In a crowd packed with opponents, a coalition of prospective end-users of compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicular use has expressed support for Spectra Energy’s proposed expansion of its Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) and Algonquin Gas Transmission systems to serve the New Jersey and New York gas markets.

The New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition (NJCCC), with the assistance of a Department of Energy grant, is engaged is trying to create a network of CNG refueling stations that will promote the use of alternatively fueled vehicles, wrote NJCCC Chairman Chuck Feinberg in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday [CP11-56].

The coalition’s support comes in the wake of opposition from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. William Pascrell (D-NJ), Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and other state officials — to the pipeline expansion. In contrast, New York officials for the most part are solidly behind the pipeline project.

“Spectra Energy’s proposed natural gas pipeline will deliver a supply of clean natural gas needed to improve the availability of CNG refueling stations. For this and other reasons, I would like to express my strong support for Spectra Energy’s application for its New Jersey-New York Expansion Project,” Feinberg said.

“Natural gas produces 45% less carbon dioxide than coal and 30% less carbon dioxide than oil. With that in mind, the NJCCC partnered with private and public entities to provide greater access to CNG refueling stations. As a result of our projects in Atlantic City, NJ, for example, more than 200 heavy-duty garbage trucks and shuttle buses now refuel with CNG, eliminating 900,000 pounds of pollutants and greenhouse emissions,” he noted.

Some of the coalition’s members include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; American Bus & Coach; Atlantic County Utilities Authority, the City of Atlantic City and the City of Newark; New Jersey Natural Gas; Rutgers University; South Jersey Gas; Toyota Motor Co.; and Ferrario Ford.

According to Feinberg, “Certain conditions [low methane content] have made a significant portion of northern New Jersey’s natural gas supply unsuitable for use as a vehicle fuel. While discussions are under way [between the state, utilities and refiners] to alleviate these conditions, there remains a critical need for a new supply of clean gas [from the Spectra expansion] in order to put more alternatively fueled vehicles out on the road. This problem is acute to the northern portion of the state where improved CNG infrastructure can have the greatest impact.”

The $850 million New Jersey-New York Expansion Project calls for the construction of approximately 15.5 miles of new pipeline through parts of Bayonne, Jersey City and offshore Hoboken in New Jersey, as well as parts of Staten Island and Manhattan in New York. In addition, about five miles of pipeline will be replaced in Linden, NJ, and Staten Island, and some existing facilities will be modified in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The project, which would provide as much as 800 MMcf/d of new diversified supply to the region, is expected to be in service in November 2013.

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