New York’s two U.S. senators came out last week against the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline and urged federal regulators to reject it, according to an article in the Albany Times Union.
In a joint letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged rejection of the pipeline for environmental, health and safety reasons, the article states. The 400-mile pipeline would connect the natural gas hydrofracking fields of Pennsylvania to Boston, and pass through southern Albany and Rensselaer counties.
Said Gillibrand, “Potential impacts to the communities and their residents along the proposed route far outweigh any stated benefit. It remains unclear if (state) rate payers will ever benefit from this proposal, but what is clear, the health, safety and quality of life of hundreds of New Yorkers could forever be altered.”
Pipeline opponent Nassau Supervisor David Fleming told the Times Union, “The firm support of our Washington representatives is a crucial component in stopping this ill-conceived project which will impair the health, safety and economic development of our communities.”
The pipeline proposal includes a 41,000-horsepower compressor station in Nassau, the article states. Town officials have tried to bar the compressor station on local zoning issues.
Critics have also charged that the natural gas pipeline projects are being built to help natural gas producers get their fracked natural gas to the east coast for export, and that rate payers are being unfairly asked to subsidize the projects.