Protect the Climate: No Rockaway Pipeline!
An Action Alert from CARP: The Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline (www.carpny.org
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is accepting comments on the Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project. Please make a comment, and help us to fight hydrofracking and climate change, which will be exacerbated by this project.
The gas industry intends to surround us with an expanding network of shale gas pipelines to bring fracked gas to markets here and overseas. One of these is the Rockaway pipeline, a 26-inch high-pressure pipeline to be built by Williams Transco and National Grid. It will be trenched into the ocean floor, run under the sand of Riis Park Beach, cross below the Rockaway Inlet adjacent to Jamaica Bay, and continue up Flatbush Avenue to a metering & regulating facility (M&R station) to be built in two historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field.
Plans for this pipeline are currently under review by FERC, which has issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) on the project.
The public can make comments on the Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project (Docket No. CP13-36-000) until 5:00pm on December 9th. (Scroll down for information on how to submit comments to FERC)
To help you prepare your comments, we have been featuring various aspects of the many dangers and concerns surrounding this pipeline. Our final suggested comments focus on the impacts this project will have on hydrofracking and climate change.
Talking points on this week’s topic: Hydrofracking and Climate Impacts
Williams Transco has acknowledged that this pipeline will carry fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale. So it’s not hard to figure out that this will drive production from shale plays upstream and upwind of NYC, will increase the pressure to frack in NY State as well as Pennsylvania, and will help place in jeopardy the water supply and foodshed of millions, creating unacceptable health impacts, stressing local roads and local communities, and potentially turning many more formerly beautiful rural areas into an industrialized zone. Is this what we want for New York?
Air pollution from the gasfields and emissions from the pipeline and its metering and regulating station (outrageously sited near the Floyd Bennett Community Gardens) will not only cause health effects for humans, plants and animals, but will more than negate the purported “clean burning” advantage of natural gas.
At a time when we should be doing everything we can to reduce greenhouse emissions, we will, in fact, be increasing them: as Cornell scientists Howarth, Santoro and Ingraffea document in the May 2011 issue of Climatic Change Letters,
It’s especially ironic that this pipeline full of greenhouse gas would be going straight through Rockaway, an area which has already been devastated by the effects of climate change in the form of superstorm Sandy. The more we learn about energy production, the more we see that sustainable energy sources like wind, tidal, and solar power are the only way we can hope to mitigate the impending climate catastrophe which is expected to have dramatic impacts on our planet and civilization.
Also, far from providing “energy independence,” the use of shale gas will make NYC more, not less, dependent on volatile supplies and prices of fossil fuels. The massive buildout of natural gas infrastructure currently underway in the Northeast, including facilities for export, encourages sellers to seek the highest bidder, and prices here will rise as gas is exported to markets overseas willing to pay top dollar. Furthermore, despite the industry hype, independent analysis and evidence from older shale plays now indicate that the amount of gas recoverable from the Marcellus will be much less than originally expected.
The only entities that truly need this pipeline are the two principal corporations involved in building it, namely, National Grid and Williams Transco. And their need is not based on providing a service to New Yorkers; rather, it’s based on their need to make a profit, regardless of the consequences.
What New Yorkers truly need is a different approach to energy, one that involves government support for energy efficiency in transit, energy conservation in buildings, a modern energy distribution system, and a rapid conversion to renewable energy. But this can only be achieved if there is the political will – and the public financial support – to bring this about. Continuing to build pipelines and promote the use of shale gas is absolutely going in the wrong direction. Shale gas is not a “bridge fuel,” it’s a gangplank to disaster.
FERC asserts that it is not their role to consider the effects this pipeline will have on hydrofracking and climate change. It is our role to tell them that they should, that they must consider these factors in their decisions. Please tell FERC, in your own words, that there are two more reasons not to build this pipeline: on the one end, it will encourage more fracking, and on the other it will insure more climate change.
Please tell FERC, in your own words, that the contribution to catastrophic climate change is one more reason why the Rockaway Pipeline should not be approved, and should not be built.
How to Submit Comments
You can submit a short text-only comment of 6000 letters or less by clicking on the COMMENT box here. BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE DOCKET NUMBER, CP13-36-000.
If you want to submit with attachments, or are commenting on behalf of an organization or sending a paper copy, go here for instructions.
Other Talking Points
Please see our suggested talking points concerning the likelihood of construction at the beach this spring and summer, the segmentation of parts of this project to avoid federal review, the inappropriateness of siting this project in a national park, the dredging up of long-buried toxins, the possibility of radon exposure, the dangers of explosion and flooding, whether we actually need this gas, the effects of more fossil fuel development on our climate, and how this pipeline and others will lock us in to more fracking rather than helping us transition to renewable energy. Thank you.