Breaking: Activists and lawmakers rallied on the steps of New York City Hall calling on the City Council and Governor Cuomo to veto the Port Ambrose fracked gas facility. Sign here to support them.
Even though Spring has not made an actual appearance in New York, that did not stop over 50 activists from descending on City Hall to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo issue an immediate veto for the proposed Port Ambrose LNG facility. The facility, which would be located off the coasts of New York City and Long Island would import fracked gas from around the country. Worse yet, it would be located in an offshore area that was previously reserved for a wind farm supported by 90% of New Yorkers.1
Yesterday may have been April Fools Day--but this coalition of fracktivists were not joking around when they showed that Port Ambrose is no laughing matter. After I led a rally outside, we headed inside to a City Council Hearing and gave testimony to show why this floating fracked gas facility is a bad idea for New York and the whole east coast. We also pointed out that Port Ambrose would put New York on the wrong track to reduce its emissions by 80% as called for in a plan unveiled by Mayor Bill de Blasio late last year.2
Click here to read the whole report, including video of my testimony to the City Council!
The biggest reason for our visit to City Hall was to show support for City Council Resolution No. 549, calling on Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose. City Councilman Donovan Richards, who represents Far Rockaway, kept his promise and introduced the resolution two weeks ago, and it already has the support of 23 of 51 Council Members. So we used the hearing as an opportunity to lobby additional Council Members to show their support.
During the hearing, oral testimonies ranged from comparing the number of jobs that would be created by the proposed wind farm (14,000) to the number under Port Ambrose (a whopping 6), to warranted suspicion that the company behind this aquatic climate killer, Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, plans on converting it from an import to an export facility.
My testimony focused on the major discrepancies in the environmental report written for Port Ambrose. Specifically, I called out the vague and incomplete analysis on low-wealth and communities of color in the area, who are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy. These are the New Yorkers that could experience disproportionate air quality and climate change impacts if this project is approved. I had an excellent exchange with Councilman Richards, who seemed to agree that the report's lack of integrity warrants a veto from Governor Cuomo. You can check out my testimony and exchange with the Councilman here.
It was a great day for climate justice and fracktivists. It is anticipated that the City Council will vote on Resolution 549 in the next two weeks, just in time for Earth Day. In the meantime we are still collecting signatures to Governor Cuomo, which we will deliver next month -- thanks to the many members who have already donated to send a bus of fracktivists to Albany for a rally outside of the New York Assembly State House -- you can still help support this upcoming rally by clicking here.
Stay tuned for more information about the bus trip to Albany and how you can grab a seat.
Thanks for all that you do and showing that fracked gas suffers no fools.
Anthony and the Port Ambrose Climate Justice Pirates
1. Sane Energy Project, About Port Ambrose Powerpoint Presentation. April 1, 2015.
2. Valentine, Kate. New York Mayor Unveils Plan to Reduce Carbon Emissions by 80 Percent. Climate Progress. December 22, 2014.