People power shown in pipeline decision
To the editor:
We will never know exactly what caused Kinder Morgan to suspend its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project, but I'm sure its a combination of its purported reason (couldn't find enough customers), market changes and the resistance it encountered by thousands of local residents.
Two years ago, when Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline was formed to fight the NED project and inform the affected areas about its dangers, I did not think we had a chance of winning. It was a classic David and Goliath story. About two months ago, I began to think we could win.
Five Rensselaer County towns had passed resolutions against the pipeline, as well as the county legislature. New blasting regulations had been approved in Rensselaer and Albany counties. One town in Albany County passed a resolution against the pipeline and two more were in the process of considering it.
Our two New York senators and one congressional representative had filed statements with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in opposition to the pipeline and several N.Y. state legislators had come out publicly against the pipeline.
We have 1,500 people signed up on our email list and were regularly getting hundreds of attendees at our forums. SNYFGP had created a core group of activists who were dedicated and busy. We formed a new group to fight fossil fuel infrastructure across New York State — United Against Fossil Fuels. I felt the tide was shifting.
Wednesday's decision by Kinder Morgan to suspend the project was a wonderful vindication. But we will continue to monitor the situation and be ready to jump back into the fray should Kinder Morgan choose to revive its pipeline proposal.
In the meantime, there are many more important projects similar to the Northeast Energy Direct project that we need to try to stop. The fights against the Kinder Morgan's Connecticut Expansion project, the Spectra AIM Project, several gas-powered power-plants, the Pilgrim Pipeline, the Seneca Lake Salt Caverns (proposed to be filled for gas storage) and the "bomb trains" all need our expertise and energy.
We must also begin to create the alternative we need in order to leave all fossil fuels in the ground. Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline will forge onward with our newly formed group of activists to continue fighting climate change. See you at our next meeting on Tuesday, May 17, 6:30 p.m. at the Schodack Senior Center. Check out our website: stopnypipeline.org
Becky Meier, Canaan, N.Y. The writer is co-founder of Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline.