Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

October 25, 2012

Trustees fail to act on pipeline resolution

Cooperstown Crier

---- — The board of trustees did not vote on a resolution in opposition to the proposed Constitution Pipeline that would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to markets in the Northeast during its meeting Monday night.

Early in the meeting, the board heard comments from the public on the pipeline.

Dr. John Davis of Middlefield asked the board to support the resolution to oppose the pipeline that some said would open the door to hydrofracking in Otsego County.

The pipeline infrastructure would invite the exploitation of the resource, Marion Karl said.

Others spoke of the susceptibility of pipelines to leak methane and infringe on the property rights of individuals, but the common theme was the fear that the presence of the pipeline would make natural gas extraction by hydrofracking more likely.

The last person to address the board was Lou Alstadt, a former Mobil Oil executive with decades of gas and oil exploration experience. 

“In my experience there is no connection between pipelines and oil or gas exploration,” he said. “The lack of a pipeline will not stop the development of gas.”

In this area, so close to the markets, it would be easy to build a pipeline to connect to existing ones on U.S. Route 20, he said.

Alstadt said it is, however, perfectly legitimate to question the need for the pipeline.

Mayor Jeff Katz said that when the board discussed the proposed resolution from the Environmental Conservation Committee, there were concerns expressed by the trustees. One of them, he said, was whether there was a real connection between a pipeline and hydrofracking, which the village has gone on record against.

Katz said he believes the trustees wanted more information, particularly about the Millennium Pipeline, which the resolution states is not operating at full capacity. 

Katz said Jim Dean, the chair of the committee, could revisit the wording and bring the resolution back to board.

Monday night it appeared there was not sufficient support for the resolution and no motion was made to adopt it, Katz said.