NJ and NYC Citizens form Sane Energy Project

Monday, February 28, 2011


Sane Energy Project

Contacts Owen Crowley owen@panix.com (347) 559-6936
Clare Donohue clare@121studio.com (347) 452-9594

NJ and NYC Citizens form Sane Energy Project


Spectra Energy¹ has applied to install a network of gas pipelines through the densely populated New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. These pipes would be 30-42 inches in diameter and carry gas at up to 1500psi. A 30-inch pipeline operating at only 386psi exploded in San Bruno, CA last September, causing casualties and massive damage.

To alert the public, a new advocacy group sprang up – the Sane Energy Project. 481 municipalities, small businesses, civic organizations and individuals braved an obscure process mandated by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to intervene with serious concerns or outright opposition to the pipeline.

The plan provoked interventions from NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Borough President Scott Stringer; NYC Councilman James Gennaro; Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy; The Park Slope Food Co-op; Riverkeeper; Sierra Club; Josh Fox; Mark Ruffalo; and many other individuals and groups. Only one individual intervened in favor of the pipeline, along with some 24 energy companies and the NYS Public Service Commission.

The planned pipeline would travel up the New Jersey/Staten Island coast, from Bayonne to Jersey City, crossing the Hudson River near the Hoboken Path station, entering Manhattan at the West Side Highway, just below 14th Street. The high population density along the route raises grave concerns about pipeline emissions and the potential for explosions or terrorist acts. Meanwhile, Spectra has a checkered compliance record, with Texas Eastern ranking 7th worst based on EPA penalties assessed in 2009.

Despite Spectra’s claims of “Comprehensive Stakeholder Outreach,” very few New Yorkers are aware of this project. Even City officials were largely unaware until Sane Energy Project contacted them. West Villagers, having barely recovered from the trauma of 9/11, were alarmed to learn about a potential hazard so close to where they live, work, and shop.

FERC has not announced a specific timeline for the Spectra application, however, a draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected soon. A brief public comment period of only 30 days will follow. If FERC approves, Spectra hopes to begin construction in January 2012.

Sane Energy Project believes that a pipeline with as much impact as this one, in an area as densely populated as Metro New York and New Jersey, deserves a broader review than is being provided. The concerns of the public must be addressed. The question of whether or not this pipeline ought to be built, not just where and under what conditions, must be given full consideration.

Citizens and businesses across New York City and Eastern New Jersey have spoken clearly. They oppose a rubber stamp approval of this dangerous project.

For, references, visuals and an extended text describing how the pipeline links into Marcellus shale gas development, please visit http://bit.ly/fF1p9h

¹ through its subsidiaries Texas Eastern Transmission, LP and Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC
Sane Energy Project opposes the development, transport and export of shale gas.

We support investment in renewable energy and the goal of zero carbon dependence by 2030.

Participating volunteers from: Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, CDOG, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, NYH2O, No Gas Pipeline, Sierra Club, United for Action
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