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Northeast Energy Direct Means Economic Development for Southern Tier

To see photos from the hearings, go HERE.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conducted scope meetings that were held to gather comment about the environmental impacts of the Northeast Energy Direct Project (Project) that will run through Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

The New York State Laborers Organizing Fund and NYS LECET attended all three scoping meetings to communicate their comments and opinions along with members of local unions 17, 157 and 190. According to FERC, no plans have been approved. The company proposing to extend the pipeline through parts of the Southern Tier is Kinder Morgan; they are a market leader in energy infrastructure and understand full well how crucial it is to meet the needs of today's energy demands.

Andrew Mangini, a spokesman for Kinder Morgan released this statement according to WBNG Channel 12 News, "The Northeast Energy Direct project will help address the region's increasing demand for energy, specifically clean, environmentally friendly natural gas, and lowering prices for gas and electricity for consumers. There is a demand for more clean energy and this project will help us meet that demand. Additionally, the project will create approximately 2,300 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, a substantial boon to the local communities."

Mangini also stated, "These FERC meetings are important so that residents can share their opinions about the proposed project. We are confident that the project is needed and that it will be done safely. This is a long process and the regulators do their due diligence on all facets of the project, ranging from energy need to environmental impact. We look forward to working with landowners, union leaders and local officials as the process moves forward."

Others support the pipeline by saying this could boost the local economy. "It will boost economic development, which this area has very little," said Frank Machese Jr., of the New York State Labors' Organizing Fund, according to WBNG Channel 12 News. "Instead of bracing economic development, they want to push it out of their room. They want to talk about fracking and issues from the 1980s."

FERC said this is in the early developments and those who wish to follow up on the progress can visit their website HERE.

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