Thursday, August 30, 2012
The Rockaway Pipeline Again in the News
I love that picture above that I took from Gateway National Recreation Area's facebook page. It's the kids of the past (circa 1970's), campers at Floyd Bennett Field's Ecology Village, looking out at you. It could be the kids of today and it could be the kids of the future. It's a fitting picture because Gateways purpose, the words of its enabling legislation in fact, is to protect an area for present and future generations.
The NY Times finally got around to covering the Rockaway Pipeline today (six months after the story broke, beat by NY1, The Rockawave, Sheepshead Bites, L Magazine, Canarsie Courier and on and on) and amazingly, they didn't call the bill that will authorize the project by its number or name and allowed Williams officials to go on record as saying that the congressional authoriziation is an "early, early, early step" in the project without any opposition to that statement except for some vague reference to conspiracy theories on internet boards. (These I have never seen, although who knows they could be out there. Rumors abound on anything.)
I've read through all the documents in FERC on the project (PF09-8) and we are not "early early early" in the path of this project. They prefiled in 2009. 2009 was "early, early, early". The latter half of 2012 not so early. Certainly not three earlies in a row.
Any congressional approval (the house or senate) should have at the very least been made after an environmental impact statement or the FERC approval process for the interstate pipeline was finished. It certainly should not have passed the house without the public even hearing about the pipeline project or the bill.
What the company does not want to say is that the matter of whether or not a natural gas pipeline and an industrial facility belongs in this park is not up to the FERC commission or the Mayor or the head of a gas company. It is up to the people that the park belongs to, the citizens of NYC and this country, and the legislators that represent us in Congress should not be passing bills in either chamber of Congress without our input. There is a group collecting signatures quite easily at the beach and in the park against the bill that will allow this project. I'm hoping that it's not easy for the Senate to pass this bill.