Williams' Penn.- NY Constitution NatGas Pipe Denial to be Appealed

Williams Cos said on Thursday that they are still supported by their partners in the construction of the Constitution natural gas pipeline and that there would be an appeal for the federal energy regulators decision to prevent the project from being built.

The U.S FERC on Thursday decided that it would not revisit its decision in January where the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) refused to waive the state’s authority to issue a water quality certification for Constitution under the Clean Water Act.

“Now that the FERC has issued an order on our request for rehearing, we are free to proceed with our petition to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of the FERC’s decision,” Williams spokesman said in an email.

Williams argued that the state waives its Clean Water Act certification rights when they fail to act within a reasonable amount of time. Williams filed with the DEC for the water permit in August, withdrew the application, and resubmitted it twice at the DEC’s request.

In April 2016, the DEC denied Williams’s application. After appealing that denial in federal court, the appeals court concluded it lacked jurisdiction and upheld the state’s decision. Supreme Court also declined to review the judgment of the appeals court.

If built, the pipeline would transport 0.65 billion cubic feet per day across 125-miles of pipeline.

With the delays, Williams initial estimated costs went from $684 million to as high as $875 million, according to local newspapers.

Williams said it would take close to a year to finish building the pipeline after it receives necessary approvals.



Energy Transfer and Williams Merger Fails; Six Williams Board Members Resign

Just a day after Energy Transfer backed out of the $33 billion acquisition of Williams, nearly half of Williams’ board members resigned after a failed attempt to oust Williams’ CEO Alan Armstrong.

Former board member Eric Mandelblatt stated in a public letter that he and five other board members quit Thursday after the current board members were against pushing out Armstrong who Mandelblatt said is “incapable” of increasing shareholder value and “lacks the necessary judgment and character” that is needed to lead Williams after the turmoil with Energy Transfer.

The merger of Energy Transfer and Williams would have created one of the country’s largest pipeline companies. As the oil and gas prices continued to plummet last year and into this year, Energy Transfer no longer found the merger feasible and formally called off its deal to buy Williams on Wednesday.

Believing Energy Transfer is breaching contract by ending the deal, Williams will seek damages against the company that could be up to $10 billion.