Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Senate Considers Running Natural Gas Pipeline through NYC

Energy
Senate Considers Running Natural Gas Pipeline through NYC

Food and Water Watch

by Alex Beauchamp

Gateway National Recreation Area is a collection of preserved open space that spans two states, with units located in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, New York as well as Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

Right now, the Senate is weighing whether or not to approve a pipeline through the Gateway National Recreation Area, which covers large portions of Brooklyn.

The Senate is considering HR 2606, a bill allowing construction of a pipeline to transfer flammable natural gas near one of the most densely populated regions of the country. There are of course issues surrounding construction of the pipeline itself, but this project will also deepen New York’s dependence on fracking.

Let’s start with the problems around building a pipeline through New York City. This project will obviously be disruptive to Brooklyn residents, but the pipeline also goes through the Gateway National Recreation Area. This park, constructed for the enjoyment of all New Yorkers, will now face the potential negative ecological effects from the construction and maintenance of this pipeline.  

The environmental risks of this pipeline are clear. But there is also a substantial risk to public health. The risk of explosion is all too real—whether due to human error, a natural disaster or our dependence on companies to regulate themselves. In 2010, a pipeline exploded in Bruno, California, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes. Clearly, the potential for catastrophe is huge when planning a pipeline so close to the most densely populated region in the country.

The biggest problem with this pipeline, though, is it will increase our dependency on fracked natural gas. At a time when we should be moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, we are instead pulling out all the stops to increase our reliance on fossil fuels. Just what does more fracking mean for New York and the country?

More drilling and fracking for shale gas means more contaminated drinking water. Drilling and fracking have led to contaminated drinking water supplies across the country, whether from spills and discharges of fracking wastewater or from underground migration of contaminants into aquifers. Perhaps worse, drilling and fracking leave an underground legacy of pollution that creates long-term risks to water resources.

More fracking means accelerated climate change. Although natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, recent studies have shown that energy from fracked gas is as bad as and potentially worse than coal, in terms of driving global climate change. So we can expect costly sea level rise, more severe storms and unprecedented droughts and floods even sooner.

More fracking means local air pollution problems, too. Air monitoring in Dish, Texas detected high-levels of carcinogens and neurotoxins after drilling started in that community. Air monitoring in Colorado has demonstrated increased cancer risks for those living near drilling and fracking operations.

The good news is that it’s not too late. There’s still time for Sen. Chuck Schumer to stand up and take a strong stand against this destructive pipeline. Not only will this project pose significant environmental and health risks on its own, it will also deepen our dependence on fracked natural gas, with all the attendant environmental and public health risks. The solution is clear, Schumer should oppose this pipeline and support a ban on fracking.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

--------

Alex Beauchamp is the Northeast Region Director for Food and Water Watch.

 

Milkyway from Segara Anak - Rinjani Mountain. Abdul Azis / Moment / Getty Images

By Dirk Lorenzen

2021 begins as a year of Mars. Although our red planetary neighbor isn't as prominent as it was last autumn, it is still noticeable with its characteristic reddish color in the evening sky until the end of April. In early March, Mars shines close to the star cluster Pleiades in the constellation Taurus.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.

Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.

The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Marsh Creek in north-central California is the site of restoration project that will increase residents' access to their river. Amy Merrill

By Katy Neusteter

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less
A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less