A Brief History
Stop New York Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP) began in the spring of 2014 when folks learned that Kinder Morgan proposed to build a fracked gas pipeline (the Northeast Energy Direct or NED) near their home in Columbia County. They connected with people fighting the same pipeline in Massachusetts and together organized an educational outreach about the pipeline’s dangers. In December 2014, Kinder Morgan changed the NED’s proposed route so that it would traverse Rensselaer County instead of Columbia County, and SNYFGP re-focused its efforts on Rensselaer County.
In late December 2014, SNYFGP mailed informational letters about the NED to all Rensselaer private property owners whose property, according to the county tax map, appeared to abut the newly proposed route. The letter announced a January 2015 public forum on the pipeline to educate and organize opposition to it. In addition to the abutting property owners, residents of all three towns that the pipeline would impact – Schodack, Nassau and Stephentown – were also invited to the forum.
Since the January 2015 forum, SNYFGP has held six additional public forums. These were in Stephentown, Schodack, Nassau, and at the Nassau Sportsman’s Club and the Burden Lake Improvement Association. SNYFGP also held training on effective participation in the scoping process of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). With each public forum and meeting, through outreach to neighbors, families and friends, door-to-door canvassing and information distribution about the NED’s likely hazards, the publication and distribution of a periodic newsletter, media interviews and articles, and the development of a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stopnyfrackedgaspipeline) and a website (stopnypipeline.org), organized opposition to the NED has grown. Lawn signs opposing NED exist throughout the three affected towns; residents have sent emails, telephoned, and written letters to representatives at all levels of government voicing worries and raising questions; group writing parties have been held in public libraries and private homes where letters and petitions to elected representatives ask for help and for publicly stated opposition to the pipeline; information tables on the pipeline’s hazards have been set up at a transfer station and other public places; and people have attended town board and County Legislature meetings – setting attendance records and filling halls to overload capacity – to ask questions and press for opposition to the pipeline. And throughout the ongoing campaign, SNYFGP has met with political leaders at the local, county, state and federal levels and kept political leaders apprised of the many concerns raised by their Rensselaer County constituents.
In large measure due to the intense, widespread, organized, and educated opposition of constituents, the Towns of Stephentown, Nassau, Schodack, East Greenbush and West Sand Lake passed strong resolutions against the pipeline; the County passed three related anti-pipeline resolutions; New York State Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin voiced strong opposition to the NED; New York State Senator Kathleen Marchione wrote a strong anti-pipeline comment to FERC; Congressmen Gibson and Tonko jointly wrote to FERC on behalf of constituents, as did U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand; and Congressman Gibson has issued a statement that he does not support the NED in its current form.
In May of 2016 Kinder Morgan withdrew their application for the NED Pipeline, due to lack of buyers, the cost of gas going down and the opposition to the pipeline.
Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline has decided to continue its existence by working to help fight other fossil fuel infrastructure projects and to promote the use of renewable energy. On October 29, 2016 SNYFGP sponsored a very successful Renewable Energy Fair at Maple Hill High School.