Houghton Announces Opposition to Pipeline Proposal

Editor’s Note: Our publishing of this press release is not an endorsement of Houghton by Lancaster Against Pipelines.



April 29,2014
CONTACT: Joe Bachman
717.368.8673 (mobile)


Houghton Announces Opposition to Pipeline Proposal


Tom Houghton, the endorsed Democratic candidate for Congress in the 16th District of PA announced today that he opposes the Central Penn Line natural gas pipeline project as it is currently proposed by Williams Partners.  The pipeline would transport fracked natural gas from Susquehanna County through Lancaster County.


Houghton made the following statement:

This is a very complex issue, and there are a lot of unanswered questions.  After attending today’s public meeting in Lancaster County and having the opportunity to speak to many concerned residents before and after the meeting, I oppose this pipeline as it is currently proposed.”
“Williams Partners has not made a convincing argument that the project, as it is currently proposed, is necessary.  Based on the information available, it appears that this proposal is motivated by a desire to make the transportation of fracked natural gas more convenient for the energy industry.  That is not a sufficient reason to jeopardize the health and safety of the residents of Lancaster County, endanger our environment, devalue property, or damage protected farm and forestland and preserved natural treasures.”
“This issue is near and dear to my heart.  I have always been a proud champion of environmental protection. I have been a long-time member of multiple watershed organizations in Delaware and Chester Counties.  I first got involved in politics by fighting to preserve London Grove Township’s Agricultural Zone, an effort that I am proud to say was successful.   I understand how important a clean, safe and healthy environment is to the people of the 16th, and the important role that our preserved lands play in our community.   Many have worked very hard to preserve the natural beauty that is the hallmark of Lancaster County, whether that natural beauty is in the form of forestland, preserved farmland, or open space.  To destroy what our community has worked so hard to preserve merely because it is expedient and convenient for the gas industry is unacceptable.   To jeopardize the health and safety of a single member of our community for the same reason is outrageous.”
“Natural gas pipelines of this type cause significant safety concerns to our community.  The safety record of Williams Partners is especially troubling.  In light of numerous disasters at Williams’ facilities throughout the country in just the past few months,  it is very important for officials at all levels to examine if this is the type of company we want doing business in our community.  Williams Partners’ safety record must be addressed by all government agencies involved in the regulatory process before their application can even be seriously considered.”
“This is an issue that we will be dealing with for some time, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that our community is protected and that all residents are dealt with in an open, honest and forthright manner throughout the process.  The approval process for the pipeline project is a lengthy one.  According to statements made by their own representatives, Williams Partners is not expected to make its final application to FERC until early next year.  Federal regulators will also conduct their own public meetings regarding the application.  The primary responsibility of any elected official is to protect the health, safety and well-being of those they represent.   If I am elected to represent the 16th Congressional District , this will be one of the most pressing issues I face from my first day in office.  Our community will never have to wonder where I stand on an issue like this.  I promise the residents of the 16th that I will be ready to fight for them on this important issue on day one.  In the meantime, I look forward to working with everyone to face this issue as a community.”
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