July 24, 2014 at 1:00 am

OUR EDITORIAL

Editorial: Pipeline is an energy reality

Benefits outweigh any minor construction inconveniences

Some residents in several north Oakland County townships are concerned about a proposed natural gas pipeline through their area. They are worried about disruptions from construction and donít feel they have enough say in the project.

Residents have a right to voice their concerns, such as those relating to safety and fair right-of-way fees. But the pipeline would be an efficient way to deliver energy, and unless there is a major impact on local communities, we believe it should go through.

The ET Rover Pipeline Company LLC, based in Houston, wants to build a 562-mile natural gas pipeline through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.

The line would potentially go through Addison, Oxford, Brandon and Groveland townships, where some are bristling over the proposal. It also may run through Macomb, Livingston, Washtenaw and Lenawee counties.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the final say in where the pipeline will be constructed. Local residents have no veto power, although homeowners do have input ó particularly in the early stages of the project.

Community surveys will help determine if the initial route is the best one, and the company will communicate individually with landowners, according to Vicki Granado, spokeswoman for ET Rover.

Granado notes the pipeline will transport natural gas from reserves in Pennsylvania to storage stations in Ontario, and it will serve markets in Michigan. The project could benefit the local economy. Granado says the company expects to hire up to 8,000 people locally to work on the pipeline.

Local governments will also receive tax revenue from the pipeline.

Residents and local governments also receive right-of-way fees. The company must do its part to ease concerns, starting with ironclad promises to repair any damage done in laying the pipeline.

Pipelines play an important role in delivering the energy everyone uses.

Oakland residents should express their concerns, but should not throw up unwarranted obstacles to the pipeline construction.