Marcellus Drilling News

Constitution Pipe Asks FERC for Speedy Rehearing, 2020 Deadline

June 26, 2018 

Seems like a week doesn’t go by that MDN isn’t asked (by someone from Pennsylvania), “Is there any hope of building the Constitution Pipeline through New York?” Our standard response is this: The only way it gets built is (a) NY elects a new governor favorable to the industry–about a 1% chance of that happening, (b) President Trump issues an Executive Order overriding Cuomo’s blockade of Constitution (and other pipeline projects)–maybe a 10% chance of that happening, or (c) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reconsiders a decision to not overrule NY’s move to block the project–maybe a 15% chance. The U.S. Supreme Court in April refused to consider the Constitution Pipeline case, closing that door (see Supreme Court Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Overrule NY). In January of this year, FERC turned down Constitution’s request to overrule NY (see Death of the Constitution Pipeline? FERC Refuses to Overrule NY DEC). But then Constitution (i.e. Williams) asked FERC to reconsider their ruling, to “rehear” the case as it’s called, in Feburary (see Constitution Pipe Files for FERC Rehearing, Then Back to Court). In March, FERC gave themselves a little more time to think about rehearing the decision, but since that time, the agency has been silent. Yesterday Williams/Constitution filed a request with FERC asking them to urgently, speedily, quick-like-a-bunny, pretty-please with a cherry on top hurry up and reconsider/rehear their earlier decision, this time hopefully overruling NY. Could it happen? Sure, it could. Will it? Doubtful, but hey, hope springs eternal! Williams/Constitution also filed an official request yesterday with FERC to extend the deadline to build the Constitution project–from this year to 2020. If FERC grants the extension, then maybe there is a glimmer of hope that FERC will change its mind, or that FERC somehow sees a way that Constitution can still get built…

First up is Constitution’s request to FERC for expedited action on the rehearing request. Interestingly, they include in the Appendix an article that ran on MDN (and other outlets) back in May (see Insider Reveals What’s Really Going On in NY Constitution Pipe Case). One of the lawyers who filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting the Supremes hear the Constitution Pipeline case wrote and published a column that rips the mask off New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and exposes him for the corrupt autocrat he is. The column uses a number of legal references and arguments, but we summed it up this way: (1) Cuomo has been caught admitting he has imposed an illegal moratorium on new pipelines; (2) Cuomo’s action in blocking the Constitution and other pipelines usurps federal authority; and (3) Cuomo’s actions in blocking pipelines threatens national energy security. Hopefully the column will enlighten at least the Republican members of FERC.

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