Aerial view of the area where the Brooklyn-Queens pipeline would run
Brooklyn and Queens homes may soon be powered by natural gas instead of heavily polluting number 4 and number 6 heating oils. On February 7, a bill for construction of a new three-mile pipeline sailed through the House of Representatives. The pipeline would traverse under Jacob Riis Park and the Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens and through a small part of southern Brooklyn. The plan has been met with little criticism, and NY1 reports that it is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative for a more sustainable city powered by cleaner energy. However, we can’t help but be ticked off by this, as natural gas is not a sustainable resource nor is it a source of clean, renewable energy.
The new pipeline, proposed in a bill sponsored by Congressman Michael Grimm, would tap into a massive one in the Atlantic Ocean that runs from the Gulf Coast to New York. Yes, the natural gas would replace the dirty fuels number four and number six oil, but why can’t we replace these with solar, wind, and/or tidal power? All of these have demonstrated viability in the city, and there are major projects underway to bring more of all three types of power to the area.
Much of the reason that the project has been met with little opposition is that officials are promising that it will be unobtrusive to the residents in Brooklyn and Queens, and co-bill sponsor Gregory Meeks said that the project will also draw funds to help restore the parks which it will intersect, including the Gateway National Recreation Area and Floyd Bennett Field. The bill’s sponsors also say that building of the Brooklyn-Queens pipeline would also provide 300 local jobs and generate $265 million in construction activity.
The pipeline has been faced with little opposition, an uncommon feat for a project of its size and jurisdiction. Although the bill is still being reviewed, many are already considering it a done deal.