Friday, February 21, 2014

Constitution Pipeline Exec: Feds Moving,
But Now Permitting Delays from NYS DEC

Here's some stuff buried several pages deep inside a Q and A occurring Feb. 20, 2014 — between stock analysts and Williams Partners' CEO Alan S. Armstrong, on the occasion of WPZ's Fourth Quarter 2013 earnings call.

You should be able to read the whole deal without a subscription here, if you're really all that interested.

I've highlighted some interesting parts in bold — having to do with the 120-mile, 30-inch PA-NY Constitution Pipeline, a job originally proposed February 2012, and as of Feb. 12, 2014 at the stage of having a draft environmental impact statement formally released by the feds.
Brad Olsen - Tudor Pickering: Just one last one on Constitution and Atlantic Sunrise. Constitution kind of stood out as the only Northeast pipe project involve a significant laying of newbuild pipe, and the Atlantic Sunrise, at least from the map you've provided, it appears as though that project would also involve some significant new pipe from kind of the Leidy Line down towards Station 190. And I guess is there anything from the Constitution process that's maybe something that could be applied to the Atlantic Sunrise process, or is something where as long as you're laying significant newbuild pipe, there will be some regulatory risk of delays and what have you?

Alan S. Armstrong - President and CEO: I will tell you that on Constitution, the real issue we're facing right now, from a regulatory issue, really relates to the New York DEC, not to the FERC and so, the nice thing about Sunrise is it does not go through the New York area, so we're not faced with that same regulatory issue. On the FERC side, I would just tell you, they're continuing to push through, you saw the Constitution Draft EIS, so we're very thankful for the FERC continuing to try to do their part to accelerate these projects and we continue to work well with them and we certainly have some – a lot of discussions, communications we need to do in New York to find the right answers and right solutions there as well.

Timm Schneider - ISI Group: Lastly for me on Constitution is guess what are some of the big moving parts around the in-service state whether it's going to be kind of end of '15 or early '16 and how are some of the conversations going with producers in that part of the woods?

Alan S. Armstrong - President and CEO: Well you know that there is a Constitution system that’s fully contracted as you know and so the discussions are really more around what all we can do jointly to accelerate the permitting process. Really, the permitting is the issues I mentioned earlier. The FERC has certainly been constructive and they are pushing things along, but there are some permitting requirements in the State of New York that for various reasons can be a bit of a barrier. And frankly, I think we just got to work towards the right solutions that meets everybody's needs on that, and I still remain confident that we can do that. I think it's very clear politically that the infrastructure is desperately needed to serve the New England markets, and I think that bringing that to light clearly and firmly will help bring some reason to getting past some of the permit issues that we're facing right now.

Timm Schneider - ISI Group: So, was that more at the state level or was it actually landowners challenging rights-of-ways?

Alan S. Armstrong - President and CEO: No, it's state permitting issues.


If —
for reasons of either ideology or self-interest — you're against this pipeline, there might still be enough time remaining in which to flash-mob the NYS DEC, encouraging the agency to continue doing its well-practiced thing, making things as difficult as possible for the developer.

— for reasons of either ideology or self-interest — you're for this pipeline (possibly a resident of a northeastern blue state, trying to pick your jaw up off the floor, having just received yet another Winter 2013/2014 utility bill), you better just shake out of it and move along.

Nothing to see here.


pCBB said...

For whatever reason, now construction of Constitution Pipeline is scheduled to begin 1st Q of 2015, a year behind that on the original time line. Shipping gas is scheduled for late 2015, or more likely early 2016, again a year behind.

And CPC's schedule has repeatedly slipped, so who know if these dates will hold.

Andy Leahy said...

pCBB, as you well know, this project faces stiff opposition from Upstate's full-time gentry — folks with the educational backgrounds and financial means to spend their days thinking globally, and riling locally. Coupled with the DEC's behind-the-scenes permitting hardball — calculated to at least try appeasing this same base, on behalf of the governor — the chronic delays don't seem surprising to me.

In fact, in New York, delay is the path of least resistance for the inevitable.