Protestors made their point in Peekskill on Sunday and plan to be
in Albany tomorrow
PEEKSKILL – Opponents of gas fracking infrastructure, specifically the AIM Pipeline, from the Hudson Valley and across the state, came together, Sunday afternoon at the Riverfront Green in Peekskill, to protest the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and pressurized gas pipelines transporting fracked gas underground throughout the state.
The AIM Pipeline, being built by the Houston based S&P 500 energy Company Spectra, will consist of a 42-inch pressurized gas pipeline that will travel underground through Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties in New York, as well as through parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The pipeline would transport natural gas from Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, as fracking is illegal in New York State.
Protestors are concerned because the pipeline, at certain points, will run within 105 feet from the Indian Point nuclear plant in close proximity to spent fuel rods and will have compressor stations constructed approximately every 40-100 miles, both of which, protestors maintain, will cause immediate danger to the population living within the vicinity of the pipeline.
Courtney Williams, an opponent of the pipeline, said a possibly more alarming development is that federal policy makers are green-lighting the project, despite the concern of the state and other experts.
“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has signed off on that,” said Williams. “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has also signed off on that. Governor Cuomo, just a few weeks ago, wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking them to halt construction immediately because the state was conducting a safety assessment to have that kind of heavy duty construction taking place adjacent to the nuclear power plant and FERC ruled, two weeks later, on that issue and denied the governor’s request to halt construction. So, regardless of the safety concerns that are shared by the governor, experts on nuclear safety and pipeline safety, the Union of Concerned Scientists, FERC is ignoring all of those issues.”
Groups also came to the protest to oppose the Pilgrim Pipeline, Constitution Pipeline and CPV Power Plant. Protestors said that they are not receiving the support, or even acknowledgement of these issues, they feel is necessary from their elected officials.
Pramilla Malick of Save Orange County, a group actively protesting the CPV power plant in Slate Hill, believes there is a government push, currently, to move away from coal and nuclear energy to gas energy, making the thesis of the protest broader than just the AIM Pipeline.
“I think the point of this rally was that we are drawing a line in the sand that we cannot live with expanding fracked gas infrastructure and we cannot expand our use of fracked gas and that we need to transition to safe, clean, renewable energy, which is wind, water and solar,” said Malick.
Activists will be organizing a rally Tuesday, April 5 in Albany to protest the Constitution Pipeline and FERC actions in New York State.