Statement signals a likely victory for the coalition and New Yorkers in general
New York — Governor Cuomo yesterday made his first public statement ever opposing the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline, slated to run through New York Harbor. Responding to a question by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer about National Grid’s ongoing gas moratorium, the Governor noted: “We have taken a position. We’re against the pipeline. That’s our position.” In the past, when asked about the pipeline, the Governor has deferred to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the state agency with power to approve or deny the pipeline’s needed permits.
The Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition issued this statement:
“We celebrate Governor Cuomo’s decision to publicly come out against this ridiculous project. This is the clearest sign yet that we are winning this fight, and that National Grid—with its fake gas shortage, abusive tactics, and attempts at extortion—is losing it miserably. We have been battling this pipeline for almost three years, and we are proud to have changed the conversation in the Governor’s office, and about fracked gas infrastructure in general. The Governor’s opposition is a victory for us and for New Yorkers. We now look forward to him denying the pipeline—and all other pipelines and gas infrastructure projects across the state—for good.”
The Governor, remarking on the ongoing Department of Public Service and Attorney General investigations into National Grid, went on to note: “If they’re extorting people and wrongfully turning off gas service to homes to create political pressure, I’m not negotiating over that. That’s extortion. That’s a crime.”
The remarks come in the wake of Friday’s massive climate strike, in which 4 million people around the globe marched to demand, among other things, a ban on all new fossil fuel infrastructure. 250,000 people in New York City alone took to the streets on a day that saw 1,100 actions across all 50- states.
On Tuesday, the climate actions continued in Brooklyn as New Yorkers rallied in front of National Grid headquarters to demand an end to using ratepayer funds to expand fracked gas infrastructure like the Williams pipeline. All together, the unprecedented week of mobilizations has signaled a significant shift in momentum in the fight to tackle the climate crisis, indicating the power of grassroots movements and organizing to change the conversation and inspire action around the globe.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Members of the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition, and author of False Demand report, available for interview upon request.
The Stop the Williams Pipeline coalition is organized by 350Brooklyn, 350.org, Food and Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Sane Energy Project, and Surfrider NYC Chapter.
For more, visit www.StopTheWilliamsPipeline.org and explore this media pack.
Lee Ziesche, lee@SaneEnergyProject.org, +1 (954) 415-6228
Lindsay Meiman, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (347) 460-9082
Robert Wood, email@example.com, +1 (585) 261-2795