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.


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