CREIGHTON & REGULA
HAVE PREMATURELY DECIDED?
(SEE CORN'S REACTION)
Updated: 5:15 AM
WHAT CORN HAS TO SAY
WHAT NGT HAS TO SAY
Back on February 11, the COalition to Re-route Nexus showed up at a Stark County commissioners meeting and asked for an opportunity to meet with the commissioners for the purpose of persuading the commissioners to support CORN's effort to convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to condition approval of Nexus to NGT agreeing to and accepting an alternative pathway.
The commissioners agreed to do so and set this past Tuesday, February 24th at 10:00 a.m. for CORN to come in. Mondays and Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. have been set aside for use as "work sessions" which serve as a vehicle for the commissioners to learn about concerns such as CORN's.
And they invited the folks from NGT, who surprisingly enough showed up.
Before Tom Bernabei and Janet Creighton became commissioners (first elected in November 2010), there was no such thing as regularly provided for work session time slots.
NGT's plan includes traversing Stark County's Lake, Marlboro, Nimishillen and Washington townships (on a line that runs about half way between State Street and Midway Street in Lake).
CORN's general approach (unrefined as of now) is to relocate Nexus south of U.S. Route 30 in Stark County taking up some 30 miles of more rural land as compared to NGT's more populated route.
It was interesting that Commissioner Bernabei picked up on the communication problem.
While he was perceptive about what the real problem is between CORN and NGT, he should have - in the view of the SCPR - pushed NGT harder on getting NGT to commit to resolving the communication problem which The Report believes is solely attributable to NGT.
At the end of the session, yours truly tried to engage John Sheridan, the spokesperson for the NGT point of view as to why talking direct to CORN was a problem.
But as seen in the video, he was having none of it.
Here is a series of shorter videos on various matters that came up in the "indirect" discussion.
The complete video appears at the end of this blog.
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS?
NGT (SPECTRA ENERGY & DTE ENERGY)
LOCATION OF THE PIPELINE
SAFETY OF THE PIPELINE
So who was persuasive with the commissioners?
Well, insofar as Commissioners Creighton and Regula (both Republicans) are concerned, apparently NGT.
And here is CORN's reaction (asked for by the SCPR in an e-mail) to what CORN spokesman Paul Gierosky says in essence (the SCPR agrees) is a premature decision by Creighton and Regula.
The Repository wrote "Commissioners Janet Weir Creighton and Richard Regula have said they aren’t inclined to support the NEXUS re-route plan. Commissioner Tom Bernabei said he hadn’t reached a decision."
It sounds like you elicited a more definite response. But pressed to say something what is a person’s natural reaction? Personally, I was not surprised nor deterred by the statements in CR. The Commissioners have very little information, so far, on which to base their decision. Which CORN re-route plan are they not inclined to support? We have not proposed a definite plan. Are they saying they are not inclined to support any re-route plan? Or, are they saying they will only support a re-route that takes Nexus out of Stark County altogether? I don't know. We certainly would like their input.
I understood Commissioner Creighton mentioned in the meeting that from the statistics we shared the burden was being shifted to Stark County. However, the statistics do not support that. The number of structures within 1500’ on either side of the pipeline on the current Nexus route is 1052. On our preliminary alternate re-route that number drops to 488. This is a clear improvement. Is she not inclined to support a route with a clear improvement to the safety of the public? I don’t know the answer because we did not get a chance to ask.
The current Nexus route passes through 28 acres of wetlands in Stark County. Our alternate re-route passes through none. Are the Commissioners not inclined to support and defend the integrity of our wetlands environment? We have not had a chance to get into those details either, yet.
I thought her statement that inferred the Nexus pipeline was a burden on Stark County did convey something about her opinion.
We view this as a process. It is our responsibility to inform, educate and persuade the Commissioners to support our re-route proposal which avoids the heavily populated and faster growing counties in Ohio, for a more southerly, less populated and safer route.What is disappointing about Creighton and Regula is that they are giving no reasons for their positions.
We started this process in this manner in Medina County in mid-December it took 7 weeks, 20 different residents speaking out many at several meetings, multiple one-on-one meetings to build a personal relationship and countless emails providing information to build and support our case.
To expect anything less in Stark County would be unreasonable.
We will be submitting a re-route alternative to Nexus and the Commission (FERC) in the next 2-3 weeks. We would like the Stark County Commissioners input to, involvement with and support of what we believe is a sensible proposal.
Bernabei (a Democrat) is much more impressive.
He is thinking about it.
And he thinks he needs to comment on his decision when he arrives at one.
Whether one agrees with CORN or not, the work they are putting into their fight for a re-route is impressive and shame on Creighton and Regula for apparently deciding negatively on the request without the courtesy of offering reasons why.
This is the sort of thing that helps erode individual citizens confidence in their government that they are "really" heard and undoubtedly have to question whether or not they are respected when seeming arbitrary decisions are made.
As pointed out in the SCPR's first blog on Nexus, both Spectra Energy and DTE Energy have strong lobbying groups in Washington and Columbus.
CORN only has motivated and energized everyday citizens.
The SCPR is impressed with CORN and encourages them to continue the fight.
Their effort is responsible citizenship at its finest!
Here is the full video of Tuesday.