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Rest in Peace, PennEast

The Editor:

My very own state Sen. John Yudichak has called the opponents of the PennEast pipeline “environmental extremists.” But are we? The opposition in Carbon County defended our private property from a forced “taking” from a pipeline that would never benefit Carbon County residents. We prevented a pipeline that would have emitted 49 million tons of greenhouse gases each year, the equivalent of 14 coal plants and 10 million cars. The Kidder Township compressor station alone would have emitted over 100 tons of pollutants each year, including formaldehyde and nitric oxide. And the pipeline would have devastated two of our county’s recreational jewels - Hickory Run and Beltzville state parks.

The pipeline’s goal was to take gas to Trenton, New Jersey, and was never planned to provide residential service in our county or in Pennsylvania. Yes, it would’ve provided a cheaper gas source to a development project at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort, but that project was planned well before the pipeline received federal approval in 2018, and plans to develop Blue Mountain will go forward, according to the company. The pipeline itself would have created a mere 21 permanent jobs, according to PennEast itself.

As for those who bemoan the loss of cheaper gas: It may surprise you to learn that PennEast would have, without a doubt, increased gas service costs for customers because the ratepayers would have paid for the entire cost of the pipeline plus interest on top of their monthly bill.

With or without the pipeline, residents will see an increase in their residential gas bills. Why? Because the United States now allows gas companies to export gas, which forces stateside customers to compete with European and Asian gas rates which are up to four times our current costs. Many of us “extremists” believe that the PennEast gas would never have stayed in the U.S. but would’ve been shipped to lucrative overseas markets.

This pipeline was not needed. It did not serve Carbon County and was damaging to the environment and to our future on this planet. Rest in peace, PennEast

Linda Christman