Guest post by Daniela Blanchet

Director Laura Newman, a  Co-Producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Gasland” who shot the infamous water on fire scenes, has been an activist for years in movements against the environmental destruction caused by the fossil fuel industry. When she learned about what some consider “the Standing Rock of NYC,” she got started on producing a film about this frighteningly unknown issue. She brought Producer Daniela Blanchet into the fold and they created a 6-minute impact film, featuring community and DAPL activists, René Pérez Joglar aka Residente (Grammy-award winning artist), Peter Yarrow (from Peter, Paul and Mary), and Josh Fox (Director of “Gasland”), about the “Algonquin” Pipeline Expansion and the fight against it. Watch the film here:

As is outlined in the film, New York residents and environmental experts are desperate to stop the construction of a gas pipeline that poses a major threat to more than 20 million people. The “Algonquin” Pipeline Expansion is a high-pressure fracked-gas pipeline being built under the Hudson River adjacent to the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant just north of New York City. If completed, Spectra Energy’s massive “Algonquin” Pipeline Expansion would run only 105 feet from the aging, troubled Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant’s safety infrastructure. Experts have warned that a rupture of the “Algonquin” line could result in a nuclear catastrophe worse than the Fukushima disaster. That is due in large part to the 40 years of highly radioactive spent fuel rods stored in overcrowded storage pools on the Indian Point site. Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement that the plant will cease operations in 2025 does little to mitigate the risks the pipeline poses to that highly radioactive spent fuel.

Even though fracking is banned in the State of New York because of the significant threats it poses to public health and safety, gas pipelines running though State lands and waterways are not prohibited. Many anti-fracking activists have joined the ResistSpectra movement and thus far, 87 people have been arrested while protesting in New York. The resistance continues to escalate in light of new challenges. One of President Trump’s first executive actions was to advance the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) being built by Energy Transfer Partners – a company that is in the process of merging with Spectra. Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt, who opposes the Clean Power Plan, as head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Rex Tillerson, former chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State signals even more deal-making with oil and gas companies at the expense of the environment and the public. Pruitt has sued the EPA 13 times and Exxon hid information about climate change for decades.
Taking Action
ResistSpectra is continuing to work to stop the pipeline expansion through New York, refusing to allow more precious lands to be lost and additional communities to be put at risk. You can join them as they resist the buildout of fracked gas infrastructure in New York by signing The Pledge to Resist and making a donation to Resist Spectra’s GoGetFunding page.
On March 17th, 2017 concerned citizens will converge on Governor Cuomos NYC office to deliver tens of thousands of signatures demanding they deny the Water Permit that Spectra needs to proceed.  Sign the pledge or like Resist Spectra’s Facebook page for updates.


For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram