Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Run Around (A Stakeholder meeting with Williams/Transco)

This week's HR 2606 question of the week:
How much difference is there, if any at all, between a "discussion" and a "conversation"?

This week's quote from FERC elibrary (PF09-8):
"In particular, Transco has participated in extensive discussions with National Park Service (NPS) staff since 2009 to address concerns about potential immediate and cumulative impacts on NPS-owned lands. This coordination led to the introduction of H.R. 2606 (New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act) to the U.S. House of Representatives, which approved the bill on February 8, 2012. A hearing before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee was scheduled for March 7, 2012. The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities in the GNRA."

These are words taken directly from Williams Draft Report in 2012 for the Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project. Now would you believe that after twice cancelling a meeting with the gardeners who grow vegetables almost directly underneath the metering station that Williams is proposing to build on NPS land, both Williams and NPS tried to tell gardeners that HR 2606 would not "authorize" nor "allow" the pipeline that will pass through Gateway National Recreation Area? They tried to say that this bill will only allow "conversations" to occur between the park and the gas company? They really and truly kept saying this. I've read the bill. The word "conversation" is not in it.

There was also a somewhat heated discussion (or conversation, take your pick) of exactly what the term "industrial" means in regards to the Metering and Regulating facility that is being proposed for hangars at Floyd Bennett Field. Somehow Williams is suddenly confused about the nature of their business. Back in 2009, though they were clear. Along with public safety, environmental impacts and other issues, they acknowledged that there were land-use constraints to deal with when choosing a site for their metering and regulating facility. And here's a quote I've used many times from Williams original draft report from that time, "the construction of a meter and regulating station would result in a given site being classified as a developed industrial use".

And here I thought it was difficult getting information about this project back in February, when the only information readily available was the paperwork in FERC's elibary. Now, it's moved into the realm of the ridiculous. HR 2606 is a bill that will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction of natural gas pipeline facilities in Gateway National Recreation Area. This is a bill that will authorize an industrial facility to be built in NPS property. There is no way around that fact without lying.


Jen said...

Wow, you are really in the thick of it. I admire your commitment.

Sweetgum Thursday said...

I wish there was a way around it jen. You know how much I'd rather be just riding my bike and planting some seeds.