The bill proposing a natural gas pipeline extension through the New York area that passed through the House of Representatives earlier this year has just been approved by the Senate. The Bloomberg administration gave a statement saying that the pipeline that would be laid through Jacob Riis Park and the Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens and down through southern Brooklyn will be given the green light when re-passed by the House in November. The controversial pipeline is meant to bring cleaner energy to the New York City area so that we are not reliant upon foreign oil, but natural gas brings a slew of problems of its own, such as fracking and potential hazardous leaks. In the fight for a more sustainable future, green energy sources like wind and solar power would be a much cleaner and less invasive solution.

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The Brooklyn Queens pipeline proposal is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to work toward a more sustainable city. Rather than number 4 and number 6 heating oils, the proposal calls to tap into a massive natural gas pipeline that runs from the Gulf Coast to New York, adding three miles of pipeline in the boroughs. Although natural gas is “cleaner” than oil, it is still not a renewable or green energy source.

The motion has been met with opposition from Brooklyn and Queens residents, and environmental advocates. The process of installing the pipeline will require digging up wildlife areas around Jamaica Bay and Floyd Bennett Field, disturbing ecosystems that span both land and water, and potentially some residential areas as well. Groups like the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline have also brought to light the concern of possible explosions, leaks or ruptures and their catastrophic effects, especially in the densely populated New York area.

If Mayor Bloomberg is trying to wean New York off of foreign oil and into a more renewable future, rather than taking all of these risks, would it not just be easier, and more sustainable to implement more wind, solar and tidal power in the New York region?

Image © John W. Schulze via Creative Commons