Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rockaway Pipeline -- the Myths and Misinformation keep going and going and going

The signs usually accurately represent what the activists are against-- The latest Rockaway pipeline fighters most accurately would be described as being against "All Pipelines and All markets" 

The latest piece of propaganda (and it is that or just a really inaccurate news report on the Rockaway Pipeline project) came via Al Jazeera this week and just like Mr. Pinto who wrote about the pipeline for Gothamist and Vice, the reporter who wrote the article is supposed to be highly educated, specifically in the field of journalism. There are too many things wrong with Peter Moskowitz's rendition of reality on the rockaway pipeline project to name them all but for starters, and probably most importantly, he has chosen to use unreliable and uninformed sources to tell the tale. Maureen Healy for one is an unreliable source as the coalition she belongs to lacks merit. The other sources appear to be a woman who is new to the Rockaway area and an activist involved with another issue, cycling. What is false or alternately misleading about Mr. Moskowitz story? Almost everything. One has to wonder right off the bat why it is that Mr. Moskowitz and/or his editor at Al Jazeera could not find a photo of Jacob Riis beach and instead used a photo of a beach miles away from it. The photo that accompanied the story of course fits in nicely with the false narrative of the story-- that number one it is residents in the rockaways who are telling this story and who are opposed to this project because they are deeply concerned about their safety because of this project. Almost the exact opposite though is true and that can be said for almost every other detail in the rest of Peter Moskowitz's "report" as well.

 Ms. Victoria Barber, who may or may not be using the destruction by Hurricane Sandy to promote her art, is the latest to promote the myth that the people of the Rockaways did not know about HR2606 because the bill was magically written, introduced and moved through both houses of Congress and on to the Presidents desk in the time period following Hurricane Sandy while they were in the dark and cold. Of course Maureen Healy of CARP, the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, the other source absolutely knows that this is not the case. Maureen Healy knows that thousands of people signed petitions and wrote letters against that bill prior to Hurricane Sandy. She may not have run a post card writing campaign against that bill single-handedly like Joe did but she knows very well that the greatest number of people who opposed that bill were Gateway National Recreation Area users.

There isn't a kind way to say this-- Maureen Healy, more often than not, in her activism chooses lies or myth over truth. Al Jazeera's rendition of the rockaway pipeline project is like most renditions--- long on hype and fear and really really short on fact. And that is the most kind thing that can be said about that news article. If Al Jazeera was concerned about getting the facts straight on the Rockaway Pipeline project, the reality is that Peter Moskowitz' entire story would likely need to be retracted. It is that far from the truth.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Love NY: Don't Frack it Up and the Misinformation Highway

Betta Broad of Catskills Mountainkeeper and Susan Van Dolsen of SAPE and other antifracking groups

It will be impossible for Betta Broad and Susan Van Dolsen to produce an "episode" on the Rockaway Pipeline project that comes anywhere near truth when their sources are without merit and their knowledge of the topic they are covering is minimal. The result will be more confusion but they won't care because their point will only be to draw attention to the topic they care about and as long as they get the word frack in there it will be all good.

 When Nick Pinto who seems to specialize in pipeline opposition covered the Rockaway project for Gothamist and Vice, some of the reasons his reports were riddled in error are the same. From even the first sentence where he appears to think that Riis beach is in Brooklyn, his report demonstrates not his mastery of the topic he is writing about, but the opposite in fact. The Rockaway Pipeline is 26 inches in diameter with only a certain right of way on either side of its path. It does not pass under two beaches, (Riis and Tilden) but rather one. These errors only have to do with the location of a single cylinder. There are multiple maps on the project in different reports as well as actual maps of the city that one can even view on their computer so it is not like Mr. Pinto needed a FOIA request to get the details straight. Is it picayune to point out that Nick Pinto cannot even get the location of the project down straight, never mind other details more complicated than where this one pipe is going and what borough the Rockaway peninsula is in? It isn't when you consider that all of the activists have made it a point to confuse where this project is being built as well. Nick Pinto's errors are a result of him not knowing the topic he is writing about and him getting information on it from people who also don't know what they are talking about. Who are those people? They are defined as activists. Their activism is mostly connected (although not entirely) to antifracking opposition.

 Is it picayune to also point out that Mr Pinto also inaccurately states that Congressman Grimm introduced HR2606 in 2012? At least he didn't quote Clare Donahue's insane theory from his prior "article" in the gothamist about how less than a month after Sandy, Grimm pushed the law through Congress. The National Park Service and the city of NY in fact give testimony on that bill in the tail end of September 2011, more than a year prior to Mr. Pinto's version of reality, a hearing was had in Senate subcommittee in March of 2012, and the Senate passed their amended version of HR2606 a month prior to Hurricane Sandy. If a reporter cannot even get the who, the what, the when and the where down straight they are not doing quality journalism.

Mr. Pinto's reporting is flawed because he won't do his own research and because he doesn't understand that his sources (and they are activists) on a topic he is uninformed about are not trustworthy. The team of people who came together to produce misinformation on the rockaway project have unfortunately demonstrated that certain activists cannot be taken at their word. Those activists are not just effecting reporters. They actually are influencing people all over New York State and elsewhere, everywhere that a natural gas pipeline is proposed. Remember that they are pretending to be experts on a permitting process that is more complicated than a simple map of a straight line.

Journalists it seems won't look at what all of this means from a broader perspective. What has occurred with the Rockaway Pipeline project, the activism surrounding it and how the media has covered the issues is not actually a small unimportant story. It is one of the important stories of the day.

The militant survivalists, antifrackers and occupying forces who Mr. Pinto deems it important to give a platform to, have again decided they will demonstrate down at Riis.  As they say this will be a commentary on "what world we want to see". I want to see informed citizens in the world not the opposite.  Those activists don't care about the world I would choose to see though.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Let's give Peter Eliscu Another Moment to Shine with the Rockaway Pipeline Project

Peter Eliscu, Photographs the NYC Cargo Bike Collective's Epic Sign "Get the Frack Outta New York City" at Riis beach.

Let's not just celebrate Mr. Eliscu's photography (link to Mr. Eliscu's photographs being used by Gary Goff of Brooklyn for Peace's "opinion" piece on the Rockaway Pipeline in the wave) or video making skills. I will amplify his words here as written to FERC.

"The burden of proof for justifying the approval of a project should lie squarely on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This is not an instance of “benign until proven harmful,” but just the opposite. The Commission seems to have taken the erroneous position on project after project that it has no responsibility to insure that the public, the environment, and the planet itself are protected by its actions. This is the crux of the matter, and it is unconscionable. No project should be given a green light without demonstrating beyond a reasonable scientific doubt that it will not jeopardize the citizens who are in reality the foundation of government. Contrary to this underlying principle of democracy, the majority of the members of the Commission appear to have aligned themselves with the fossil fuel industry, which clearly poses a threat to the safety, health, and future of the planet. In my opinion, by voting in the past to approve dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project now under consideration, these individuals have broken the trust that was given them not only by the residents of New York State, but by the citizens in all states. It is time to rectify this betrayal of trust and reject any further incursions of the gas industry infrastructure into New York State."

Like most of the all-pipeline, ban fracking now, all fossil fuel and sometimes all energy other than wind and solar and also capitalism fighters, Mr. Eliscu fails to understand that FERC does not write our laws. Rather it is our elected representatives that do. And like most of the people who wrote into FERC under docket CP13-36 and PF09-8, he addressed not the particular project the docket was about, but some other issue, in this case his opinion that FERC has broken the trust given them not only by residents of New York State but by the citizens in all states by voting to approve fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Mr. Eliscu it seems can't even distinguish what fossil fuel infrastructure FERC even has jurisdiction over.

The Rockaway Pipeline project required an Act of Congress. In that sense part of the way the project moved forward wasn't abstractly about what we call democracy by any means. HR2606, which is now public law 112-197, was about a right of way for a natural gas pipeline through a park, the beach at riis and golf course primarily, and it was also about the lease of historic structures in the park to Williams for a metering station. What is not debated among people, whatever their position on the project might be or was, is the fact that most people didn't know about the bill or the project until the bill passed in the House and the fact is that the first public meetings on the project occurred after all testimony had already been heard in both houses of Congress on that bill as well.

But let's celebrate Mr. Eliscu illuminating for us what the issues are and what democracy is according to him.

What the NYC Bike Cargo Collective thinks this project has to do with cargo bikes, who knows? Some people like to party. Others just like to protest.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Is that the Damascus Citizens for Safe Energy's lawyer at recent Riis beach Rockaway Pipeline protest?

Is this Damascus Citizens for Safe Energy's lawyer Jeff Zimmerman at recent rockaway pipeline protest event held by unnamed activists spewing pure nonsense?

It looks a lot like him to me.

Environmenttv by the way produces some truly fascinating material. Charlie Olson, this Duffernutter and Mr. Eliscu, much like Kim Fraczek, Erik Mcgregor and Clare Donahue surely deserve to be famous.

And now for a new vocabulary word: Blockupy brought to the world by the folks it seems the gentleman who looks like Damascus Citizen's lawyer Jeff Zimmerman was at the beach with.

New York Year Zero coins the phrase Blockupy!

 Who makes up Damascus Citizens for Safe Energy anyway? Well at least these two women do and it is awfully strange to me that two women who belong to this group which is registered as an intervenor in the Rockaway docket could be speak so profoundly fact free about this project. What are Ruth Hardinger and Barbara Arindall described as? Amazingly enough-- artists.

Alternate title for this post: Exactly what game are Damascus Citizens for Safe Energy and friends, including New York Year Zero, playing at with the Rockaway Pipeline Project?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Peter Eliscu's Rockaway Pipeline Protest Video Full of Misinformation Back On the Web

Luke no last name Edumacating

 Peter Eliscu, who from videos at least seems to be enthralled with the Occupy Movement, recently put his video of the recent Rockaway Pipeline Protest back up online ( a revised version). How much misinformation does this video contain?
  Unnamed edumucater

 Well this particular gentleman, who gave a long speech, has nearly every detail wrong about the pipeline from its depth below the beach to its depth underwater at sea to what "protected" Riis beach to the law that was passed and why it was necessary to the time that act (HR2606) moved though Congress. According to the engineers, the metering station is also designed (although the details of the design are not public for critical infrastructure reasons) to capture at least some of the methane that might otherwise be released from Williams system to deliver to National Grids. Nearly every detail that comes out of his mouth on this project is in fact completely false. Never mind the fact that the Rockaway Pipeline project is much more about redistributing supplies than about incremental gas and that the project being reviewed right now that appears to be following it, is in fact an LNG import project known as Port Ambrose.

 The reason for this is quite simple. One big reason this young man is spectacularly misinformed about the rockaway pipeline project is because of information he has received via fellow activists who have spent two long years upending reality. The other is a combination of lack of communication by those in charge and failure by the media to convey factual information on this project. The facts on the Rockaway Pipeline project are buried in very very long papertrails. Those papertrails are available online. They are in FERC documents that date back to 2009 and they are in the Congressional record on HR2606 as well.

 Is misinfomation instructive or is it destructive? Well if you are someone walking around in the world who prefers to know what is really going on, it is in fact destructive. Who is this young man being encouraged by? Well unfortunately right now he is being spurred on by quite a few environmental leaders. Did Bill McKibben tweet about no rockaway pipeline's rally and let's remember these folks are unnamed and spectacularly misinformed about this pipeline? Yes he did.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Mike Check

David Braun of United for Action, Americans Against fracking with microphone Mike? Affirmative.
Catherine Skopic at just one of the gas pipeline hearings she has attended. Mike? Check.(as in put in a check in the box to signify yes.) Did Ms. Skopic former art teacher in Mineola school district curse at me at the rockaway hearing where she came to give a speech on fracking she has likely given before? Yup.

  Kim Fraczek of Occupy the Pipeline, Sane Energy, The People's Puppets and Foodnot Fracking at FERC protest likely peforming the FERC rubber stamp machine song set to the tune of Yellow Submarine.

If you haven't witnessed people screaming into microphones about things they know little about or mic-checking it Occupy style whereever, you really are missing out on the story of our times.

Occupiedland (Now this should be a documentary)

In Waging Non-violence, the latest mythmaker a Mr. Yates McKee writes about the militant survivalists of Woodbine 1882 currently "organizing" to stop the "planned" Rockaway Pipeline with "local groups" through meals, beach parties sports and an Arts Demonstration Against the Pipeline this August 9th. Mr. McKee it seems like most of the artists and revolutionaries doesn't know what he is talking about. The Rockaway Pipeline isn't just planned. It is under construction.

The title of the article "Art after Occupy". Like I said-- you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Yesterday was Throwback Thursday so below I'm throwing out what happened the last time Bill Mckibben organized an anti-pipeline event in NYC and the artists represented. Occupy artists cooked up a Cantastoria where they didn't just shave years off the Rockaway Pipeline's history. They promoted a conspiracy theory that the gas the project will deliver is secretly for export.

What Was More important for Activists than the truth

Occupy the Pipeline goes out for a sail   


and like the rest of the world right now, documenting themselves constantly and posting everything to a social networking site for posterity.

  No wonder all the facts on the project couldn't get out. Getting the details out would have required real work and the activists were too busy having some fun.