Activists Defeat Gas Pipeline Projects, Work to Recruit NIMBY Neighbors to Climate Fight

Posted May 25, 2016

MP3 Interview with Becky Meier, anti-pipeline activist, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

pipeline

Around the United States, proposed fracked gas pipelines are being cancelled, even as many more such projects are applying for permits through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, which must grant a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to enable these projects to be built. Those pipeline projects that have been cancelled (or "suspended" and not likely to be revived) include the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline that would have traversed the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire; the Constitution pipeline in Pennsylvania and New York, and the Pacific Connector pipeline in Oregon. Reasons for the cancellations vary, from a lack of customers to buy the gas, to the failure of companies to win permits through state health regulators. In every case, however, opposition by local residents and homeowners has been critical to these victories.

In these fights, some opponents have always emphasized the need to move away from all fossil fuels in order to curb climate change, but much of the passion and the big numbers turning out for anti-pipeline hearings have come from homeowners who didn't want the pipelines going over or near their property. Many were less concerned with climate disruption. This familiar attitude is often referred to as NIMBY, “Not in my backyard.”

Now that these specific pipeline projects are no longer a threat, some activists who worked on these campaigns are coming together in an effort to convince their neighbors to join them in taking on the larger issue of climate change. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Becky Meier, a New York state resident who was active in the campaign opposing the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline with the group Stop the New York Fracked Gas Pipeline. Here, she explains some of the challenges of NIMBY attitudes and how she plans to appeal for a united front to address climate change. That was Becky Meier of the group Stop the New York Fracked Gas Pipeline.

Find links to groups opposing fracked gas pipelines and related information by visiting Stop the New York Fracked Gas Pipeline at stopnypipeline.org.

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