Southern Brooklyn

With 5,000 Petitions In Hand, Jamaica Bay Gas Pipeline Opponents Urge Senator Schumer To Kill Proposal


The Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline (CARP) delivered petitions with 5,000 signatures to Senator Charles Schumer’s Manhattan office Tuesday as members of the environmental group push for a presidential veto of the project.

Although the House and the Senate passed the bill authorizing a gas pipeline to run through the Gateway National Recreation Area, CARP members don’t plan to give up.

“It is too late to the stop the bill from being passed. It’s not too late to show opposition to the project,” said Jonathan Fluck, CARP’s spokesperson.

The proposed Jamaica Bay pipeline would connect an existing natural gas pipeline three miles offshore with Southern Brooklyn. The pipeline would tunnel under Jacob Riis Park, cross Jamaica Bay and surface at Floyd Bennett Field. Williams Company, which is constructing the pipeline, plans to establish a metering station within a vacant hanger at the historic airfield.

The proposed gas pipeline crosses the protected Gateway National Recreation Area, the fourth most-visited park maintained by the National Park Service.

Between mid-July and mid-September the coalition collected about 3,000 signatures in person and another 2,000 online. Martha Cameron, who is one of the coalition’s coordinators, said nine out of 10 people approached signed the petition.

“I have been gathering signatures on petitions for years for various causes,” said Cameron, 70. “I was blown away by how fast people were signing.”

While a delegation of CARP members handed the petition to one of Schumer’s aides, about 30 protestors demonstrated in the rain. They raised “Don’t Frack New York”-signs and chanted “No fracking, no pipeline.”

For Cameron the two issues can’t be separated.

“It’s like saying highways and cars are different things,” she said. “The pipeline isn’t going to be carrying chocolate milk. The only purpose for building the pipeline is to carry gas.”

Representatives for Schumer did not respond to a call seeking comment.

The proposed pipeline could open up a new line of revenue for Gateway, said Christopher Stockton, a spokesperson for the Williams Company. The project, he said, “will potentially result in millions of dollars in new income into the park, helping it to serve the public in new and exciting ways.”

The Williams Company argues that the project meets the city’s growing demand for natural gas. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who favors the $265 million pipeline, has called it “critical to building a stable, clean-energy future.”

But CARP disagrees with his definition of clean energy.

“The money needs to go for infrastructure for renewable [energy]. That’s the way to help us through the climate crisis,” said Fluck, who also works for the Green Party.

— Dominik Wurnig

Comment policy


  1. At least 5000 is more than the total number of Sheepshead Bay voters in those recent primaries… I know firsthand how hard it is to get petition signatures, so I think it is a pretty big number.

    EDIT: Yes, awesome name.

  2. So now the truth comes out. Apparently the opposition to this plan is being spearheaded by global warming crusaders. I should have known. As for the pipeline, once it is put in place “underground”, it will not be visable to anyone with the exeption of warning marker poles, just like the thousands of miles of natural gas piping that traverses the rest of our city, state, and country. With regard to the metering station, who cares! The plan as I understand is to place it inside of a hanger that is now a dilapidated eyesore and safety hazard. At least they will be restoring it to it’s former glory by renovating it. This opposition makes about as much sense as that which was made against the placement of the life saving doppler radar tower in FBF years ago. At that time we had politicians crying about how it would be a blight on our beautiful park land. I don’t know about the rest of you, but in case you haven’t noticed FBF is not some pristine, sprawling national park. A good portion of it is a disgrace due to the numerous abandoned and decaying buildings that litter it’s landscape, which the Interior Dept. has done little or nothing about for four decades. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we have such a vast open space at our disposal to use for recreation, and I think the program which opened up the park to camping with plans to expand the feature in coming years is terrific, but we have still been failed by the Government. Case in point, the Ryan Visitor Center. After years of emptly promises they have finally begun the restoration which is magnificent, but what do they intend to do with it, turn it into a world class museum to showcase the many historic achievements of FBF, no, they installed just one small touch screen video kiosk to tell the story of FBF. Instead, it will be used as back office space for park employees. Am I the only one that thinks this building and surroundings should have been developed into a stellar aircraft museum space to rival ones such as the Cradle of Aviation in Long Island? To that end, I must say that if the government couldn’t make any improvement for decades when the economy was good, I don’t have much faith that they will ever commit the proper resources to make FBF the national treasure that it should be. If National Grid and it’s Contract Partners are commited to restoring some of the historic structures that have been laid to waste, then I for one do not have a problem with a buired pipeline that will never be seen once it is installed!

  3. These pipelines are nothing new! One just has to take a walk around Bay Ridge or the southern end of Brooklyn, to see the markers for pipelines such as these have been buried for decades without incident. Coupled with the tens of thousands of gas pipelines laid all over the country, I myself don’t really have any fear of immminent danger from the installation of this one minimal pipeline expansion.

  4. These are not local delivery lines. This is a master pipeline that will lead to a distribution point. It is also not being built to accommodate present or perceived future need based on normal usage trajectories. It is being built to allow National Grid to increase their presence through the encouragement of fuel conversion.

  5. The restoration of those hangars is being done so the hangars can house an industrial metering and regulating station that services the new gas pipeline. How does that restore them to their former glory? They will forever be off-limits to people who use the park. You bemoan the less than impressive result of the Ryan Center restoration but you think giving those hangars over to a gas company who will fence them off and do nothing for you or me or any other user of the park sounds like a wonderful idea? You make it sound like National Grid and Williams/Transco are restoring those buildings out of the goodness of their hearts and then walking away and leaving them to us to enjoy as their gift.
    No you’re not the only one who thinks restoring those buildings as you’d like to see them restored would be a wonderful thing for the park AND THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE PARK – US!! How does NPS prostituting itself to any company with millions of dollars to wave in front of their noses right the wrong we have been done by our government’s failure to put a comparatively tiny amount of our tax dollars into our national parks instead of bombs, Iraq, Aghanistan, and the pockets of those most adept at stealing from us?
    No, Gateway and Floyd Bennett Field are not pristine natural treasures but they are national parks nonetheless. And it’s easier for the likes of National Grid and Williams/Transco to insinuate themselves into our rundown, not-paid-all-that-much-attention park than any other national park and once they get into ours where does it stop? I for one am fighting this solely because national parks belong to you and me and every other American and whether they are in good condition or not they are worth fighting for and keeping out of the hands of those whose value system consists of nothing but dollar signs.

  6. It’s pretty telling that while the story in the press for the last two years has been about all about creating a Great Urban Park with Floyd Bennett as its new center, a blue panel ribbon committee dedicated to the field which suggested removing inappropriate uses in the field and about creating greater access to the park by the public, ecological restoration and place-based education, the first “improvement” to the park that is coming out of the new collaboration between the mayor and the department of interior will be the introduction of natural gas facilities into it. Gateway isn’t the only national park with maintenance backlog issues. It’s a disgrace that Congress has left the parks so underfunded that the National Park Service is testifying in support of legislation that allows a use of Floyd Bennett like this one.
    I’m no longer a member of CARP, but when I was a member I know that beachgoers, archer, fisherman, gardeners and many more disagreed with this use of the park.

    The mayors plannyc says that the city will “accelerate the phase out of highly polluting residual
    heating oil and mitigate future supply constraints by aiding in the development
    of appropriately-sited natural gas transmission pipelines”. The phrase appropriately-sited is often left out of the quotes about the mayors goals. Now Gene may be fine with the location, but the legislation was pushed through without input from the public and long before the fracktivists got involved local concerns about safety, the appropriation of a piece of the park to industry and the lack of the National park service communicating their decision to allow the right of way and the industrial use of the park was questionned. I’d agree with Gene though that the big failure here is by the government.

  7. Fossil fuels pollute when extracted from the earth, during distribution, and when burned. Their continued use exacerbates existing water, air and soil pollution. We have the technology to meet current and future energy needs without continuing to use fossil fuels, and we don’t need this pipeline, metering and regulation station, or this gas. The placement of the M&R station in our National park is particularly insulting. National Parks are places where nature and culture are to be honored and protected for future generations, not sold to the highest bidder.

  8. I am responding specifically to Gene who believes that opposition to this plan is merely being lead by global warming crusaders. Not true, Gene. I’ve been involved in opposing this pipeline and the metering stations, and I am not involved in the global warming crusade.

    I happen to be one of many people who appreciate the beauty of Gateway and enjoy using Floyd Bennett Field, Fort Tilden, and Jacob Riis Park for hiking, biking, picnics, gardening, nature watching, star watching, etc. Those areas are also great for fishing, boating, kite flying, skating, and a host of other recreational activities. One activity that is clearly inappropriate for Gateway is using a hangar for a gas metering station.

    Yes, the PR bull being spread is that Williams and Transco will renovate two old hangars, but so what? Even if the hangars are gorgeous on the outside, the inside will be an industrial environment, closed to the public. The metering station will spew noxious gases from a chimney. Williams and Transco confirmed this during a meeting I attended with them. Even if it is a small amount, who needs this in a national park? How does this benefit the plant life, insect life and other creatures that live in the park? And no amount of money will offset the air pollution, noise and vibrations that will come from this metering station day after day, 24/7. This is an industrial plant. It does not belong in a recreational area–period.

    Why not move the metering station elsewhere and restore the hangars to an Air and Space Museum as you suggest, Gene?

  9. 5000 signatures is impressive. They were gathered by a very small number of people over just a few weeks.

  10. Conversion from “dirty oil” to “cleaner” natural gas, yes. What is wrong with this? How do you propose we satisfy our increasing energy consumption. I’ve asked you this before. You NEVER answer.

  11. “Cleaner natural gas”. Sounds like an ad campaign. It was, in fact.

    I’m not a big fan of oil either, both substances create ecological problems,.

    As to your question, the bulk of the increased consumption will come from people who switch from one to the other, as you assert should be the long term course, Competition is fine, but the government should not be a party to this game.

  12. Even if they aren’t local delivery lines – how often does a pipeline explosion happen? Not very often…especially since tracer chemicals are added to natural gas to detect leaks.

  13. The pipelines are very new if they are built in or through a National Park. Parks are for nature and recreation, not for industry.

  14. Even if a pipeline explosion does not happen often, if YOU are the one hurt or killed, it matters to YOU now, doesn’t it?

  15. I too am in favor of using “our” “technology” that “meets current and future energy needs without continuing to use fossil fuel.” Where is all of this pixie dust stored and how can I get some?

    Despite the inventive imaginations of the Left and hope and change, with the exception of nuclear power, there IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO FOSSIL FUELS for providing AFFORDABLE AND RELIABLE POWER. It is easily understandable why so many continue to believe the fallacy that there is currently “green energy” capable of providing all our power, with the woeful state of this nation’s education system run by Liberals and the UFT who are more interested in protecting pedophiles and union contracts than ever providing an education to their students.

    Had the illiterate masses only had a proper education where instead of promoting social agendas about “anti-bullying,” promoting perverted “lifestyles” and ingraining Democrat Party talking points to underage children, they were instead given an education in SCIENCE and MATH, fallacies like “Green Energy,” “Zero Pollution” power production would be impossible to foist. An education in thermodynamics, chemistry and physics similar to what 5th graders in more civilized nations have, would make it impossible for such snake oil.

    As I prefer not to freeze to death in the winter and enjoy having the ability to banish darkness by flipping a switch while not being bankrupted for that privilege or having the lights turn off every time a breeze dies down – I SUPPORT BUILDING PIPELINES. To the Luddites and brainwashed sheep who rail against them, please make certain not to use any power or heat this winter.


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