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AIM project marches on as NY lawmakers object; Texas group takes to FERC to protect 'untouched' area

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AIM project marches on as NY lawmakers object; Texas group takes to FERC to protect 'untouched' area

AsNew York state lawmakers called FERC's refusal to stop work on the342,000-Dth/d Algonquin Incremental Market natural gas pipeline expansion "recklessand dangerous," SpectraEnergy Corp continued with construction and simply acknowledged acommission decision that backed up the previous permit review.

"Weare pleased that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission confirmed thevalidity of its certificate of public convenience and necessity for theAlgonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project, as well as the findings of otherfederal and state agencies," Spectra Energy spokeswoman Marylee Hanleywrote in an email.

Anenvironmental organization has turned to FERC to fight a natural gas pipelinecrossing the U.S.-Mexico border, proposed by an affiliate,which the group worries would harm the region's tourism industry.

TheBig Bend Conservation Alliance has lobbied for months to reroute theTrans-Pecos intrastate pipeline in an attempt to mitigate the project'spresence in "one of the last remaining open spaces in the country,"as the group's Executive Director Mattie Matthaei described the area. Theintrastate pipeline itself is not under FERC jurisdiction, but a proposedborder-crossing facility that would connect to the pipeline is under thecommission's jurisdiction. Even though the intrastate pipeline falls under thejurisdiction of Texas' Railroad Commission, the environmental group has advisedinterested parties to protest and remain informed about the project throughFERC.

FERCallowed El Paso Natural Gas Co.LLC to increase the gas export capacity flowing into Mexico atborder-crossing facilities in Cochise County, Ariz.

TheMonument 90 border-crossing facilities are part of a network of assets used byKinder Morgan Inc.,the parent of El Paso, to serve domestic and international transportationcustomers. Kinder Morgan has been active in expanding at the U.S.-Mexico border andinside Mexico.

FERCOffice of Energy Projects staff signed off on a proposal to expand natural gas services to New York City.

FERCstaff concluded that the New YorkBay expansion project would not significantly affect the quality ofthe environment, if constructed and operated with certain mitigating measures.

PennEast pushes timeline from late 2017 to late 2018 after FERCnotice

PennEastPipeline Co. LLC reinforced its commitment to the proposed PennEast natural gaspipeline after a FERC notice of schedule pushed back the time frame for theproject.

"PennEast… is in the process of reviewing FERC's [notice of schedule] in order to updateits timeframe for construction," the company said in an April 4 statement."Based on a preliminary review, PennEast anticipates an in-service date inthe second half of 2018 rather than late 2017."

FERCOffice of Energy Projects staff signed off on a proposal tomove 155,000 Dth/d of gas from Pennsylvania to Virginia.

"Werecommend that the commission order contain a finding of no significant impact,"staff said in the March 31 environmental assessment. FERC staff added thatcertain mitigating measures be recommended as conditions in the approval.