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December 04, 2016
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Is FERC biased in favor of gas companies? A central question in the Minisink case

Another central question in the case is whether another pipeline project called the Wagoner alternative could have been used instead of building the compressor in Minisink.

Millet noted that Millennium had considered that that option, which would have included the widening of a portion of a pipeline called the Neversink segment, would have involved serious environmental hurdles, but opposition from human neighbors would have been significantly less than with the Minisink option.

Elefant said that when Millennium was considering Wagoner, “more than 50 landowners were contacted. A few wrote to FERC in support of the proposal, many had no opinion, there may have been one who objected, but the record suggests there was going to be very little objection.” Some residents had safety concerns about the current pipeline there because of its age.

When asked if it were true that the Neversink segment were going to have to be enlarged eventually, attorney Aaron Streett, representing Millennium said, “Yes, I believe eventually at some point if the market demand increases to the point necessary to justify that expansion.”

The Minisink Compressor Station is up and running in spite of the fact that all sides knew about the ongoing litigation. The neighbors are hoping the judges will shut it down. If they do, it will be a rare victory of the neighbors over an energy company.