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Protesters rally against National Fuel pipeline

Photo courtesy of Sierra Club Niagara

Dozens of people withstood below freezing temperatures in Amherst Saturday to express their objection to National Fuel’s plans to build a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania into New York State. They rallied outside National Fuel's Main Street headquarters.

New York State has denied National Fuel's request, but the gas company has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a three-year extension on the proposed project.

Theresa Schueckler is in a legal battle with National Fuel and says the pipeline could turn into an environmental disaster.

"Fracking gas and then dragging it through  New York State, going through 192 creeks, is not environmentally friendly," Schueckler said. "Cattaraugus Creek is enormous. If any pollution happens there, it will be a mess. It will never get cleaned up."

The 97 miles of proposed pipeline would start in Pennsylvania and run through the Southern Tier, into southern Erie County and then connecting with existing pipelines in Niagara County.

National Fuel is currently in legal battles with landowners in the Southern Tier in an effort to gain eminent domain status to build the pipeline on private land.

The company released a statement saying the project has been thoroughly researched and that all questions and concerns have been addressed in the lengthy review process.