In yet another decision in favor of utility users in Pennsylvania, the PUC voted against building a new pipeline that would have taken land away from 200 landowners, including farmers and business owners. The article brings forward several discussions that have made their way into discussions of energy access, energy transitions, and energy rights. First and foremost, the article discusses eminent domain and the impacts it has on landowners, who see their land taken away for the sake of energy production. Of course, discussion and analysis of eminent domain move beyond the commentary to be offered here, but it should not be ignored when reading about energy pipelines and energy production projects. After all, discussing energy rights also encompasses other rights, such as those to land, housing, and health.
The second discussion that should be highlighted here, as discussed in the article, pertains to energy companies' projects and the inadvertent discharge of the costs of production onto consumers, via rate increases. Similar discussions were heralded in the Philadelphia PWD Water Rate Increase Case, and seem to be wholly intrinsic in the energy market networks. While costs of project completion are many, we should consider whether it be ethical to increase utility rates simply due to project completion, especially considering the profits some utility providers report. That said, energy regulation is a very complicated matter and no one solution can satisfy everyone nor can it protect both the utility provider and the consumers. However, compromises need to be achieved and they need to be considered with utility consumers' best interests at heart.
Jana Benscoter, "Central Pa. landowners relieved as PUC rejects controversial powerline project: ‘We fought hard’", contributed by Alison Kenner and Briana Leone, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 28 May 2021, accessed 16 January 2022.