Important update from South Coast Neighbors United about Access Northeast and what the recent withdrawal means.
The members of SCNU want to make sure that there is NO misunderstanding regarding the status of the Access Northeast project. While it is true that the project has been withdrawn from the federal pre-application process, we must not get ahead of ourselves. It is important to acknowledge comments that have been made in several different outlets by the applicants and their representatives, pertaining to their intentions. They are saying that the project is SUSPENDED, not canceled, and that they fully intend to re-file it as soon as they work out the funding for it. This means that they are still pushing OUR legislators to incorporate some sort of "pipeline tax", forcing consumers to become unwilling & in most cases, unknowing investors in THEIR multi billion dollar project:
The company “looks forward to restarting the pre-filing process as soon as possible,” Diestel said.
Company officials insisted in a statement that the project was not dead. Bill Yardley, executive vice president of Enbridge, said his company would continue working with state and federal agencies to address the legal issues that had blocked the project. “Once such alignment is achieved, the project partners will proceed with plans to bring the Access Northeast Project to New England consumers,” he said.
FROM THEIR APPLICATION WITHDRAWAL FILING:
The development of the Project has advanced due to these significant efforts, including extensive scoping, which Algonquin recognizes will be helpful in processing any future review of the Access Northeast Project or another similar/successor project and, to the extent applicable and timely, Algonquin proposes to use information compiled and analyzed in this proceeding in such a future docket.
WHAT DOES THIS REALLY MEAN?
We cannot assume that these types of statements are being made just to "save face." For our own sake, we have to believe that they are true, otherwise we will not be prepared if the project returns. They will have to start over with the pre-filing process, and obtain a new docket # from FERC, but they will probably be able to re-use many, if not all of their project documents, so long as nothing changes with the scope of the project. Because this will technically be a "new project", all of the comments and documents submitted under PF16-1 by the public will no longer apply and we will have to do those, as well as attend new public meetings, all over again. If they do re-file, the process may go a lot quicker this time, so it is essential that we continue with our work in the interim, as if the project has not been withdrawn. We need to use this "down time" to our advantage, by promoting and pushing for more renewable energy and vocalizing our opposition to a pipeline tax. In fact, we should be insisting on an outright BAN on ANY possible form of one. We also need to apply consistent pressure on our governor, who has been IN FAVOR of these projects all along, AND fully supported the pipeline tax funding scheme as well. His possible re-election is in 2018 & we need to make these projects, the pipeline tax and the protection of the environment top priorities during his campaign. We also need to keep a close eye on what ISO New England and the DPU are doing, as both agencies have ties to Baker and may help the applicants develop another scheme to help fund the project. If that happens, not only will we see the Access Northeast come back, but also Kinder Morgan's North East Direct (NED) as well as some NEW project proposals!
To contact South Coast Neighbors United (SCNU), visit their website.