Developers of the proposed PennEast pipeline this week announced they were pulling the plug on the $1.2 billion project, which would’ve carried natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, after years of legal and regulatory challenges.
According to Reuters, the company said PennEast was canceled because it had not yet received all of its required permits, including a water quality certification in New Jersey. It was one of the last major pipeline projects in the works set to pull gas from the Marcellus/Utica formation, the biggest U.S. gas shale basin.
This week’s unfortunate announcement comes despite the project’s Supreme Court win earlier this year, in which it was determined that the company could seize state-owned or controlled land in New Jersey for the project.
While environmental activists and even some elected officials, including Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew Bruck, celebrated the project’s demise, its cancellation will leave less gas available for consumers in need and could lead to higher energy costs.
“The legal and regulatory roadblocks that led to the cancellation of the PennEast Pipeline – which would have been built with union labor – are putting energy affordability and reliability at risk in America,” the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America said in a statement.
Modern energy infrastructure like PennEast are the safest, most efficient, and most environmentally-conscious methods of transporting the natural gas and petroleum products that fuel the U.S. economy. As such, policymakers must create a regulatory environment that is conducive to critical infrastructure investment and energy development.