Citizens, Legislators and Workers Rally for Atlantic Sunrise

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Several hundred citizens, legislators and natural gas industry workers turned out yesterday to support the critical Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.

It was quite a turnout at the Shadowbrook Resort in Tunkhannock, yesterday. Was it the Ma Greenly’s Bar-B-Q? Was it the gigantic flag visible for almost a mile away? Was it the parade of big water trucks? Or, was it just the pleasantness of Shadowbrook and an opportunity to get under their pavilion and out of the heat for a few minutes? Whatever it was, it drew a big crowd and they were pumped.

Numerous legislators were there to speak on behalf of the project. Ordinary citizens were also there from as far as two hours away (including New York) to echo them. Most importantly, natural gas workers were, undoubtedly encouraged by their employers, but also eager to be there on their own and speak up for the industry and the need for the Atlantic Sunrise.

It’s always the workers that impress me. They are the backbone of America in every respect; decent clear-thinking, hard-working, no-nonsense people out to get important work done and provide for their families. They weren’t just there and they didn’t come just to eat. Every one of them with whom I talked had the same message. We need to get this gas out to the world. Loren Salsman, an old friend from Dimock, who is now a Professional Engineer working with the Diaz companies in Montrose, was there and I had a chance to talk with him briefly:

Loren’s comment, I’m sure, reflected the views of every one of the hundreds of workers at the rally and Williams issued a news release nicely summarizing the event:

Approximately 500 supporters of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project rallied in Tunkhannock, Pa., today to call on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s administration to promptly approve permits needed so that construction can begin on the nearly $3 billion energy infrastructure investment forecasted to support approximately 8,000 jobs.

This vital project, which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2017, is still in need of environmental permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) before construction can begin later this fall.

At the pro-pipeline event, state and local elected officials, local businesses, labor unions and community leaders expressed support for the project, which will create a crucial connection between Pennsylvania and consuming markets all along the East Coast. In the process, it will deliver economic growth, jobs and increased access to affordable, clean-burning energy to homes and businesses.

“We have a lot of gas in Susquehanna County the problem is we can’t get it out of the ground to consumers,” said Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alan Hall. “America benefits by putting pipeline projects like Atlantic Sunrise in the ground.”

“When we have manufacturing and we have industry and when we have citizens who are employed, that embodies the best of what the American dream is all about,” said State Representative Jonathan Fritz (111th District). “That’s what this project and the growth of the energy industry as a whole is all about.”

Last month, more than 115 business, labor and community organizations — representing more than 77,000 members — and over 1,000 individuals voiced their support of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project during a round of public hearings hosted by the PA DEP. Commentators submitted support during the public hearings or through signed letters.

During the second PA DEP comment period, public hearings were held in Lancaster, Wyoming, Columbia and Lebanon counties — four of the 10 counties the planned pipeline will cross in the state. During the 30-day public comment period, officials received remarks from 2,546 commentators: 1,916 (75 percent) voiced support for Atlantic Sunrise, while 630 (25 percent) shared opposition to the project.

In 2015 Pennsylvania State University researchers forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.


The Atlantic Sunrise project is a $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline system, which currently delivers about 40% of the natural gas consumed in Pennsylvania. This vital project was extensively reviewed for two years before being approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in February 2017. Once complete, it will create a crucial connection between Pennsylvania and consuming markets all along the East Coast, delivering enough natural gas to fuel more than 7 million homes. In the process, it will deliver economic growth, jobs and increased access to affordable, clean-burning energy. The project consists of about 180 miles of new greenfield pipe in eight Pennsylvania counties. The company has reached agreements with nearly all of affected landowners, incorporating changes to more than 60% of the project route based on stakeholder input.

There were several good speakers at the event, which was emceed by Bradford County Commissioner Doug McKlinko. Here are some of them:

Atlantic Sunrise

1. George Stark (Cabot), 2. Aaron Kauffer (State Rep), 3. Bill Kelly (Taylor Rental), 4. Tina Pickett (State Rep), 5. Jon Fritz (speaking – State Rep), 6. Lisa Baker (State Rep), 7. Allan Hall (County Commissioner)

I’ve known Jonathan since he went to school with my own children and was especially proud of his remarks, delivered, as always, with great passion. Here’s a tiny bit of his speech, which I caught from the back of the crowd:

I’d say he gets it, wouldn’t you? Now, if we just get the Governor and his slower than molasses DEP team to get it, too, we’ll finally get this overdue pipeline built.

The post Citizens, Legislators and Workers Rally for Atlantic Sunrise appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

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