Tuesday: Stop Spectra, Resist Fracking In NYC

Cross Posted from OccupyWallStreet

Stop Spectra: New Yorkers Resist Hydro-fracking and a Dangerous and Unnecessary Gas Pipeline

What: Corporate terrorists are threatening to blow up a huge chunk of Manhattan, poison New Yorkers with radioactive gas, pollute our drinking water, and contribute to climate change. WE ARE GOING TO STOP THEM.
Where: Assemble at United Nations (East 42nd and 1st Ave)
When: Tuesday, June 5th, 12-4pm
More info: http://www.owsstopfracking.org/
Noon-1pm: Converge during Food and Water Watch rally against privatization of natural resources, U.S. support for hydrofracking.
1:15pm: March leaves
2-3pm: Picket at Blackrock corporate headquarters (52nd between Madison and Park) to demand divestment from Spectra and Chesapeake Energy
3-3:30pm: Picket at FERC office (34th street just west of 5th Ave.) to demand that regulators reverse their decision to approve the project. Soapbox to brainstorm ideas for direct action to stop the pipeline.
Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Spectra natural gas pipeline. The pipeline offers no long-term benefit to New Yorkers, presents a HUGE safety hazard to millions, and will exacerbate our degradation of ecosystems and contribution to climate change through the hydro-fracking process, through which natural gas is extracted. WE MUST STOP THIS corporate menace to our city and our environment before construction begins (which it might as soon as this summer).

RISK OF EXPLOSION: The blast zone for the Spectra pipeline encompasses MUCH OF THE WEST VILLAGE and NEARLY ALL OF JERSEY CITY. An explosion could take thousands of lives and destroy key infrastructure, including Interstate 95, commuter rail lines, and the New York City subway. Spectra has a deplorable track record of safety violations-a recent inspection of the company’s Operations and Management Plan found inadequacies in continuing pipeline surveillance, emergency plans, and welding procedures (!).

In September 2010, a faulty weld caused a pipeline with similar pressure to explode in suburban San Bruno, CA. The blast killed 8 people and injured 51, razed 38 homes, and left a crater 4 stories deep. That pipeline was running on lowered pressure due to water corrosion. Lowered pressure (rather than repair or termination) would be the response to corrosion that would almost definitely occur in the Spectra pipeline due to its exposure to moisture under the Hudson River.

Federal inspection procedures for natural gas lines are severely lacking-only 7% of pipelines are subject to mandatory inspection, and even those that require inspection are only inspected once every 7 years. Inspection typically relies on indications from grass and trees above the pipeline-the Spectra pipeline’s proposed route under urban areas and a river would thus make inspection impossible!

DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT: The pipeline will lock New Yorkers into dependence on a fossil fuel that is equally or even more ruinous to the environment than coal or oil (when the impact of extraction is taken into account) and preclude investment in renewable energy for years to come. The hydro-fracking process creates toxic waste, the contents of which industry is not required by law to divulge (under the pretext that these contents are a “trade secret”). This toxic waste contaminates drinking water and soil–some residents of areas near fracking sites have such high methane content in their drinking water that they are able to light it on fire. The Marcellus Shale borders on the reservoirs that supply New York City’s drinking water, making the risks of contamination potentially catastrophic.

ECONOMIC IMPACT: Claims by proponents of the pipeline that we need the gas are simply untrue. Demand for natural gas in New York is projected to decrease and then flatten out until 2020. The gas is most likely intended for eventual export, which will raise the price of gas tremendously, creating economic hardship for New Yorkers who will have come to depend on it.

RADON: The pipeline will transport gas with up to 70 times as much radon as the gas currently supplied to New York. Radon is a highly toxic radioactive chemical released in the fracking process that is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.


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