An energy company is looking into building a natural gas pipeline from near Binghamton to the Syracuse area.
Millennium Pipeline Company is currently soliciting feedback from natural gas suppliers about their proposal to connect three supply lines running east-west across upstate New York, with a north-south line.
The Upstate Pipeline would connect the company's Millennium Pipeline - which runs from Corning to Rockland County, near New York City - with the Tennessee Pipeline in the Town on Onondaga, crossing the Dominion Pipeline in between.
The company feels it would expand natural gas availability to residents along the pipeline, and to northern New York and the Northeast.
"It would be a great economic development tool for businesses in the area; to retain businesses as well attract businesses," says spokesman Steven Sullivan. "But it would also be good to people who want to avail themselves to natural gas for heating in their homes."
Increased production in the U.S. over the past few years has driven down gas prices and caused a surge of development in the industry.
"There’s tremendous amount of demand for natural gas, largely because of its low cost and environmental characteristics, so there are a lot of shippers that interested in moving gas," Sullivan says.
This pipeline could theoretically carry hydraulically fractured natural gas from Pennsylvania, but it could also carry gas from elsewhere.
The line would be built alongside a now defunct oil pipeline 60 miles from Broome County to the Town of Onondaga, south of Syracuse.
Sullivan says they’ll make their decision on whether to move forward with the line this summer. It would need federal approval, and probably input from state authorities. It could be completed in 2016 at the earliest.
Natural gas delivery and storage has emerged as a controversial issue in New York, underpinned by intense debate over fracking.
If it decides to move forward with the proposal, Sullivan says Millennium will reach out to municipalities and residents along the proposed route to get their input and feedback.