Invoking the international distress signal, the New Paltz Climate Action Coalition and the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines-NY drew over 90 people out in the cold rain to three rallies on Sunday, May 1, expressing growing concerns about the pair of petroleum pipelines’ threats to our communities’ climate, drinking water, safety, economic well-being, and public health.
“At three rallies combined, over 90 people of all ages, from young students and mid-life business owners to retired people, drew loud support from honking drivers for two cold, rainy hours,” said Iris Marie Bloom of Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines-NY (CAPPNY). “Oil use in New York State is declining, so there is no need for and no benefit from these two new dangerous, destructive proposed pipelines.”
Isabelle Hayes, a SUNY New Paltz student and intern with New Paltz Climate Action Coalition, said, “Climate change poses the greatest threat to our lives and world as we know it. The Pilgrim pipelines would escalate the use of fossil fuels and promote climate change. It is our generation that must stand up, take action, and ignite change. Our time to act is now and we have the power to do so.”
New Paltz Climate Action Coalition co-chair Ann Guenther said, “Climate scientists are warning us that we must make drastic cutbacks in our fossil fuel extraction and consumption if we want to inhabit a livable planet, but these two pipelines would do the just the opposite!”
Saugerties resident and CAPP-NY participant Bill Barr said, “Mayday is the international distress call and we are invoking it to elicit public support in preventing the proposed Pilgrim pipelines from risking our water, wetlands, and health by converting the Hudson Valley into a major artery for fracked crude and volatile petroleum products.”
In the wake of the massive natural gas pipeline explosion west of Pittsburgh on April 29th which sent a fireball hundreds of feet into the air, destroyed homes and burned a resident as he ran down the road away from the flames, Cairo resident Mary Finneran expressed concerns about the close proximity of the proposed Pilgrim pipelines to natural gas lines: “How would this assault on our environment and health benefit the people of New York State? Only the corporate juggernaut that is Pilgrim Pipelines would profit as the oil is exported.” (A Central Hudson gas pipeline runs along the Thruway at West Coxsackie into New Baltimore and continues its trajectory into Albany County. In addition, the Pilgrim Pipelines would cross the Iroquois gas pipeline near mile marker 116.)
The groups protesting “MAYDAY AGAINST PILGRIM PIPELINES” urge:
- Governor Cuomo, fight for your own clean energy goals for New York State and direct Thruway Authority to reject Pilgrim Pipelines’ application to use Right of Way.
- New York State Legislature: Pass Bill A9831a in the Assembly, and pass a similar bill in the Senate, to prohibit hazardous liquids pipelines along the Thruway Right of Way.
- Commissioner Seggos of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: DEC must act as sole lead agency for the environmental review, as municipalities have written 46 times, overwhelmingly objecting to the Thruway as proposed co-lead agency.
- Thruway Authority and Department of Transportation: Deny the application for Pilgrim to use the longitudinal Right of Way for hazardous oil and petroleum products. Such use is currently not allowed by the DOT and Thruway policies and would require an exception. Do not grant that exception.
The groups also expressed appreciation for the municipal leaders in Catskill, Saugerties, New Paltz and 28 other municipalities in New York which have opposed the Pilgrim Pipeline and taken a stand against the New York Thruway’s proposed role as co-lead agency.
Here are some photos from the Thruway rallies on May 1.