Protestors lined up on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn yesterday to protest the Rockaway Pipeline, a three mile gas pipeline that would run from the Atlantic Ocean beneath Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. Last year, President Obama approved the plan to build the pipeline under Jamaica Bay all the way to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, but opponents argue that the project could create health and safety issues for Queen and Brooklyn residents. They also expressed concern that National Grid has already begun to build the infrastructure even though the project is still under federal review.
The opposition group, which includes members of Occupy the Pipeline, the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline (CARP), and Occupy Wall Street-Environmental Solidarity Working Group (OWS-ESWG), warned that 80 natural gas-related explosions occurred last year, and that the area slated for construction was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
“This area was affected terribly by the hurricane. Risking so many lives to fatten a pipeline company’s pockets is unacceptable,” said JK Canepa of the New York Climate Action Group.
Opponents also pointed out that constructing a natural gas pipeline might generate revenue and jobs for the state, but is irresponsible at a time when renewable energy resources should be prioritized.
“We are also warning the public that a liquefied natural gas port is proposed off the shores of Long Island. The direction we need to be going is toward renewable energy, the time is now,” said Maureen Healy, a member of CARP and OTP.