December 2, 2008

Pipeline denied, companies start again

The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal over a Long Island-to-Connecticut natural gas pipeline sent two energy suppliers back to the drawing board.

We're looking at ... some kind of a revised project to get the gas to the market, said Toni Beck, a spokeswoman for Spectra Energy, after the court upheld a lower court's ruling that denied the company a permit to build a 45-mile gas pipeline across Long Island Sound.

The Department of Environmental Protection had denied the project on environmental concerns, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Tuesday.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the ruling was a win for grass-roots environmental activism, but Suffolk County, N.Y., Executive Steve Levy said he hoped the companies would press forward.

The proposed Islander East pipeline, a joint Spectra Energy and National Grid project, is a critical piece of the region's energy infrastructure, from both an environmental and an economic standpoint, he said.

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell said the state our state and this region do need reliable energy sources.

However, she said, energy needs have to be met without sacrificing unique and precious natural resources like Long Island Sound.