Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Accounting for HR2606 Passage

Some day not too far in the future NPS may have to tackle the all important question of interpretation or signage for the new metering and regulating station proposed for historic hangers at Floyd Bennett Field. Perhaps tours can be given recounting the history of Barren Island, filling for the airport and the passage of the important legislation that will bring the natural gas industry into the park. Upon HR2606 passing in the wee hours on Sept 22nd, Boss Bloomberg offered a press release thanking some people: "I want to thank Senator Schumer who sponsored this important legislation as well as Senators Bingaman and Murkowski who helped make passage possible. I would also like to acknowledge the important role of the National Park Service in this process." It's interesting that he thanked Senator Schumer for "sponsoring" the legislation as there is no public record of the Senator's role in the passing of this bill. The senator was never on record as having a position either in favor or against the bill and HR2606 is a bill with very few "sponsors". But since the mayor thanked him we can assume he had a behind the scenes role in the bill's passing. On the other hand, the National Park Service is on record twice testifying in support of this bill that authorizes a natural gas pipeline right of way through the beach and alienation of a chunk of parkland at Floyd Bennett Field to Williams Transco and National Grid for their metering and regulating facility. And while the official spin is that the bill will only allow NPS to negotiate the terms of a lease to these companies, it's interesting to know that one of the arguments in support of the bill made by legislators in the House was that the National Park Service had already come to an agreement about leasing those hangars to the natural gas companies. So what's left to negotiate? The dollar amount?

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

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