To the editor,
I laughed out loud Aug. 25 when I read the statement by Jason Kaplan from Senator Schumer’s office in which he told The Peekskill Post that the senator has repeatedly “expressed his opposition to the pipeline.” That is all the senator has done. For two years, constituents have been calling, emailing and visiting his offices asking him to take action to stop Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market Expansion.
When I, myself, went to Schumer’s Peekskill office in July of 2015 to deliver a petition signed by over 20,000 people demanding he act to stop the pipeline, the staff had all disappeared, leaving only two teenage interns to face the dozens of concerned New Yorkers. That is the kind of action we’ve seen from the senator’s office.
People have asked the senator to ACT to stop a private company from taking private and public lands by eminent domain.
People have asked the senator to ACT to stop the federal government (in the form of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) from ignoring the will of our city, our county and our state to refuse this pipeline.
People have asked the senator to ACT to stop Spectra from building a massive pipeline next to Indian Point, endangering the plant and the people who live and work in the area.
When people have called on him to do his job and ACT to protect our state, the senator has offered only words.
A man who has held press conferences on everything from powdered caffeine to robo calls interrupting dinnertime has yet to hold a press conference about the massive gas pipeline being built next to the nuke plant only 35 miles north of Manhattan. At a press conference on dish detergent pods, the senator expressed his concern for the safety of children who could be endangered by ingesting them. What about the thousands of children that live along the pipeline route? What about the 300 children at Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary School, only 400 feet from the pipeline? If detergent pods warrant a press conference and action, why not this pipeline?
Monday evening, 100 people gathered outside of the senator’s home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to hold a vigil in the hopes that the senator’s words will soon to turn to deeds. When the senator returned home, he spoke with those in attendance and agreed to ACT, to work with the senators in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to both investigate FERC and reach out to President Obama about halting pipeline construction. He must, because we are out of time. Spectra is due to complete their first pipeline expansion in November, then they’ll be back again in the spring for the second, and the year after that for the third.
We need Schumer to ACT NOW to stop Spectra.