- Backers of the Constitution Pipeline faced off against the state of New York last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, fighting over whether regulators were right to deny a key water permit earlier this year.
- SNL Energy reports on the court proceedings, which could set precedent on states' abilities to deny federally-approved projects. Both sides came away from the Nov. 16 hearing confident, according to SNL.
- Williams, Cabot Oil & Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas and WGL Holdings are backing the proposed 124-mile pipeline, which would move natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York.
The fight over natural gas infrastructure is contentious at every turn, and according to SNL, cases like the Constitution water permit could mark a potential weapon for environmentalists against pipeline buildout under a Trump administration. Infrastructure developers argue the state improperly denied their permit, while environmentalists want to see the ruling stand—and possibly create a path for other challenges.
Grid operators have recently indicated the constant fight to develop new gas pipeline capacity could be endangering reliability.
New England ISO Vice President of Operations Peter Brandien told FERC in recent testimony that in the event of a cold snap, the grid has adequate generating capacity, "but our ability to meet electric energy needs is at risk if the natural gas infrastructure serving the region is unable to supply fuel to gas-fired generators."
In winter forecasts, PJM and New England both said they expect to meet demand this season, but their forecasts to federal regulators also focused on the need for new capacity and the struggle to get pipe in the ground.
For Constitution, federal regulators have granted the company more time for construction due to the issues in New York. The pipeline has been in the planning stages since 2012 and FERC approved it in 2014.
If constructed, the line would move 650,000 dekatherms of gas per each day from Susquehanna County, Pa., to the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, N.Y.