Sunday, September 30, 2012

Within a Week of Senate Quietly Passing Legislation to Authorize A Pipeline through Gateway, a Gas and Oil Spill in the Area

I wonder if it will escape the notice of the legislators who quitely passed HR2606 last week that National Grid, who seem to be responsible for a major oil and gas spill in Paergdebat Bay which feeds into Jamaica Bay have a connected project that is so far not under FERC's jurisdiction for the Rockaway Lateral and will be constructing two new pipes under the Marine Park Bridge this winter. National Grid's Brooklyn Queens Interconnect Project is linked to the Rockaway Lateral Project in more ways than one (they will be operating facilities in Floyd Bennett Field M&R station and their pipeline will connect with Williams pipe under Jacob Riis in the Rockaways and so far it doesn't seem to require an enivornmental impact statement even. With a little luck, someone in power will recognize that this bill requires a closer look, real debate and input from concerned citizens and park users.
More posts on Rockaway Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area, HR2606 and the metering and regulating station in the park at Floyd Bennett Field here

Friday, September 28, 2012

They Want to Build A Metering Station in Floyd Bennett Field, part of the National Park Service?

Right on top of the community garden I belong to and in a national park that Department of Interior Ken Salazar and New York City Mayor Bloomberg are saying they will hold up as an example of what a great urban park should be? Since it's their people, both the city reps and National Park Service representatives that have testified in support of the legislation (and throughout its journey through the house, entirely unknown to the people) I guess their answer is industrial is the wave of the future for urban parks. Now I could be wrong, but I thought that the role of the National Park Service was actually to protect parks from industrial activities, not promote them and that an example of a great urban park wouldn't include natural gas facilities entirely outside of the mission of that park.

HR 2606 stinks. It's path through both Houses of Congress stinks. And if the President signs this thing into law, then I guess he's going to have a little odor on him too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Asters


Some people think you need honey to catch flies. There are no flies in these pictures, just a shiny green native bee and a beetle. But you can catch flies with asters too.

In NYC's oldest and largest community garden. In an old airport, Floyd Bennett Field, which for 40 years was protected by the National Park Service, but is now just one step closer to being a glorified industrial park.
When the history is told of this airport it ought to include the path of HR2606, legislation that authorizes a pipeline right of way under one of NYC's most beautiful beaches and the appropriation of a piece of the oldest urban national park in the country to the natural gas industry for industrial use. The path has been swift, and undemocratic. Unless of course, pulling bills out of committee and pushing them to vote in the last hours of the day on the last day of session before elections, before NY State Senators or the Senators on the National Parks Subcommittee would even dream of acknowledging their position on the issue to the public, is a good example of democracy.
It's going to be interesting to see how National Park Director Jon Jarvis squares the lack of public participation and oversight in the decision to allow industry to build in this park. How he is going to square this with his NPS's Civic Engagement Policy?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

HR 2606 passes in the Senate (say what?)

Talk about a fast track. This thing is a bullet. Straight through the heart too. Guess Senators don't have time to read postcards from constituents. Saw a strange press release from the Mayor about Schumer sponsoring the legislation and Bingaman and Murkowski making it possible. Weird. All I found on this site was that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee was discharged and that it passed with a Bingaman subsitute amendment. Busy day for legislators. As of last week this bill was still in subcommittee with no movement.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Been A While

since the last Pokeweed bloom and it's been a while since I found some time to stop and admire the roadside wilds of Brooklyn, but I remembered to take a minute today to do that on the bike ride down to the garden.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline on TV

Another CARPing Stakeholder in our National Parks flag made by Maureen & Joe B. at the am setup.

You know what they say. If you see it on TV (link to NY1 news coverage which aired on television yesterday, although I'm hearing that video may be limited to TimeWarner customers), then it must be true.

In this case, there really is a coalition of people (CARP) opposing HR 2606 and the Rockaway Lateral Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area with a piece of the park (historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field) given over directly to the Natural Gas Industry for a metering and regulating facility. We met at the beach on Sunday, where the land connects with the water, connected in a common cause. We met to connect with beach goers and park users in order to connect them with the legislative process that will either authorize this use of our park or not. We had a petition for people to sign and we had some fun too.

Seems fitting to me that NY1 came on down to beach to cover opposition to the project, as it was their news story in February when folks first caught wind of HR 2606. At the time, it was reported that the bill "quietly sailed through the House" and also that "unlike other proposed pipeline projects, this one was met with little criticism". It may have been true that their was little criticism from the legislators in the House and other politicians, but ever since that story broke, their has been news of criticism, questions and concern about this project, which leads one to believe that the major reason the legislation sailed so quietly through the House is because no one knew about it.

Now that they are beginning to know on the beach and in the park, thousands have signed a petition against the legislation, both online and in person.

(All links in this article are to local news coverage (and one letter to the editor) either of the pipeline project or outrage against it. NY1, Canarsie Courier and Sheepshead Bites.)

Maureen's "Another CARPing Stakeholder in the National Parks" flags representing for the millions of users of Gateway National Recreation Area