WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Appalachian Mountain Advocates (Appalmad), on behalf of the Sierra Club, filed a request for rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) calling for a new and comprehensive examination of whether the NEXUS fracked gas pipeline is necessary. FERC is charged with determining whether or not a proposed gas pipeline is necessary and appropriate for meeting a region’s energy needs before that project can be built. FERC granted that status to the NEXUS pipeline on August 25, but Appalmad and Sierra Club contend that the NEXUS pipeline is duplicative of other existing and proposed energy sources, meaning there is little need for it, and it will have higher transport costs than those alternative sources. Over its 255 miles, NEXUS will pump fracked gas from Columbiana County, Ohio to Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, crossing numerous waterways along the way.
NEXUS has manufactured demand for the pipeline by steering its affiliate utilities companies, DTE Electric and DTE Gas, to agree to buy gas from NEXUS at above-market rates and then pass those excess costs onto their captive ratepayers. DTE Energy is a 50% shareholder of NEXUS and parent of DTE Electric and DTE Gas. A recent report by Oil Change International and the Sierra Club outlines how companies engage in self-dealing on pipelines.
Today’s request also argues FERC did not adequately evaluate the environmental and health effects of the greenhouse gasses produced from burning gas transported by NEXUS. A federal court recently sided with Sierra Club in ruling that FERC was wrong in not considering those effects and must do so for future Environmental Impact Statements. Sierra Club will also file a motion for a stay that argues that without a halt to construction while FERC reconsiders its permit, Sierra Club members will suffer irreparable injury to their aesthetic and recreational interests in the parks, rivers, and wetlands that they use and enjoy.
In response, Sierra Club Organizing Representative Cheryl Johncox released the following statement:
“Fracked gas pipelines like NEXUS are dirty, dangerous relics of the last century’s energy mix. FERC must conduct a thorough examination of NEXUS so they can see what Ohioans, Michiganders, and millions of Americans already do; the NEXUS pipeline is unhealthy and unnecessary for its customers and a big-time boondoggle for its owners.”
Doug Jackson, Sierra Club, 202.495.3045 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Barczewski, Appalmad, (610) 730-6388 or email@example.com