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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Dan Fitzsimmons, JLCNY, 607 775-5821

 

Major Rally Held for Constitution Pipeline

 

BINGHAMTON – January 25, 2016 –  The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York issued the following press release for its rally supporting the Constitution Pipeline:

 

Despite cold temperatures on Saturday, hundreds of supporters of the Constitution Pipeline rallied in Afton, New York to show their support for the proposed 125-mile interstate gas pipeline.

 

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York organized the event to demonstrate the significant level of support for the project. At the event, elected officials, businesses, landowners and union members discussed the current status of the Constitution Pipeline and how supporters can help advance this critical project.

Dan Fitzsimmons, President of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York said:  “We were extremely pleased that nearly 400 supporters turned out for the event. It clearly shows the strong level of support from Southern Tier communities for the Constitution Pipeline.”

Fitzsimmons added: “The Constitution project is estimated to create 2,400 jobs and generate $130 million in labor income for the region. It will produce $13 million in annual property tax revenue with approximately 60 percent paid directly to benefit local school districts along the pipeline route.”    

Newly elected New York State Senator Fred Akshar, representing the 52nd district, which is partly traversed by the Constitution Pipeline, spoke about the need for jobs in the Southern Tier. Akshar said: “I’m tired of this bureaucracy, let’s put people back to work. The State shouldn't let bureaucrats stand in the way when it comes to creating jobs.”

“John Lawrence, Town of Afton Supervisor, whose town is also partly traversed by Constitution, expressed his support for the project based on the positive working relationship between the town and the pipeline company. He also mentioned the potential for natural gas service to the Afton community. Lawrence stated: “Natural gas to Afton is going to mean lower energy costs to those people that take advantage of it and it will be another arrow in our quiver of opportunities for people that live and do business in the Town of Afton.”

Constitution Pipeline received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for the project on December 2, 2014. The project is currently awaiting the Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Many local unions, including members from Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 785, Upstate New York Operating Engineers Local 158, and Teamsters Local 693 attended the rally, donning pro-pipeline t-shirts and holding signs reading ‘We Support Constitution Pipeline’ and simply ‘Jobs!’.

 

Dave Marsh, Business Manager for LIUNA Local 785, read a letter recently submitted to Governor Andrew Cuomo by Armand Sabitoni, LIUNA’s General Secretary Treasurer and New England Regional Manager. In his letter, Sabitoni states: “I truly believe that the years of study, public comment, expert analysis and voluminous reports clearly justify the issuance of the appropriate NYSDEC permits for this project”.

 

With thousands of jobs on the line, supporters are becoming anxious to see the project move forward. At one point during the rally, an enthusiast began a chant: “We want the pipeline!” We want it now!”

 

In addition to serving markets in New England and New York City, Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have announced plans to install four delivery taps along Constitution's proposed route to facilitate local natural gas service to homes and businesses in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. Currently, more than fifty percent of Southern Tier and Central New York residents rely on fuel oils to heat their homes; while a mere eight percent are able to utilize low cost, clean natural gas.And, converting to natural gas from fuel oils cuts greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30%.

About The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York

The mission of The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is to foster, promote, advance and protect the common interest of the people as it pertains to natural gas development though education and best environmental practices. JLCNY gathers and provides factual, objective information about safe and responsible natural gas development to landowners and community members. ###

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