Right now there is just not enough pipeline capacity to get all the extra gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Luckily, new pipeline projects like the PennEast Pipeline are moving forward. The PennEast Pipeline represents a billion dollar investment that will result in 120 miles of 36-inch pipe being laid underground to connect Pennsylvania’s gas fields to New Jersey’s powerplants. Any projects like this requires significant environmental and safety reviews, and the project just passed a major milestone.
On January 22, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted its conditional approval. In the 106-page decision, the Commission said the pipeline will provide benefits to the market that outweigh any negative impacts. As Utility Dive noted, the vote was four to one, with one Commissioner questioning the need for the pipeline. He noted that PennEast’s affiliates have purchased 75% of the pipeline’s capacity, suggesting that the open market was not interested in the pipeline. But the majority of the Commission was satisfied that New Jersey has the demand to more than justify building the pipeline.
This is not the end of the road, as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware River Basin Commission must still give their approvals. Discussion over the project could also lead the Commission to improving its review process. Some Commissioners called for developing new procedures to work more collaboratively with landowners where the pipeline will be located, and that could hopefully reduce some of the backlash that has accompanied pipeline projects in recent years.
Here at Cimmaron Land, we are experts in negotiating the challenging but mutually-beneficial relationships between landowners that want to earn money off their land and companies that want to produce natural gas on that land. If you want to operate in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or West Virginia, please email or call our experts at (412) 212-7517.