"Constitution" a proposed 195-km natural gas pipeline championed by the US petroleum industry as well as the executive branch of federal government has been rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit on environmental grounds. The ruling marks a significant victory of state jurisdiction over federal environmental laws and reverses the pro-pipeline industry course that Washington has been on this year.
The pipeline would connect Pennsylvania fracked gas fields to the Iroquois pipeline in Schoharie, New York. Along the way it would cross over 120 streams and state authorities have little confidence that this could be done without compromising the environment.
"We hope this sends a loud message that New York will not rubber stamp any project that fails to protect public health and our environment," said Basil Seggos of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
It is possible that oil companies will join together and appeal the ruling, but state environmental groups contend that such efforts will yield very little. Such an appeal would require approval from the Second Circuit, or would have to be made directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the likelihood of this happening is very small.