Construction of a controversial $1.2 billion natural gas line running under the Hudson was unanimously approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the New York Times reported. The line, proposed by Houston developer Spectra Energy, will run from New Jersey into the West Village, moving 800 million cubic feet of gas a day into Consolidated Edison’s distribution system. Spectra claims that will lower energy costs for residents and businesses in the neighborhood.
Concerns arose over the safety and the environmental impact of building a new line under a densely populated area. The mayors of Hoboken and Jersey City both oppose the project and fear it will stifle investment in their cities, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the FERC’s staff have both voiced their support for bringing additional energy into the city.
“This approval clears the way for a much-needed new natural gas supply in the New York City region,” Caswell Holloway, deputy mayor for operations under Bloomberg, said. Nevertheless the FERC expects legal challenges from opponents before the first gas transmission line in 40 years can begin construction. [NYT]