Gas pipeline meets aging nuke plant

SUBHEAD: Algonquin pipeline expansion is to be adjacent to crumbling Indian Point nuclear power plant.

By Karenna Gore on 26 October 2016 for the Daily News -

Image above: Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson River is where the Algonquin high pressure fracked gas pipeline is planned to cross the river.  Photo by Don Emmert. From original article.

Americans face a big decision on Nov. 8. But another high-stakes battle over our future is taking place closer to home.

Twenty-five miles north of the city, a private company is trying to force a high-pressure fracked-gas pipeline beside the Indian Point nuclear power plant and under the Hudson River. This fossil-fuel project would harm our climate and present the immediate threat of an accident that could contaminate our air, soil and water.

The Algonquin Incremental Market Expansion — or AIM project — consists of 37 miles of new pipeline and six compressor stations designed to push gas fracked from the shale fields of Pennsylvania through New York, New England and on to Canada for possible export.

 It was conceived by Spectra, a Texas-based corporation recently absorbed by Enbridge, a Canadian multinational (and owner of $1.5 billion stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline).

Spectra was granted eminent domain power by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an agency notorious for rubber-stamping projects for the industry. Despite community outcry and trouble getting the pipe under the river, Spectra still plans to turn on the gas next Tuesday.

This is terribly risky. Indian Point sits near two earthquake fault lines and stores 40 years of highly radioactive spent fuel rods. If the AIM pipeline ruptures — and the number of accidents on U.S. gas transmission pipelines (143 in 2015) indicates that is a real possibility — the ensuing radioactive release could impact up to a 50-mile radius, where 20 million people live.

Faulty Indian Point pipe forces nuclear reactor shutdown — again
According to nuclear engineer Paul Blanch, the approval process for AIM was inherently flawed and did not take into account the nature of high-pressure fracked-gas pipelines. He and other experts warn that an accident at the intersection of AIM and Indian Point would be far worse than the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, which resulted in the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

Elected officials have taken notice, but not enough to make a difference. In February, Gov. Cuomo called for a halt to construction while the state conducted an independent risk assessment. In August, New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand asked for a halt and an independent review of health, safety and environmental impacts.

Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren have written the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about clear conflicts of interest in its approval process, and the City of Boston is among those suing the project.

But FERC is designed to respond to the industry rather than the public trust.

Anti-Indian Point activists warn of safety hazards at plant
If the placement of this pipeline is puzzling, so is the timing. A study released last month by Oil Change International found that if we do not accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources, we will face catastrophic climate change.

At the very least, this means flooding of coastal cities like New York, extreme weather and more refugees and strife as people flee places that have become uninhabitable.

Although commonly called natural gas, the fuel that would flow in this pipeline is more properly called methane. When burned, it has half the carbon emissions of coal.

But that is still too much carbon at a time when the atmosphere has just passed the threshold of 400 parts per million. Scientists have determined that when methane leaks or is released from gas operations, which is common, it is 84 times more heat-trapping over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide.

The threats to our health, safety and planet don’t end there. New York City water sources are located 12.4 miles from Indian Point. As the Standing Rock Sioux say, “Water is life.” Why would we endanger a common source of this most basic human need?

Indian nuke plant shutdown after 'missing' bolts discovered
We should not accept this high threshold of danger at the vulnerable Indian Point power station. We should not let a foreign company profit from tearing up the Hudson riverbed and putting New Yorkers at risk.

We should build a bridge to tomorrow’s economy, not to yesterday’s. President Obama must intervene with his administration’s energy regulatory commission and halt construction of this dangerous fossil fuel pipeline now.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL reclaim new frontline 10/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodman "riot" charge dropped 10/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodwin to face "Riot Charge" 10/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Shutdown of all tar sand pipelines 10/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why Standing Rock is test for Oabama 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why we are Singing for Water 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Labor's Dakota Access Pipeline Crisis 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Firm for Standing Rock 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Contact bankers behind DAPL 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL demo at Enbridge Inc 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarized Police raid NoDAPL 9/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop funding of Dakota Access Pipeline 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: UN experts to US, "Stop DAPL Now!" 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: No DAPL solidarity grows 9/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: This is how we should be living 9/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: 'Natural Capital' replacing 'Nature' 9/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Big Difference at Standing Rock 9/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jill Stein joins Standing Rock Sioux 9/10/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Pipeline temporarily halted 9/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Native Americans attacked with dogs 9/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Mni Wiconi! Water is Life! 9/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sioux can stop the Pipeline 8/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Officials cut water to Sioux 8/23/16  


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