We need a Green New Deal, NOT the Williams Pipeline

Our Federal Elected Officials

After generations of the fossil fuel industry polluting our environment, driving climate chaos, and harming our communities -- all while reaping massive profits for its executives -- we are at a tipping point.

The IPCC’s latest climate report, with more than 6,000 scientific references cited, thousands of expert and government reviewers consulted, including ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries issued a report that we have 11 years to make massive changes before we face devastating and irreversible climate chaos. The Trump administration’s own National Climate Assessment concurs, drawing on research from thirteen federal agencies, to conclude that: “The impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country.” And “Future risks from climate change depend primarily on decisions made today.”

Within this context, New York faces a stark choice right now: a Green New Deal that invests in renewable heating and electricity sources and puts communities on the front lines of environmental destruction at the center of the solutions or the Williams NESE fracked gas pipeline. It’s time for our leaders to choose a side.
The math on climate change is clear: To avoid the worst impacts and have a chance at a stable climate future, we need to keep fossil fuels - especially fracked gas - in the ground. Otherwise new drilling in the US alone could unlock 120 billion metric tons of new carbon pollution. If not curtailed, U.S. oil and gas expansion will impede the rest of the world’s ability to manage a climate-safe, equitable decline of oil and gas production.

To stop that expansion, and put a cork in climate change, we need to stop building new pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure that will lock us into 20-50 years of dependency on fossil fuel expansion. We need to stop the Williams Pipeline.

Williams Transco has proposed a new 23.4 mile, 26-inch diameter pipeline in New York to expand its existing Williams fracked gas transmission system. The proposed pipeline will originate in Lancaster, PA travel across NJ, under the Raritan Bay from Old Bridge, NJ to the land in the Rockaway Peninsula in NYC.

In addition to contributing to the climate crisis, the pipeline would be trenched through a seabed that contains toxic substances like arsenic, lead, and PCBs. During construction and any repairs, those chemicals will leak into our water. In addition to churning up toxins into the sea water, construction would take place seven days a week, producing noise and water turbidity that would threaten sea creatures such as Humpback whales, sea turtles and the endangered Atlantic sturgeon.

The pipeline is projected to cost almost a billion dollars—which could end up being shouldered by consumers and ratepayers. This does not include any costs for cleanup and repair, which could be substantial given that Williams and its subsidiary Transco have a terrible safety record: Over the last decade, six people have died and 102 have been injured because of Williams-related accidents.

It’s true that NYCHA buildings have struggled with heating problems over the last several winters. But these problems have nothing to do with access to gas and clean, renewable solutions like offshore wind, community solar, and geothermal and air-source heat pumps are ready to be deployed.

It’s time for our federal elected officials to make a choice: Pick a clean, fossil free, Green New Deal - and say NO to the Williams pipeline.


Factsheet: Green New Deal and Fossil Fuels, Friends of the Earth, 2019

Drilling Towards Disaster, By Kelly Trout, Oil Change International in collaboration with Friends of the Earth and partners

To: Our Federal Elected Officials
From: [Your Name]

We are the people and communities impacted by climate change and the Williams Pipeline in New York. We have seen first hand the destruction caused by fossil fuels and climate change, and can attest that this project is dangerous, dirty, and unnecessary.

At the same time, we’re excited and empowered by the promise of the Green New Deal. This is our chance to rapidly end our dependence on fossil fuels and prevent climate chaos while creating millions of jobs and putting communities on the front lines of environmental destruction at the center of the solutions.

We call on you to join the growing list of New York elected officials who support a Green New Deal and oppose the Williams pipeline and fossil fuels.