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After three years, PennEast Pipeline earns FERC approval
After incorporating feedback from landowners, public officials, regulators and other stakeholders over the last three years as part of a concerted effort to include community input and reduce environmental impacts, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recognized the clear need for, and public benefit of, the PennEast Pipeline and issued an order on Friday approving its construction.

The approval comes two weeks after a severe regional cold spell that forced natural gas prices in New Jersey to skyrocket 31 times above the low-cost gas supplies that PennEast will access.

The approximately 120-mile pipeline route begins in the Marcellus Shale production area near Dallas, Pennsylvania, and connects with the existing underground Transcontinental Pipeline near Pennington, New Jersey.

"We appreciate the dedication, time and work of FERC staff and the commissioners to collect extensive public input and ensure the project met a clear public need while minimizing environmental impacts," said Anthony Cox, PennEast Pipeline Company LLC board chairman. "We also thank the countless business and labor organizations from across two states, as well as dozens of bipartisan elected officials. Together, they understand the importance of the PennEast Pipeline, which will spur job growth, aid business retention and provide a dedicated and reliable fuel supply for the future."

Approximately 90 percent of the natural gas slated to move through the PennEast Pipeline is contracted with area gas utility companies and electric power generators that serve local customers.

The need for the PennEast Pipeline is clear. Access to additional natural gas supplies via PennEast Pipeline will reduce the cost of gas in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, even during non-peak periods. Natural gas prices in the market areas worsen during periods of peak demand, such as the sustained recent cold snap, where natural gas prices spiked 31 times higher in New Jersey than supplies in the Pennsylvania production areas. This is due to pipeline constraints and inadequate supply to meet demand. One preliminary estimate found that during a 10-day period alone, the PennEast Pipeline would have saved the region more than $300 million if it had been in service in November as originally contemplated. Even during non-peak periods, such as October, prices in New Jersey were triple those in Pennsylvania.

The PennEast Pipeline Company updated its estimated in-service date to 2019, with construction still beginning in 2018.
Let us help get your gas flowing
Getting everyone's natural gas flowing has been the goal of the PA PES (Production Enhancement Service) program on the Peoples Natural Gas system since 2001. With noted decreases in production, we need to know where the conventional production is going. At times, low market prices cause depletion; however, system operations can also affect flow.

As part of the PES program, the Project Review Committee (PRC) exists to help alleviate system problems. The PRC is made up of producer and Peoples representatives. The committee reviews issues related to the pipeline system and recommends maintenance projects, system improvements and other solutions.

When production is down, or meters are shut in involuntarily, we would like to know. Information helps us select, schedule and monitor projects to keep gas flowing.

PIOGA wants to hear from producers about issues they are having so that we can serve as a clearinghouse for information that will help the PRC identify projects. Please use our website's Contact form to provide specific information listed on that page.
State lawmakers, business leaders assemble to 'avenge' regulatory overreach
State lawmakers and business leaders from across the Commonwealth joined together last Tuesday to announce the introduction of the House State Government Committee's Regulatory Overreach Report and five pieces of legislation specifically designed to rein in overregulation. PIOGA is supporting this important initiative.

"The Regulatory Overreach Report is a compilation of the findings from a series of public hearings that I convened to gather testimony from various employers, organizations and experts on state regulatory policy," said House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler). "Without question, this report clearly demonstrates that it's long past time for the Legislature to avenge the ever-increasing injustices of Pennsylvania's restrictive regulatory environment. Overregulation caused by unelected government bureaucrats is killing family-sustaining jobs, strangling opportunity and crippling economic growth."

Dr. James Broughel from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia testified last year that Pennsylvania has more than 153,000 regulatory restrictions that stretch across every industry operating within the Commonwealth. Overregulation not only puts Pennsylvanians at serious risk of losing family-sustaining jobs to other states where regulatory compliance is less onerous, it can even weaken the effectiveness of legitimate health and safety regulations already in place.

Another significant finding from these public hearings is that Pennsylvania's Regulatory Review Act, of which the House State Government Committee has oversight, does not give the Legislature any authority to repeal a regulation without the governor's approval. Not surprisingly, regulations created under the administration of both Republican and Democrat governors have been piling up for decades.




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