New Yorkers ramp up pressure on Governor Cuomo to stop the Williams Pipeline
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New York, NY – New Yorkers took direct action outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office on November 2, 2018 sending a clear message: Be a real climate leader and stop the Williams NESE Pipeline. Dozens of activists rallied before dropping a 25-foot banner across the street, and delivering a letter opposing the pipeline signed by 211 New York organizations.
“If Cuomo is at all serious about addressing the growing climate crisis, he must reject the Williams fracked gas pipeline,” Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director, Food & Water Watch. “Today, New Yorkers sent a strong signal to the governor – we’re sick of his empty rhetoric on climate change. It’s time for him to take bold action, and that starts by rejecting this dangerous pipeline.”
The Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline is proposed construction of a 23-mile pipeline extension from New Jersey, cutting through the waters of New York along the Staten Island coast, past Coney Island and into the Rockaways.
Participants of today’s action include representatives from New York Communities for Change, Sane Energy Project, Food & Water Watch, 350Brooklyn, Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition, 350.org, Fossil Free, TK TK, and more.
“Six years after Superstorm Sandy hit, this fracked gas pipeline threatens the very communities most impacted and still recovering from that devastating storm,” said Kim Fraczek with Sane Energy Project. “With UN reports warning that we have just over a decade for meaningful action on climate, we need Governor Cuomo to be a real climate leader and stop fossil fuel projects like the Williams Pipeline.”
Over the last two months, a series of investigative reports published by WNYC and Capital & Main revealed potentially egregious conflicts of interest between high-level officials in Albany and the Williams Pipeline Company. One found that found that former CIO Vicki Fuller left her position at New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office in July, immediately assumed a director position with Williams Pipeline Company, and increased investments in the company by $80 million even as its stock dropped.
In September, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced his opposition to the Williams Pipeline, recognizing it as a “monumental step backwards.” Numerous elected officials are joining in a growing opposition letter. Across New York State, pressure is mounting for Governor Cuomo to make New York a model for a just transition to 100% renewable energy and ending all fossil fuel projects, especially fracked gas infrastructure.
In April, 2,000 people marched through Albany and 55 were arrested while sitting-in at the Governor’s office. In September, 3,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan for Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice, and seven people were arrested the next day after blocking the intersection outside Governor Cuomo’s office demanding he “Rise to the Climate Crisis.”
“This is New York we’re talking about,” said Sara Gronim with 350Brooklyn. “With the Trump administration attacking our climate and communities, New Yorkers demand elected officials who will rise to the crisis, and put our health and safety ahead of fossil fuel interests.”
In addition, Andrew Cuomo appointed Maggie Moran, a lobbyist for Williams Co., as his gubernatorial re-election campaign full-time general consultant in charge of managing day-to-day operations and strategy. Moran has presented on the topic of “Natural Gas Infrastructure Advocacy” at a Williams Companies conference in May 2018.
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