Congressional Leaders Join Advocates and Local Legislators in Mounting Opposition to Williams NESE Fracked Gas Pipeline

In a sign-on letter, members of Congress call on FERC to reject Williams Transco’s request for extension

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Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

New York, NY — Yesterday, six members of New York’s Congressional delegation submitted a letter calling for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject Williams Transco’s request to extend the clock on the NESE dirty fracked gas pipeline by an additional two years. The letter is the latest in a mounting show of opposition among elected officials and community members opposed to this latest attempt to revive the project. Yesterday, advocates delivered a petition signed by thousands of New Yorkers opposed to the extension, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer delivered a letter signed by 27 City and State elected officials opposed to the project.

All in all, over 80 elected officials have publicly opposed the project, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer. 

In their letter, Congress Members cited the extensive public health and safety concerns associated with the NESE pipeline proposal. The letter states,

“It is important to note that in their final decision, the DEC expressed that the Williams NESE pipeline construction would greatly threaten the health and safety of New York Harbor, that the project is inconsistent with state climate law, and that the project is needless when renewable alternatives are taken into account.”

The letter also noted the “massive public disapproval” of the project, referencing the tens of thousands of public comments submitted in opposition to the project. Signatories to the Congressional letter were Nydia Velazquez, Jerold Nadler, Carolyn B. Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Yvette D. Clarke and Grace Meng.

“New Yorkers were clear last time and we are clear this time again — we do not want or need a fracked gas pipeline in our backyard,” said Food & Water Watch New York Organizer Laura Shindell. “We are proud to stand with local elected officials and members of Congress in opposition to this dangerous and dirty project.”

“There have been no material changes to the circumstances under which Williams was denied Water Quality Certificates by New York State,” said Sara Gronim, 350Brooklyn. “New York’s denial of the Certificates was based on a rigorous, science-based evaluation of all aspects of the project. It determined that construction would churn up toxic contaminants into our waters that are now buried in the sea floor, and would destroy shellfish beds and other marine communities. New York State’s denial of Williams’ application was substantive and final.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Watch, [email protected]
Lee Ziesche, Sane Energy Project, [email protected]
Robert Wood, [email protected]