MCC Comments on Rover Pipeline dEIS

Date: March 23, 2016 - Chelsea High School, Chelsea, MI

Docket No. CP 15-93-000

Good evening. My name is John Dulmes, and I’m the Executive Director of the Michigan Chemistry Council, the voice of the chemistry industry in Michigan. Chemistry is our state’s third-largest manufacturing sector, and our companies support nearly 120,000 Michigan jobs and generate $127 million in state and local taxes. 96% of all manufactured goods are directly touched by the business of chemistry, making our industry essential to every facet of Michigan’s economy.

The Michigan Chemistry Council its members support the expansion of domestic energy production, and we encourage the development of safe and reliable energy infrastructure, including the Rover Natural Gas Pipeline. FERC’s release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement is a step in the right direction toward final approval of this important project and we applaud the agency for its careful review.

In reviewing the plans for the Rover Pipeline and the draft EIS, we believe that there has been a comprehensive assessment of both the many benefits that this project will bring, and also the necessary work that will be done to mitigate impacts to the environment and our communities. Energy Transfer Partners, the company proposing the pipeline, estimates that this pipeline and its initial $4.2 billion investment will produce 10,000 construction jobs – including 1,500 positions in Michigan.

In addition, Energy Transfer Partners has adopted a strong “Buy American” policy for this project and claims that about 76 percent of the Rover Pipeline will be made in the U.S. Overall, the majority of the equipment and greater than $1 billion in goods will be purchased from U.S. manufacturers, including businesses here in Michigan.

We’ve also been impressed with Energy Transfer’s transparency and openness. The Rover team has conducted hundreds of meetings along the route with farm groups, community leaders, business associations and landowners. The Rover team has shared with us that they have consulted with state agricultural agencies, independent consultants, land improvement and drainage tile contractors, and landowners to develop plans for repair of drainage tile systems that will be affected by construction. I have every reason to believe they will continue to share these plans with the agency and any interested party.

With that in mind, we would be supportive of reducing some of the quarterly progress reports that were recommended in the draft EIS. We think that these reporting requirements wouldn’t be necessary, given the level of communications we’ve already seen with this project.

In conclusion, the continued development of Michigan’s chemical manufacturers depends on growing our natural gas infrastructure to transport natural gas resources safely and efficiently from their source to market. The Rover Pipeline is an important step in developing our energy infrastructure, and should be built without delay.

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