PSC Approves Non-Pipe Alternative to West Dryden Road Pipeline
November 16, 2017
PSC Approves Non-Pipe Alternative to West Dryden Road Pipeline
In a precedent setting decision, the Public Service Commission last week unanimously approved NYSEG’s compressor proposal and ordered the prompt issuance of a request for proposals to address area energy and economic development needs as an alternative to the Lansing/Freeville Reinforcement Gas Pipeline Project, also known as the West Dryden Road natural gas pipeline.
“Tompkins County applauds last week’s decision by the Public Service Commission, and the willingness of the Commission and NYSEG to work with our community to find new ways to address old problems. NYSEG’s solution allows us to address critical safety and reliability concerns without expanding our carbon footprint,” said Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson. “We look forward to seeing the innovative solutions that are proposed in the request for proposals to support economic development while cutting our use of fossil fuels.”
NYSEG’s compressor solution involves placement of four pressure boosters at strategic locations along NYSEG’s existing gas distribution system in and around the Village of Lansing to ensure operating pressure in the Lansing service area stays at safe operating levels during very cold, high-heating-demand days. The pressure boosters are expected to be installed in time for the 2018-19 heating season.
In September, the Tompkins County Legislature voted unanimously to support NYSEG’s compressor proposal so that safety and reliability concerns could be addressed as quickly as possible. Similarly, Tompkins County Area Development, the area’s business development agency, sent a letter to the PSC indicating their support, and encouraging a swift process in order to support business development and job creation in the region.
“Tompkins County has already seen significant local development without gas – using energy-efficient air and ground-source heat-pumps in applications from single-family homes to large scale housing and commercial projects," Robertson continued. "NYSEG’s request for proposals will enable our community to innovate even further.”
Several municipalities, including the City of Ithaca and towns of Ithaca, Caroline and Dryden are currently researching policies to encourage new development using heat-pumps instead of fossil-fuels such as natural gas or propane to meet their project’s heating and hot-water needs.
NYSEG had tried since 2014 to install a pipeline along West Dryden Road, but met with significant community resistance, from homeowners who didn’t want a pipeline in their front yard and from people across the county who are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thousands of people contacted the PSC opposing the pipeline and several hundred community members wrote in support of NYSEG’s compressor proposal.
“Our decision is based, in part, upon New York’s climate goals along with the significant public input we received from the local community keen to protect the environment and reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes, in a prepared statement. “With the environment in mind, this pilot project is intended to boost the gas distribution system’s ability to maintain reliable supply without the need to build a new gas pipeline.”
“The PSC’s ruling supporting a non-pipe alternative signals the State’s growing recognition that investing in costly natural gas infrastructure – whether a home-furnace, a pipeline or power-plant – is a poor investment that commits us to burning climate-damaging fossil fuels for the next 20 - 40 years,” said Irene Weiser, Councilmember in the Town of Caroline and coordinator of Fossil Free Tompkins. “The PSC’s decision is an important step on the path to replacing natural gas with renewable heating solutions and reaching the goals of the Governor’s State Energy Plan.”
“This decision will be remembered as marking the end of fossil fuel expansion in Tompkins County, and the beginning of statewide enlightenment: government, utilities, and citizens can collaborate on meeting our necessary energy transformation goals.” said Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E., Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University, whose recent work has focused on meeting the goals of the State’s Energy Plan. “We thank the PSC, the Department of Public Service staff, and NYSEG for their vision to use small pressure boosters, rather than increasing gas supply, as an integral part of Tompkins County's energy transition goals.”
November 21, 2017
Contact Irene Weiser
607-539-6856 (w) 607-435-3010 (c)
VOTE November 7, 2017
VOTE to truly PROTECT DRYDEN November 7th:
Polling place info: Tompkins County Board of Elections
Petition for Solar development in Dryden; attend April 26, 2017 Special Dryden Town Board Meeting
Please take 3 minutes & review this petition regarding the possible solar projects in the town HERE.
Please sign the petition if you support Solar & ask all your Dryden resident- property owner friends to sign. Please attend the public hearing & speak in support of the solar projects!!
Urge the Dryden Town Board to support the Dryden Solar Projects:
Attend and Speak at Town Board Public Hearing Wed. Apr. 26, 2017 - 7:00pm, Neptune Fire Hall, 26 North Street
If you can't attend the meeting, please sign the petition and contact the Dryden Town Board
Make a difference in 3 minutes!!! Oppose the Freeville Lansing Reinforcement Pipeline!
Thanks to all who signed our holiday Grinch card to NYSEG CEO Mark Lynch, saying NO to the West Dryden Road Pipeline. We collected hundreds of signatures!
Now we are blasting another message to NYSEG and the Public Service Commission. This time it’s a massive postcard campaign. Same message: no to their fracked gas pipeline, yes to energy alternatives.
PLEASE CLICK TO SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION OPPOSING THE PIPELINE. It will only take a minute of your time. We’ll send it to both NYSEG and the PSC.
Thanks for being with us on this,
Tompkins County Residents Against the West Dryden Road Pipeline
Interview on Eco-Defense Radio
Great interview with Pat Dubin and Chuck Geisler on WFRI's Eco-Defense Radio on January 31, 2017. Pat and Chuck talk about the campaign to stop the West Dryden Rd pipeline.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Good opinion piece in Ithaca Journal
What Aesop teaches us about NYSEG initiative
Published 10:45 a.m. ET Jan. 5, 2017 | Updated 11:17 a.m. ET Jan. 5, 2017
Aesop was right. He shared the story of an ass who found a lion's skin, put it on, and seemed invincible to others in his village. But when he brayed, everyone recognized him, and his owner beat him for the fright he had caused. A fox approached the ass and said, “I knew you by your voice." Aesop’s moral: Looks may disguise, but silly words disclose the truth.
NYSEG recently found a new skin in which to dress in Tompkins County. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: the Energy Smart Community initiative. Herein, NYSEG will upgrade its grid investments and “engage customers to make them empowered and active in our ‘energy ecosystem.’”
But then there’s the real voice of NYSEG, telling us that it must simultaneously build a pipeline to bring fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to serve the expanding energy needs of Tompkins County. This is confusing, even contradictory. Which is the real voice of NYSEG?
If NYSEG wants to build real energy smart communities in its service area, it would speak with one voice rather than two. This voice would support the 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, using primarily local renewables, and demand reduction. And it would take the lead in New York state’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) goal of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.
There is no doubt that energy-smart communities are needed across America and beyond. Iberdrola (NYSEG’s international parent company) is the largest owner and operator of renewable energy facilities in the world and a leader in utility innovation.
Yet NYSEG, its prodigal child, is sending us a truly mixed message. Smart electricity meters, new websites and energy efficiency services are all welcome. But if NYSEG were promoting real energy-smart and sustainable communities, it would park its natural gas pipeline.
Charles Geisler is an Ithaca resident.
Don’t Be A Grinch, NYSEG CEO Lynch
Hundreds of signatures!
Click on thumbnails to the right to see the whole card
December 14, 2016
Don’t Be A Grinch, NYSEG CEO Lynch
DRYDEN, NY That is the message on the cover of a holiday greeting card delivered yesterday by pipeline opponents to NYSEG’s CEO, Mark Lynch, urging him to look for alternatives to the proposed West Dryden Road pipeline. The card, although written in lighthearted Dr. Seuss style verse, delivered a serious message about mounting opposition to the pipeline, and concern for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
NYSEG has proposed to install a seven mile-long, ten-inch diameter gas pipeline through Dryden, the town made famous for their local law to ban fracking, which was upheld by New York’s highest court.
“This is the town that stood up against the gas industry and won,” said Linda Parks, a resident on West Dryden Road and member of the West Dryden Residents Against the Pipeline. “That NYSEG has threatened to use eminent domain to cram a new gas pipeline down our throats shows they still don’t get it. NYSEG should not underestimate the resolve of the people in this community. We’re serious about fighting climate change.”
The card says, in part: “So don't take our land by eminent domain /To put in a pipe full of globe-warming methane. / If this pipeline goes in at your company's insistence / Be aware that your efforts will be met with resistance.”
At least half of the 100 property owners in the pipeline’s route have refused to sign NYSEG's easement. If constructed, the pipeline would result in enough emissions to prevent Tompkins County from reaching its 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goal of 50%.
In just 4 days, the card garnered over 600 signatures from people across Tompkins County. In a related action, on Saturday more than 50 residents gathered at NYSEG's Ithaca offices on a cold snowy morning for a group photo which was included with the card.
“Local developers have already shown that renewable energy and heat pumps can replace gas. Look at Cornell and their new Maplewood housing complex. Why NYSEG can't catch on to what we want in Tompkins County is beyond me,” said Joseph Wilson, a card signer and Dryden resident.
“NYSEG and Avangrid, join us in unity! / We want to be an energy smart community! / To protect the earth's future we must all do our part;/ Pipeline alternatives are a great way to start!” the card continues.
If a move toward renewable energy and alternative technologies is to come, it might be through the efforts of County's Energy and Economic Development Task Force which has met twice with Public Service Commission representatives since this summer.
CONTACT: Linda Parks, West Dryden Residents Against the Pipeline
Don’t rush into signing away easement rights to your property until you get all the information you need about the possible risks and future impacts on your land, your NYSEG bills, and our community.
Raise awareness with our Pipedream image! Include in your email signature, on FB, website, etc..
Several of us along the road who are deeply concerned about this pipeline hired attorney Vinton Stevens in 2015 to help parse Dryden Town Law to understand whether it and proposed zoning changes would adequately protect us and the Town. He found problems with changes and problems with the proposed pipeline in the context of Town law - read the full Read the full Memorandum of law by attorney Vinton Stevens.