FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2012
Contact: Patrick Robbins (917) 364 7461/Kim Fraczek: (646) 387 3180
EMERGENCY PROTEST AS SPECTRA PIPELINE TAKES CRUCIAL CONSTRUCTION STEP IN WEST VILLAGE
This Saturday, December 1, at 1 PM, residents and activists will protest construction of the Spectra Pipeline, a high-pressure gas pipeline being built at Gansevoort Street and the West Side Highway. If completed it will bring ‘fracked’ gas from Pennsylvania and New Jersey into densely populated NYC. The emergency protest was called because organizers learned construction, which had been halted for the season, will resume for a crucial ‘pullback’. During this step, the pipe is pulled back through a hole under the Hudson River in one long continuous, uninterruptible operation.
Over four months, a coalition of residents, artists and activists called Occupy the Pipeline has waged a multi-tiered campaign to stop the pipeline’s construction because if it is completed the pipeline poses serious health risks to all of NYC from possible explosions and increased exposure to radon. The construction of the pipeline will also increase reliance on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of shale gas extraction.
Spectra was given permission to start construction despite a pending state-level lawsuit pending challenging the construction’s legality, and despite a pending federal-level lawsuit that will get underway in several weeks. Thousands have expressed opposition via comments to the federal agency in charge [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)], letters to state, federal and local government, and continuous actions and protests at the site that have resulted in eight arrests.
“Spectra Energy Corporation and their government allies are trying to rush this through without listening to the people,” said Monica Hunken, an organizer with Occupy the Pipeline. “They think we’re not paying attention; they’re wrong — we will not let one drop of gas flow through it.”
The protest will be highly visual: participants will have images and mementos to symbolize what they are protecting, such as photos of friends and lovers, or their pets.