April 15, 2019
Days before Brooklyn Bridge march, New Yorkers testify at City Council hearing to stop Williams fracked gas pipeline
While utilities threaten moratoriums and Trump pushes pipelines, communities demand Gov. Cuomo act on a Green New Deal, reject the Williams NESE ahead of April 18th march
New York, NY — This morning, New Yorkers testified at a City Council hearing to stop the Williams fracked gas pipeline and urge a just transition to a Green New Deal for all New Yorkers. Today’s Committee for Environmental Protection hearing, led by Chair Costa Constantinides and Speaker Corey Johnson, saw passionate and visionary testimonies from community members, bold leadership from Council officials, and half-baked arguments from utility executives.
This comes days after Donald Trump signed two executive orders, which attempt to plow through pipeline permitting, and limit states’ decision-making power on such projects, including the Williams NESE pipeline.
“We can stop Donald Trump’s scheme to build more oil and gas pipelines across the country right here in the New York harbor,” said Laura Shindell, Food & Water Watch organizer and member of the Stop the Williams Pipeline coalition. “The Council is taking a firm stand today to protect our climate and our ocean ecology. It’s up to Governor Cuomo to finish the job by saying no to the Williams fracked gas pipeline.”
Williams Company is proposing a 23-mile-long “Northeast Supply Enhancement” (NESE) from New Jersey through the New York Harbor, passing a mile and a half from Staten Island and the Rockaways, the very communities still recovering from Superstorm Sandy over six years later. Accidents-prone Williams pipelines and facilities have killed 6 people and injured 102 people over the last 10 years.
Utility and fossil fuel executives were present at the hearing with threats to “move quickly on a gas moratorium” if NESE is rejected, echoing statements from late last Friday and joining the warnings of National Grid. Reports from InsideClimate News show that, like Exxon, utilities knew about climate change decades ago.
“It’s beyond disturbing to see utilities hold New Yorkers’ energy needs hostage if we don’t let them frack our communities,” Lee Ziesche with Sane Energy Project and the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition. “While utility executives attempt to claim we have no choices beyond gas, we know fracked gas is simply a bridge to further climate chaos.”
Testifiers underscored the incompatibility of fossil fuel expansion in a Green New Deal world. Two rigorous reports released last month reveal that NESE is not only dangerous, but completely unnecessary, and that corporate utilities Con Ed and National Grid are manufacturing panic around gas demand to lock New York into decades of fracked gas use.
More climate disasters will be fossil fueled by the Williams pipeline. While Williams and National Grid would make millions of dollars off of this project, me and many other New Yorkers will pay the costs,” Rachel Rivera, NYCC board member and Sandy survivor. “My family can’t afford another Hurricane Sandy. My family can’t afford another Hurricane Maria. We couldn’t afford the first ones. While Williams, Con Ed and National Grid, are concerned about profit, we are concerned about our daughters, our homes, and our loved ones.
Over 60 elected officials and counting have signed a letter calling on Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to stop the project. They join the more than 250 groups, and 16,000+ people, already demanding Cuomo reject the project.
“We applaud the Environmental Committee’s decision to hold a hearing on the Williams NESE pipeline, and we know they will do the right thing by passing a resolution against this backwards project,” said Robert Wood with 350Brooklyn. “With Intro 1253—the “dirty buildings bill”— the council is showing tremendous leadership acting to reduce the city’s building emissions. The next step is to reject the gas that causes those emissions in the first place. The Williams NESE pipeline is a great place to start.”
This Thursday, April 18, hundreds of New Yorkers will march from City Hall over the Brooklyn Bridge demanding Cuomo stop this pipeline before Earth Day and the May 16th DEC deadline. Ahead of the march, the City Council is expected to pass Intro. 1253, the #DirtyBuildings legislation, a monumental and unprecedented leap toward a #GreenNewDeal4NY.
“If Cuomo wants to be a real climate leader and stand up to Trump, he’ll reject NESE and take transformative action for a Green New Deal that benefits all New Yorkers,” said Cata Romo with 350.org and the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition. “We’ll march this Thursday because New York has the opportunity to be a model for climate action to the rest of the nation and the world.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Members of the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition, and author of False Demand report, available for interview upon request. Full copies of testimonies are available upon request.
The Stop the Williams Pipeline coalition is organized by 350Brooklyn, 350.org, Food and Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Sane Energy Project, and Surfrider NYC Chapter
For Immediate Release: April 12, 2019
Contacts: Laura Shindell, email@example.com, 203-522-2130
Lee Ziesche, lee@SaneEnergyProject.org, 954-415-6228
MEDIA ADVISORY: CITY HALL - Monday, April 15 - 10:00 AM
City Council Public Hearing on Williams Pipeline
The New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on the proposed Williams fracked gas pipeline in NY lower harbor, and will consider a resolution opposing the project.
The hearing comes just days before the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition holds a rally and march across the Brooklyn Bridge on April 18, demanding New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reject the pipeline ahead of Earth Day and the May 16th DEC deadline.
WHAT: City Council Hearing on Williams fracked gas Pipeline
WHEN: Monday April 15 10:00 AM
WHERE: City Hall - Council Chambers
WHO: New Yorkers representing a broad spectrum of communities will testify at the hearing. Available for interview.
The Williams Company is seeking approval to construct the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline to ship fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. The pipeline would run underneath the sea bed, south of Staten Island and the Rockaway Peninsula, the very communities still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2019
Contact: Robert Wood, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition on Trump’s pipeline executive order
Coalition escalates call on Gov. Cuomo to stand up to Trump, stop pipeline, before April 18 march.
New York, NY -- Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order to expedite pipeline permitting and block states’ decision-making power on such projects, including the proposed Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) fracked gas pipeline. This comes the week before New Yorkers gear up to march over the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday, April 18, demanding Governor Andrew Cuomo stand up for New Yorkers and stop the pipeline ahead of Earth Day.
In response to the executive order, Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition issued the following statement:
“Trump’s latest executive order attempts to trample states’ legal right to prevent toxic projects like the proposed Williams NESE Pipeline from turning protected waters into corporate dumping grounds. New Yorkers are proud to have intervened to stop these unneeded assaults on our health and communities in the past. With the Williams Pipeline, Governor Cuomo has the chance to do that again. He can either stand up to Trump by denying the permits while proving he’s truly committed to a Green New Deal, or he can give in and let this unspeakably reckless administration have its way. The choice is his.”
Stop the Williams Pipeline coalition is organized by 350Brooklyn, 350org, Food and Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Sane Energy Project, and Surfrider NYC Chapter
For a downloadable version of this release CLick HERE
For more on the fight to Stop Williams explore this media pack, and visit www.stopthewilliamspipeline.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- April 4, 2019
60+ New York elected officials urge Cuomo to stop Williams fracked gas pipeline
Ahead of April 18 march over the Brooklyn Bridge, and NYDEC deadline, New Yorkers urge Cuomo to go fossil free and take real action on a Green New Deal
New York -- Over 60 New York elected officials -- including Speaker Corey Johnson and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer -- have signed a letter calling Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop the Williams fracked gas pipeline.
The elected officials on this mounting list join over 16,000 New Yorkers and more than 250 organizations pressuring Governor Cuomo to stop the pipeline. Cuomo and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) have until May 16 to announce a decision on a key permit for Williams.
“All of these politicians joining the call on Cuomo to stop the Williams fracked gas pipeline makes one thing clear: we don’t want it, we don’t need it. Not in New York, not anywhere,” said Cata Romo of 350.org and member of the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition.
Williams is proposing a 23-mile-long “Northeast Supply Enhancement” pipeline from New Jersey into New York Harbor, passing a mile and a half from Staten Island that will connect to an existing pipeline off Rockaway Beach, the very communities most devastated and still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. A rigorous report released last month revealed the proposed pipeline is not only dangerous, but also completely unnecessary.
“If Cuomo really wants to stand up to Trump and for New Yorkers, he’ll stop the Williams fracked gas pipeline,” said Romo. “While our communities continue to recover from Sandy, Governor Cuomo needs to walk the talk on a Green New Deal for New Yorkers. That means moving off toxic fossil fuels and transitioning to 100% renewables for all New Yorkers.”
Reports last week found the Trump administration is moving to block states’ decision-making power on fossil fuel projects, such as the Williams pipeline, through executive order. Also last week, Trump granted a new presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Like those fighting Keystone XL in the Midwest, we refuse to back down because we know pipelines represent the climate-killing energy of the past,” said Robert Wood of 350Brooklyn, a member of the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition.
On Thursday, April 18, two weeks from today, New Yorkers will march over the Brooklyn Bridge urging Cuomo to Stop Williams ahead of Earth Day. The NYC Environmental Protection Committee, headed by Councilmember Costa Constantinides, will dedicate its monthly hearing to the Williams pipeline two days before the march, on Monday, April 15.
"The 62 elected officials who signed this letter recognize the science and the dangers of fossil fuel infrastructure," said Laura Shindell of Food And Water Watch, a member of the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition. "It’s time for Governor Cuomo to join his colleagues, and commit to squashing this project that would contradict his own stated climate goals. Governor Cuomo must step up to the plate and reject all fossil fuel projects, starting with the Williams pipeline, if we're going to tackle the climate crisis in the short period of time we have left."
As Trump pushes pipelines, communities across the country are gearing up for the Promise to Protect, a pledge to stand with indigenous communities in the path of KXL. In New York, participants will prepare for non-violent direct action to stop fracked gas infrastructure, particularly if Cuomo fails to stop projects like the Williams NESE pipeline.
“After three long years, we’re at the pivotal moment when Governor Cuomo can prove to New Yorkers that he’s a true climate leader,” said Wood. “We’ve proven that we don’t need the gas; We’ve shown the damage the pipeline would do to our Harbor; and Hurricane Sandy was proof enough of the damage fossil fuels do to our climate. The choice couldn’t be clearer. Now all the Governor needs to do is make it.”
National Grid, the sole purchaser of the gas delivered by the proposed pipeline, submitted a letter to FERC asking they approve NESE by Friday, April 5. The Utility also released a video restating false claims about the need for the gas as well as false information about the climate benefits of gas.
“New Yorkers across the state deserve an energy policy that focuses on safe, clean, renewable energy, not a well-known greenhouse gas that further endangers our coastal communities and exacerbates the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy, to say nothing of its harmful effect on global climate change,” said State Senator Julia Salazar. “We stand in solidarity with all those opposed to this flawed proposal.”