Facebook Slider

buzzflash-header

Optional Member Code
Get News Alerts!
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 07:32

Get Lost Eagles, Pipeline Comin' Through

  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print
  • Email

Help us bring you the perspectives and insight that you won't find in the mainstream media. Click here to support BuzzFlash and Truthout with a tax-deductible donation.

BILL KITCHEN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Eagle 1220wrp opt(Photo: Eric Kilby / Flickr)Here's a year-end update on what New York, the state that banned fracking, has been doing to boost fossil fuel infrastructure in 2017. The state has broken ground on a huge fracked gas power plant east of the Hudson. And it's putting the finishing touches on another one west of the river. State officials are pretty proud of it. They didn't tuck it away out of sight down a country road. No, it's right next to Interstate 84 for the whole world to see when driving by. Its giant twin smoke stacks rise like a pair of extended middle fingers with an unmistakable message for our neighbors in Pennsylvania -- "Frack You." Kind of our peculiar twist on the Golden Rule.

This plant, known as Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), has been controversial from the start. Throughout its construction local residents have protested at its gates every Saturday morning. Some have been arrested and gone to jail. It has its supporters too, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo's former top aide Joe Percoco (also referred to as Mario's third son), who perhaps has been a little too pro-pipeline. He has been indicted on corruption charges related to CPV. His trial starts next month.

So there CPV stands, a monument to hypocrisy, with total disregard for what scientists are telling us about climate change and how fracked gas is as bad as, or worse than, coal. All it needs now to start spewing greenhouse gases is its connection to Pennsylvania's fracked gas via the Valley Lateral Pipeline (VLP).

Herein lies the real kicker. On December 7, in order to clear a path for the pipeline, Millenium, which is half owned by TransCanada of Keystone XL fame, cut down hundreds of trees right next to an active bald eagle nest. Some were as close as 100 feet. Local residents, including the adjacent homeowner, have been seeing eagles in this nest for years, including as recently as a few days before tree-cutting began. A video taken on December 1, 2017 shows an eagle at the nest

Millenium/TransCanada hired an eagle expert who used to work at New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, (DEC). She wears a hard hat plastered with British Petroleum, Spectra Energy (now Enbridge) and other fossil fuel company stickers. She claims the nest is inactive despite all the evidence to the contrary. She can't seem to find the eagles, but she sure knows where the money is and how her bread gets buttered. She passed through the revolving door that connects so many government agencies to the fossil fuel industry.

DEC and US Fish & Wildlife Service, (USFWS), have been informed of the ongoing and recent eagle sightings at the nest. Somehow, despite all the state and federal rules and regulations and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits disturbance this close to a nest, construction of the pipeline right under the nest tree continues, and will do so for weeks to come unless we stop it. This comes at what USFWS calls the time that eagles are "most sensitive to human disturbance," during courtship and nest building.

With a little luck, if pipeline activity ceases soon, the eagles might return to the nest and raise chicks, which would halt pipeline construction for many months and prevent the power plant from coming online anytime soon. CPV says a lengthy delay will make the company go bankrupt. Then their monstrosity by the interstate will serve as a warning to the fossil fuel industry that the times they really are a changin'.