image via Spectra Energy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has endorsed the proposal for a natural gas pipeline that will stretch through New York City and New Jersey and hook into Con Edison’s system. The proposal, which has faced opposition in both states, is waiting for a final vote from the commission. Tapping into a pipeline in the West Village, the line would bring “cleaner” energy to parts of the New York area. But like we’ve said many times before, natural gas is far from clean, and we believe the $850 million that would go towards this project would be much better spent on renewable sources like solar and wind energy.

Natural gas pipeline, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, fracking, hydrofracking

The pipeline, which would cost around $850 million, would consist of 15 miles of new pipe. Planned by Spectra Energy of Houston, it would stretch from Staten Island to Bayonne, New Jersey, with a second pipeline from Jersey City to the West Village in Manhattan, and plug in to Con Ed below West Street. The pipeline would run through various types of areas, from industrial lands to residential, as well as through 30 bodies of water.

The project would bring cleaner energy than the current coal power to these areas, but it has been met with some criticism. Many fear that the highly residential areas around the pipeline would be in danger of accidental explosions or ground water contamination. Others feel the new pipeline would encourage more hydrofracking in the area. Spectra has taken all of these factors into consideration, and claims to have come up with a safe proposal.

Thus far, the plan is to extract most of its natural gas from the Marcellus Shale natural gas field, as well as other sources. Mayor Bloomberg is a supporter of the pipeline, and he has stated that the benefits of cleaner energy far outweighs the risks. The committee will soon vote on the amended proposal.

Via New York Times