No Fooling Around at City Hall
Spring is still negotiating it’s first actual appearance in New York City. And while it’s still a bit chilly here, that did not stop over 50 fracktivists from descending on City Hall to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo issue a veto for the proposed Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility. The facility, which would be located off the coast of New York City and Long Island would import fracked gas from around the country and demand for fracked gas would increase in New York. Worse yet, it would be located in an area that was previously reserved for a wind farm, which is supported by 90% of New Yorkers.
It may have been April Fools Day, but we were not joking around about Port Ambrose in any way. On this day, we also were given the chance to offer testimony to the City Council of New York as to why Port Ambrose is a bad idea and how it would interfere with the City’s goal of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. During the hearing, we also pressed the need for the Council to adopt City
Resolution No. 549, calling on Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose. As of now, the Resolution has the support of 23 of 51 Council Members — so we also used our testimony to lobby additional Council Members to support it.
Prior to the hearing, I was given the honor and opportunity to lead a rally that showcased Councilman Donvan Richards, who is the lead sponsor of Resolution 549, and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who is a staunch supporter of the resolution and moving New York City to 100% renewable energy.
Once we got inside, we took the gloves off. Oral testimonies ranged from comparing the number of jobs that would be created by a wind farm (14,000) to those under Port Ambrose (6), to the suspicion that the company behind this floating fracked gas facility, Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, plans on converting Port Ambrose from an import to an export facility.
My testimony focused on major discrepancies in the environmental report that was written for Port Ambrose. Specifically the vague and incomplete analysis on low-wealth and communities of color 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 environmental report’s lack of integrity warrants a veto from Governor Cuomo. You can take a look at my testimony and exchange with the Councilman below.
All in all it was a great day for climate justice and fracktivists. We anticipate that the City Council will vote on Resolution 549 in the next two weeks, just ahead of Earth Day. In the meantime, we are still collecting signatures to deliver to Governor Cuomo, which we will deliver later this month — thanks to the many members who have already donated to send a bus of fracktivists to Albany for a rally outside of the State House — or click here to chip in now to support this upcoming rally.
Additionally, if you are from New York City, you can check to see if your Councilmember has signed on to support Resolution No. 549 thanks to our friends at Sane Energy Project. And even if you are not from the City, feel free to reach out to any Councilmember you wish and tell them to get on board the veto train. I will be keeping you posted on more developments regarding Port Ambrose very soon.