a federal moratorium on liquefied natural gas transport by rail last September, the companies affirmed their intentions to proceed with the project. They cited the design of the Wyalusing facility, which circumvents the need for rail transport, as a pivotal factor in their decision to press forward with their plans.

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