The grey area of natural gas

Monday, February 5, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

oil pipeline constructionNuns in Pennsylvania are waiting to hear back on their latest challenge involving a natural gas pipeline.

Members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ own land in Lancaster County, where a company known as Williams wants to use a portion of the nuns' land for its Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline.

"When the pipeline company wanted to use their land for a fossil fuel pipeline, they indicated that they were not going to allow that to happen; it was against what they believed, and it was kind of inconsistent with deeply held religious beliefs that they have," says Dwight Yoder, the nuns' attorney. "The owner of the pipeline went through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and essentially ended up condemning their land in order to run the pipeline across the Adorers' property against their will, and we believe that violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Attorneys representing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) declined comment to OneNewsNow, but Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Williams, the company building the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, says his organization respects the nuns' rights to express their beliefs.

"But we disagree with the position that they've taken with regard to this particular infrastructure project," he says, adding that access to inexpensive, natural gas benefits all people, especially the poor.

With respect to the Adorers' federal court appeal, Stockton expects the same judicial outcome as last year, when a lower court ruled in favor of the pipeline.

"The lower court considered the same arguments and ruled that our possession of the right of way on the Adorers' land would not in any way affect their ability to practice their faith," says Stockton.

He also points out that a U.S. District Court issued a decision last September that found the pipeline was not violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. However, Dwight Yoder points out that is not what the lower court ruled.

"The lower court ruled it didn't have subject matter jurisdiction," he explains. "There's never been a trial or a hearing on whether this impacts a religious belief, and I can say with emphatic certainty that it's my position that it in fact does impact their religious beliefs. You don't have to take my word for it. Look at what Pope Francis has said in his encyclical letter about the development of fossil fuels and how it impacts the earth and how particularly Catholics are called to protect the earth and the sacredness of it."

Still, not every Catholic in Pennsylvania agrees with the nuns.

"I'm a Catholic – a very loyal Catholic – and this order is very much like a lot of Catholic orders, unfortunately, that, among the nuns, have kind of gone to the Leftist side of things," natural gas supporter Tom Shepstone told OneNewsNow in July 2017. "The sisters are not only ideologues, they're also hypocrites, because they are running a Life Care community served with natural gas, but they don't want anybody else to have it, apparently."

It could be two to six months before a decision is made about the nuns' latest case.

"We've had oral argument," says Dwight Yoder. "It's an appellate court, so they don't hold a hearing. They will render a written decision at some point."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

If I were a Christian in California – and AB 2943 were to become law – I would:

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump ready to ease rules on coal-fired power plants
Colorado man charged with murder in deaths of wife, 2 kids
Kavanaugh in memo pushed graphic sex questions for Clinton
Pope: No effort spared to fight abuse, but offers no details
Trump dares Brennan to sue because his clearance was revoked
AP sources: Prosecutors preparing charges against Cohen
2 detained after shots are fired at US Embassy in Turkey

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Manafort, defense team 'very happy' after jury fails to reach verdict in third day of deliberations
Poll: Voters strongly disagree with Cuomo on American greatness
Moderate Dem governor moves left, supports assault weapons ban as possible 2020 run looms
Alex Jones is just the beginning
Record number of white South African farms for sale but no one is buying

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Dems' 'attack' on Nunes memo a 'big fat dud'

angry donkey (Democrats)A constitutional attorney insists that the much-hyped Democratic FISA memo has proven to be a "big fat dud."