With the proposal of the pipeline, we were told that there would be nothing we could do to stop the pipeline if it is approved by FERC. Our supervisors were also told, that as representatives of Conestoga, there was nothing they could do. We knew that what was happening was wrong, and in violation of our rights. A large corporation is proposing to take our land by eminent domain and endanger the township to export natural gas overseas. This pipeline will not benefit Lancaster County in any way, it will only cause us harm and increase our gas prices. This goes against the purpose of eminent domain to serve the good of the people.
We are currently working with a non-profit legal firm (Community Environmental Defense Fund) that specializes in protecting townships like ours by creating a township Rights Based Ordinance. The Conestoga ordinance would become a law that states we want to remain a rural township, and do not want energy corporations to run their systems through our township at the expense of the people.
The township supervisors will need to sign and adopt the ordinance to make it official. By making this ordinance a law in Conestoga, we tell Williams, and any future company, they can not build their non-renewable energy systems through our township. We can not ban all energy systems, so we will just be banning non-renewable energy systems, such as this one. By creating our ordinance, there will be a snag in the proposed pipeline project. To keep their insurance, Williams (or any other pipeline company), will have to prove that our ordinance is unconstitutional. Our lawyers (CELDF) will defend the ordinance free of charge.
CELDF has helped 150 townships like ours create an ordinance like this one. To date EVERY ONE OF THEM HAS STOPPED THE OFFENDING PROJECT.
Now is the time to say no to the pipeline. We are asking every Conestoga citizen to read the ordinance and let the supervisors know you support the ordinance and their adoption of this ordinance. With your signature on the Rights Based Ordinance petition, you are showing your support for the supervisors to take on this challenge.
Are there risks? Absolutely. If the pipeline goes in, there will be tremendous risks involved. Risks that will never diminish. If the ordinance is signed, there is also risk.
If the pipeline goes through, the following are a strong possibility:
If an ordinance is created, the pipeline will be stopped. The following could also happen:
Either way there are risks involved. When weighing these risks, you must consider the following…
Allowing the pipeline guarantees a permanent risk that will increase in the future, with each additional pipeline. We can never return to our rural lives once this pipeline is installed.
Approving an ordinance, brings a potential risk of being sued and bankrupting Conestoga. However, we will not have a pipeline.