Activists Bring Anti-Pipeline Message to Cuomo’s Doorstep
Vigils in Albany and Mt. Kisco call on Governor to Act to Stop Spectra AIM Pipeline
ALBANY — Capital District residents held a vigil in front of the Governor’s Mansion Sunday, September 25th to deliver the message to Governor Cuomo that stopping the massive Spectra AIM pipeline, which will bring fracked gas within feet of the Indian Point nuclear plant, is critical to protecting millions of state residents from a public safety disaster. The local vigil against the pipeline, scheduled to begin operations in November, was in support of a similar event outside Cuomo’s home in Mt. Kisco, near the proposed pipeline.
“The Spectra AIM pipeline is a public safety disaster waiting to happen,” said Ruth Foster, a board member of Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline. “A rupture of the pipeline could knock out power to Indian Point, stopping the cooling of the fuel rods, thus threatening millions of New Yorkers living within a short radius of the plant. Governor Cuomo must take immediate action to protect our citizens and our communities from this potential catastrophe.”
The AIM (Algonquin Incremental Market) pipeline would bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania through New York and eventually on to Canada for export. State officials have appealed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to halt the project, and New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have called on federal authorities to suspend construction.
Recent bribery charges against Joseph Percoco, a top aide and family friend to the Governor in connection to his activities concerning the CPV (Competitive Power Ventures) fracked gas power plant now under construction in Orange County, highlight the need to develop state climate change policy free from political influence. The advocates believe that any fair examination of CPV and Spectra AIM on the merits would lead to rejection of the plant.
“We fought the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline that threatened the health and safety of Capital area residents and we won,” said Becky Meier, Co-Founder of Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline. “We will continue to fight fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure that threatens our neighboring communities and our climate. These projects undermine the transition that we must make to renewable and sustainable energy.”
“Not only is the AIM project a safety disaster, it is a climate disaster,” said Bob Cohen, Policy Director of Citizen Action of New York. “The Governor has committed to a vast reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. He won’t be able to achieve his climate change goals if he allows projects to go online that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases into the air.”
Susan Van Dolsen of Healing & Protecting Our Land Together-A Call to Prayer said, “Residents of both Westchester, NY and Albany are gathering with faith leaders during the Season of Creation to tell Governor Cuomo that he must call on President Obama to halt construction of the dangerous and climate-killing Spectra AIM pipeline immediately. There is a moral imperative to halt devastating fossil fuel projects and our Governor must stand up to industry and say no. It is time to stand with the people.”
“The recent charges against aides close to Governor Cuomo and an executive with CPV reflect a fundamental incoherence in a policy which recognizes that fracking is harmful to human health, yet approves a brand new fracked gas power plant and allows the Spectra AIM pipeline to be built. The only way to restore the public trust and to make our fracked communities whole again, is to immediately halt construction of the power plant and pipeline. We must exorcise our energy policy from all fossil fuel interests and influence,” said Pramilla Malick, Chair of Protect Orange County.
“Governor Cuomo must take immediate action to stop the Spectra AIM pipeline before fracked gas starts flowing in November. There is simply no way to safely build a pipeline adjacent to an aging and failing nuclear plant positioned on top of two earthquake fault lines. This dangerous project puts 20 million New Yorkers at risk, and undermines the state’s efforts to promote renewable energy.” Said Greta Zarro, New York Organizer at Food & Water Watch.
Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline – Building a Fossil Free Future