Monday, April 14, 2014

Comprehension Quiz: Rockaway Pipeline according to Sane Energy: a Learning Tool

Comprehension quiz: Look at the first sentence on the left and the map beside it and see if you can spot the errors.

It would be hard to really do justice to all the mad rants and ramblings of Clare Donohue and friends at Sane Energy properly but I thought I would just take one simple message for starters-- one long sentence as it lines up with the map beside it. The map is small in the picure above, but even in this screencapture of an e-blast if one squints one can make out that there is a blue line representing the rockaway pipeline project under FERC's review and a red pipeline representing national grid's BQI project. The latter, at the time of the writing of this post (June 2012), had already been approved some 6 months prior. Even in this singular sentence Sane Energy can't accurately describe what the map depicts. Ms. Donohue or the writer cannot distinguish between the two colors and pipeline projects and also inaccurately states the pipeline runs across newly restored wetlands in Jamaica Bay. The map (and this is one of the more simplistic maps and easily understood information about the project) actually depicts something quite different from the words that are written. All the islands of the bay are also well off to the east of where the projects are going.

Bottom line:  Even when crafting one sentence and with a map before her very eyes Clare Donohue cannot get the details straight.

This might seem picayune but as a spokesperson for Sane Energy, Clare has gone on the radio and in the press attempting to explain things, FERC's permitting process being just one example and the entire pipeline infrasructure whether into NYC or all across NY state another, which are many many times more complex than one simple map. The Rockaway Lateral Project itself was described as unique and complex according to Williams based on its location primarily, pretty specifically the metering station being located in Historic Hangars in Floyd Bennett Field mentioned, and yet an above ground piece of infrastructure the size of about a football field is noticeably entirely absent from Sane Energy's one sentence inaccurate description of this project.

The FERC process on natural gas pipeline permits as summed up by Sane Energy is essentially a rubber stamp. In reality there are multiple agencies and permits, approvals, review etc involved.  It is not at all simple. The permitting process is actually exceedingly complex and layered and each project is in fact reviewed for what it is quite specifically. The Rockaway Pipeline project is not an extension of the Spectra pipeline into NYC nor are the issues it involves simply a rehashing of the controversy over the Spectra NY/NJ project. The projects are in fact quite different. And the people who are running around pretending to educate on this project, providing a false narrative on the Rockaway Project, have spent most of their time completely ignoring most of the specific details and huge volumes of written material about the project. What they factually have done is get in the way of the people who actually have read that material and know what the project is.


Katie McFadden said...

Hey Karen

This is Katie McFadden from The Wave Newspaper. I'm trying to do a story on the pipeline and I'd like to speak with you if possible. Please shoot me an email at as soon as possible, so I can get in touch either today or tomorrow, thanks!

TDG said...

Hi Karen,

My name is Zack Paganini and I'm visiting town for a geography thesis I'm writing on how the community has changed since Hurricane Sandy, and this story and your writings about it here and in the comments sections of other sites have really piqued my interest. I'd love the chance to talk to you about it further, preferably in person! If you could contact me at I'd really appreciate it, you seem one of the most knowledgeable around about the project and I'd love to gain some insights from you!