No Gas Pipeline in Jersey City

Erg … the Gasland screening in my earlier promoting comment was last month, not tonight. My bad – 100% my bad – not KendalJames’ fault. – promoted by Rosi

On September 9, a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno, CA exploded, killing 8 people and injuring at least 60, some critically. According to the NTSB, an electrical problem caused the explosion. There were 47 pipeline incidents in the U.S. last year that caused serious injury or death. So in Jersey City, they’re trying to stop a pipeline.

If you go to the activist website you get the picture right away – noted shady energy outfit Spectra Energy wants to run a 30″ pipe – identical to the one that exploded in San Bruno – straight through Jersey City and into Manhattan. You could say that New York gets the gas and New Jersey gets nothing, but that’s not true – with the pipeline, Jersey City would assume a permanent dark cloud of grave danger and potential catastrophe; not to mention a blast radius that includes numerous schools, churches, homes and playgrounds, two hospitals, a chemical storage company and multiple redevelopment sites. (“Jersey City – come for the cheap real estate, stay for the slow poisoning and threat of fiery annihilation?”)

The activists behind No Gas Pipeline and their supporters do have some help in trying to keep this awfulness out of Jersey City, including Mayor Jeremiah Healy and his ’12 competition, councilman Steven Fulop (the earliest public supporter of the anti-pipeline effort), the NJ DEP, The Sierra Club and others. So if no one wants the pipeline built, why can’t they stop it or get it rerouted? Because in order for that to happen, Governor Christie must formally file for Intervenor status with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – the body that (almost always) approves of these kinds of projects. (Funny thing – Spectra Energy board member Nora Brownell was Commissioner of FERC under Bush-Cheney. Weird!) Just last week, Christie filed to intervene in the construction of a pipeline between Asbury Park and Middlesex County. “I will not subject our state’s shore and economy to the environmental risks that are inseparable from such a project,” said Christie of the pipeline that would be located 16 miles offshore. Yet he has yet to indicate any opposition Spectra’s plan for a pipe right through one of New Jersey’s most densely populated and economically vibrant areas.

Spectra Energy had agreed to come speak at a No Gas Pipeline-sponsored community forum scheduled to take place last week, but they bailed and instead decided to put up their own website, called Despite such clever maneuvering, Spectra isn’t actually interested in persuading the people of Jersey City that this dangerous, toxic pipeline is a good idea. They don’t have to, because eminent domain and Governor Christie’s inaction will see them through.

Postscript: It’s worth noting that this pipeline will carry “fracked” gas, originating in the now-infamous Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. “Fracking” – or hydraulic fracturing – is Halliburton’s proprietary process for extracting natural gas from underground. Byproducts of fracking include poisoned water supplies, dire environmental damage, and very sick people. (Have you seen the clips of people who can light their tap water on fire? That’s a result of fracking, and it’s most certainly not good.) The recent Sundance-winning documentary Gasland is currently the best resource available for learning about fracking.

Comment (1)

  1. carolh

    Over 15 Million people rely on water from the Delaware River Watershed including residents of New York City, Philadelphia and nearly a million residents in New Jersey. This drinking water is also in danger from fracking in the Delaware River Basin.

    It all depends on which NYC would rather have – natural gas or clean drinking water.

    Here is the Delaware River Basin Commission webpage about gas drilling:…  

    EPA request to industry about fracking fluid.… Unfortunately, the EPA results of the study on fracking are not expected until late 2012.  

    According to the EPA, drilling also releases radon.…  

    A group of PA citizens who are suing:                http://www.damascuscitizens.or

    Gasland website.

    Other activist pages

    Video: The 60 Minutes story which doesn’t even go into the use of millions of gallons of fresh clean water used up or the loud trucks used to get it there.

    Video: Rachel Maddow interview with Mark Ruffalo about Fracking:

    Video: Pete Seeger singing a new song he wrote about hydrofracking.

    Just recently, Halliburton FINALLY released just WHAT is in their fracking fluid.  It ain’t mother’s milk.

    More like methanol, ammonium chloride, hydrochloric acid, etc. All currently EXEMPT from the Clean Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act.  Hence the nickname – Halliburton Loophole, which is why we need to pass the FRAC Act.  

    The FRAC Act which would repeal the Halliburton loophole:  http://frwebgate.access.gpo.go

    More about the FRAC Act


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