Friday, October 12, 2012

What Happens When Top Down Decisions Are Made


The people on the bottom get screwed. In the case of HR2606 and natural gas pipeline facilities and infrastructure in Gateway National Recreation Area, it's actually a heck of a lot of people on the bottom getting the screws put to them and not so many people on top making decisions for all with no consultation.

How high up was the testimony in support of HR 2606 given in Congress while the public remained in the dark about a pipeline right of way and a very special use permit for industrial infrastructure in their park? Well the two people who testified in support of the bill in Congress, Dr. Herbert Frost and Dr. Stephanie Toothman aren't your average rangers. What does that mean do you think the chances are that other inappropriate uses for badly managed historic resources in the National Park Service might fall victim to industrial or corporate takeover?

Fellow gardener Barbara's VETO HR 2606 petition nails it on the head. HR2606 has national significance. And if the bill can be passed and put into action all the while Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary of the Interior boast about the great things they are doing for Gateway and Floyd Bennett Field it's just twice as much an example of that topdown run around.

Some overly ambitious plans were made for Floyd Bennett Field and recommended by a Blue Ribbon Task Force put together for the purpose of planning a bright future for the park and none of the very important people who worked on it have come out defending the park from industrial takeover by natural gas companies. So far the Mayor and Secretary of Interior's only concrete plans for improving Gateway and promoting it and Floyd Bennett Field as an example of a great urban park that supprosedly supports the Obama administration's Great Outdoor Iniative is running a high pressure gas pipeline through it and allowing industrial facilities to be built in historic hangars.

The president's iniative calls for community-driven solutions, not for decisions made from the top down without the public's input or consent. Everyone thinks this is a story about gas, but its not. It's the story about what democracy passes for today. And I can't wait to see the signage that NPS comes up with for it. It's historic legislation after all.

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