New Ohio-Michigan group working to show widespread support for new natural gas pipelines

Akron Beacon Journal

Bob Downing

A new Ohio-Michigan coalition of businesses, trade groups and labor unions is trying to show a federal agency that there is widespread public support for natural gas pipelines.

The group, called the Coalition for the Expansion of Pipeline Infrastructure, includes the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Manufacturers Association, the Ohio Chemistry and Technology Council, the Ohio State Grange and the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association.

Its formation comes at a time when two major pipelines to carry natural gas from Ohio’s Utica Shale to Michigan are seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline and the $2 billion Nexus Pipeline would cross northern Ohio. Locally, the Rover Pipeline would cross southern Stark and Wayne counties. The Nexus Pipeline would cross northern Stark, southern Summit and Medina counties.

The Rover Pipeline application is further along the federal review process.

The pipelines would both extend north into Michigan and connect to existing pipelines and make Ohio natural gas available in the Midwest, Ontario and the Gulf Coast.

The Rover Pipeline, advanced by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, would be 711 miles in length and extend into Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The main Ohio leg would be 204.5 miles. It would require two pipes, both 42 inches in diameter.

The 250-mile, 36-inch-in-diameter Nexus Pipeline is being developed by Texas-based Nexus Gas Transmission LLC, along with Detroit-based DTE Energy and Texas-based Spectra Energy Partners.

The new coalition is an effort to create additional “broad support” for both pipelines and other pipelines, said Charles Willoughby of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Part of that new effort is to show FERC that there is widespread support for new pipelines in Ohio and Michigan, he said.

There is significant need for and interest in new pipelines in Ohio, Willoughby said.

Investing in pipeline infrastructure now will ensure access to affordable, cleaner-burning natural gas to heat homes and power businesses in the future, the coalition says.

Pipelines are the safest, most-efficient way of transporting natural gas to markets across the region and the nation, it says.

Building pipelines also creates additional economic benefits as steel makers produce pipes and the supply chain makes other components needed for such infrastructure, it says.

For more information, go to http://expandpipeline

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or