FRANKLIN — Energy giant Kinder Morgan, the company behind the proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, has an agreement with a company planning to construct a natural gas-fired electric generating plant in New York, according to documents filed with federal regulators.
However, the location of that power plant and the identity of the company behind it are not mentioned in the papers sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
A Kinder Morgan spokesman who attended an open house on the NED plan Wednesday night at the Franklin Central School declined to identify the power-plant developer in an interview with The Daily Star.
Allen Fore, the spokesman, said the agreement “is subject to confidentiality.” Because of that, he said, he could also not discuss the location of the generating plant, which would convert natural gas to electric power.
Keith Shue of Cherry Valley, an opponent of both the NED project and the proposed Constitution Pipeline, said federal regulators must evaluate the combined environmental impacts of all projects associated with the pipeline projects, including the power plant whose location is being kept from the public.
Shue said it would not be surprising if the power station were to be placed in close proximity to the planned compressor station that the Tennessee Gas Company, a Kinder Morgan subsidiary, wants to put near the top of Franklin Mountain because it is relatively close to the Marcy-South transmission line.
Arguing that such a plant would contradict the state’s goal of placing increasing reliance on renewable forms of energy, Shue said, “The only way we can bring greenhouse-gas emissions down is if we retire fossil-fuel power plants, and were certainly not going to bring those emissions down if we approve more.”
Franklin Supervisor Jeff Taggart told The Daily Star that he has been informed by NED executives that a truck carrying 6,000 gallons of odorizer will be delivered to the Franklin station, where the natural gas coming in from Pennsylvania would be mixed with the odorizer. He said there would be one such truck every three months.
Taggart said the main concern of local residents are the potential environmental and health impacts from chemical emissions. With the pumping station expected to be built to the latest specifications and with environmental regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Taggart said he expects the plant will stay within the allowable limits for emissions.
Taggart said the family selling land to Kinder Morgan for the compressor, the Haneys, are planning to remain in their home, a sign that they are comfortable living close to that station.
The latest plan, he noted, calls for two compressors to be combined into one building, totaling 50,500 horsepower. The initial plan had envisioned one 30,000 horsepower compressor. An increase in the amount of compression allows the pipeline operator to increase the amount of gas being moved in the transmission system.
Taggart said he would prefer to have the company put a tap in the pipeline in Franklin so local residents and companies could get access to the natural gas that will be moving through the community.
“We should be getting the benefit,” he said. The health and safety concerns with the planned facility, Taggart added, are more significant than the amount of new tax revenue that the municipality would derive from hosting the station.
The open house attracted mix of property owners interested in the maps of the NED route, and a contingent of Compressor Free Franklin activists out to derail the project. Members of the latter group interrupted the event briefly by breaking into a variation of the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” substituting “Kinder Morgan” for Santa Claus and incorporating lyrics that mocked the company.
Sheriff’s deputies had to threaten to arrest one man to stop him from yelling, and several protesters briefly laid supine on the hardwood gymnasium floor at one point, play-acting a scenario of being stricken by the harmful effects of toxic emissions.
Kinder Morgan says it hopes to get FERC approval of the NED plan by next November. Its timetable calls for the pipeline and associated compressors and metering stations to be operational by November 2018.
In Delaware County, the NED pipeline would cross Davenport, Franklin, Harpersfield, Masonville and Sidney. In Schoharie County, it would run through Cobleskill, Jefferson, Middleburgh, Richmondville, Summit, Wright and the town of Schoharie.
This article was written by Joe Mahoney from The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.