Senator Robert Mensch (PA R-24) sent a letter to constituents who’d added their names to a letter Berks Gas Truthsubmitted to the FERC docket calling for an improved and more just comment period on its Environmental Assessment of the DTE Birdsboro pipeline. He and other legislators representing communities along the route were copied on the letter. His response directed constituents to contact their federal representatives. Here is the response we just submitted to Senator Mensch.
The Honorable Robert Mensch
Senate Box 203024
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3024
December 7, 2017
Dear Senator Mensch,
I received a photograph of a letter you sent to signers of a letter I submitted to the FERC docket calling for an extension of the comment period on the Environmental Assessment of the DTE Birdsboro pipeline. You and other legislators representing communities along the route were copied on that letter.
After stating some basic information about the project and its status, you urge your constituents to contact their federal legislators, but fail to weigh in on the specific request made for an improved and more just process that would allow all interested constituents to have the ability to voice their concerns about the project.
I copied you on the letter because you represent citizens who will be adversely affected by the pipeline and power plant. As you surely know, pipelines and power plants are dangerous and polluting infrastructure projects that exacerbate climate change, pollute our air, contaminate our water, and put communities at risk of devastating explosions, fires, and other catastrophic failures. Federal law exempts local and county governments from the approval process for natural gas pipelines. States have little authority over their approval. It is, therefore, not at all uncommon for concerned communities to appeal to their state legislators to advocate on their behalves.
Here are just three examples of state senators who have taken a stand against the PennEast pipeline, another pipeline I’ve spent a good deal of time fighting.
Bateman will continue to oppose Penn East pipeline http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/land-environment/2017/04/10/bateman-continue-oppose-penn-east-pipeline/100286104/
State Sen. Shirley Turner introduces resolution opposing $1 billion PennEast natural gas pipeline http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/12/state_sen_shirley_turner_introduces_resolution_opposing_1_billion_penneast_natural_gas_pipeline.html
Senator Lesniak NJ State Senator Ray Lesniak Opposes PennEast Pipeline
As you can see, they are just a few examples of state senators who have taken active roles in protecting their communities from dangerous pipeline projects. It is disappointing to see that you have opted to offer no support to your constituents in this far more basic request for an equitable comment period. We hope you’ll reconsider your position on this matter and on the pipeline project itself.
On a personal note, I would appreciate receiving responses to letters I send to your office in the future. A reply to emailed letters will suffice.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Berks Gas Truth