What Is the Rockaway Pipeline Project?
The proposed high-pressure Rockaway pipeline will be built in Gateway National Recreation Area, the country’s oldest urban national park, located in Brooklyn and Queens. It will tunnel under Jamaica Bay and Jacob Riis Park to a gas metering station in Floyd Bennett Field. It will then connect to the National Grid system and continue up Flatbush to Avenue U to Kings Plaza. It will carry frack gas from the Marcellus Shale.
The Rockaway pipeline needs congressional approval because it is located in a national park – land that belongs to the American people. The legislation that will allow the pipeline to be built, HR 2606 / SA 2869, is now in Congress, awaiting final passage.
Why This Pipeline Must Not Be Built
HR 2606 / SA 2869 shows clearly that the government is working hand in glove with private industry to promote hydrofracking. It is virtually giving away public land to Williams/Transco, a private for-profit corporation, so that it can build a shale gas superhighway through our neighborhoods.
The pipeline will pass by the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a restored wetlands area that is home to many endangered species – turtles, birds, reptiles, butterflies, marine life. It will go under Jacob Riis Park, a beautiful beach area used by thousands of New York families every year – surfers, kayakers, fishers, and beachgoers. Williams has a poor safety record: it has been operating under a federal corrective order for almost four years. Gas pipelines leak; sometimes they explode. Once it’s built, this pipeline will be inspected for leaks only once every seven years.
Williams will house its gas metering station in two landmarked aircraft hangars in Floyd Bennett Field, adjacent to an area used by veteran aviators, school athletic teams, campers, and over 400 community gardeners, who will all suffer the noise and toxic methane fumes released by the station. There will be no on-site security – only a telephone for emergencies linked to the company headquarters in Houston, Texas.
The politicians say that natural gas – shale gas – is “clean energy.” But it isn’t. Shale gas is a fossil fuel, like oil and coal. It releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is infinitely more potent than CO2 at causing climate change. And shale gas is produced by hydrofracking, a process that permanently destroys our water, air, and land. Fracking releases radon, which is radioactive. Frack gas from the Marcellus contains as much as 70 times more radon than other shale gases. If this pipeline is built, that radon will be coming directly into New Yorkers’ kitchens – into our stoves, our air, our lungs.
What You Can Do to Stop This Pipeline
We don’t need this pipeline because we don’t need this gas. We need to protect our vulnerable wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries. Let’s keep the gas industry out of our public parks.
Send a message to President Obama. Tell President Obama to veto HR 2606 / SA 2869. Support renewable energy, not frack gas. Build windmills, not pipelines. Put up solar panels, not metering stations. Build for a sustainable future, not a dead past based on fossil fuels.