Supporters of the rallied in Binghamton, NY, to call on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to approve water quality permits needed so that Southern Tier businesses and residents can finally enjoy affordable, reliable natural gas access made possible by the Constitution Pipeline.
With a decision imminent from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, nearly 400 people attended the pro-pipeline rally, which was organized by Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and the , and featured elected officials, local business, labor unions and community leaders.
Broome County Executive Debbie Preston: “We already have other pipelines running throughout our community, so I don’t understand why there is a delay for the Constitution Pipeline. The Constitution Pipeline represents nearly a $1 billion investment in the region, with the possibility of creating thousands of jobs. This is exactly the type of investment we need in upstate New York.”
Oneonta landowner/business owner Marie Lusins: “I’ve lived in Oneonta for more than 30 years, and I can tell you we need private investment like this to help revitalize our region. Constitution is not just a pipeline, it is a lifeline for the Southern Tier. Businesses need clean, cheap energy to be attracted to and want to stay here. Our communities want natural gas to heat their homes. In supporting Constitution Pipeline, I am supporting economic growth in Otsego County and the Southern Tier.”
Town of Windsor Supervisor Carolyn Price: “There are significant long-term benefits from hosting this kind of infrastructure. The most notable and obvious benefit is taxes. The gas companies pay a substantial amount of taxes to the town of Windsor. Those gas companies paid 15.85 percent of the town of Windsor’s taxes. Those are taxes that the local property owners didn’t have to pay.”
Constitution Pipeline received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for the project in December 2014. The project is currently awaiting the Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The project is projected to support about 2,400 direct and indirect jobs that would be have been created during pipeline construction, generating $130 million in labor income for the region. It is also expected to generate approximately $13 million in annual property tax revenue, most of which will benefit local school districts along the pipeline route.
In addition, Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have announced plans to install four delivery taps along Constitution’s proposed route to facilitate local natural gas service to homes and businesses in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. Currently, more than fifty percent of Southern Tier and Central New York residents rely on fuel oils to heat their homes; while a mere eight percent are able to utilize lower-cost, cleaner-burning natural gas.