Gastorino is the nickname many concerned homeowners in the paths of Spectra Energy’s deadly pipelines use for Rob Astorino. Read further and you’ll see exactly why Astorino’s nickname is well-deserved.
On April 2nd, a rally to call attention to the policies of Rob Astorino was held in White Plains. Primarily organized by students at Mamaroneck High School, speakers at the Westchester Unite! rally can be seen on the YouTube channel for Astorino Watch HERE. One of the speakers Astorino Watch doesn’t have a video for is Robert May. An outline of his April 2nd comments are below.
I am a member of ResistSpectra, an organization that opposes Spectra Energy’s 42-inch, highly explosive fracked gas pipeline that is being built through Westchester County. It passes within 105 feet of critical structures of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Nuclear, as in bomb. Nuclear, as in explosion.
Public, as in, it belongs to all of us.
He could have gone through the proper channels of parkland alienation, which involves due process. It involves legislative approval on the state and county level. But he chose to make a secret deal with Spectra. Why? A look at Mr. Astorino’s campaign contributions may reveal the answer. $41,100 was donated to Mr. Astorino’s campaign by a certain Charles P. Joyce, who just happens to be the CEO and president of Otis Eastern Service, pipeline construction company, a subcontractor to Spectra Energy.
Yes. The same Spectra Energy that was granted permission to expand their pipeline through Blue Mountain Reservation. A further look will reveal that another $2,000 was contributed to Mr. Astorino’s campaign fund by the regional office of Spectra Energy.
All of this is a violation of Section 16 of the agreement between Spectra Energy and Westchester County which forbids any compensation, direct or indirect, between Spectra Energy and officials of Westchester County. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Rob Astorino betrayed Westchester County for $43,100.
County Executive Rob Astorino promised us that Spectra would leave the park in the same condition that they found it in. They did not. I invite you to take a walk through Blue Mountain. Walking paths have been compromised. Water drainage has been altered and clogged. Trees and vegetation has been cleared away. Cut tree trunks have not been removed. Ditches filled with standing water remain.
County Executive Rob Astorino promised us that the natural gas from this pipeline would benefit Westchester County. It does not. At no point is the gas diverted from this pipeline to provide for the energy needs of Westchester residents. Most of the gas is intended for overseas markets. This map shows exactly where Spectra Energy plans on delivering the fracked gas: to ports in the northeast for export.
County Executive Rob Astorino told us that the new pipeline would be safer. It is not. Pipelines built after 2010 rupture at a higher rate than older pipelines.
County Executive Rob Astorino insists that the natural gas that flows through this pipeline is clean and safe, and that it is a bridge fuel. It is not. Methane released from natural gas is 86 times more potent as an agent for global warming than carbon dioxide over a twenty year period. Natural gas is not clean. And it is not a bridge fuel. It is a bridge to nowhere.
Now Spectra Energy wants to do to Yorktown what they did to Peekskill, Verplank, and Buchanan. But they can be stopped. I urge you to sign this petition to Governor Cuomo .
Students of Mamaroneck High School. Here is your homework assignment for tomorrow. Call Governor Cuomo and tell him to deny Spectra Energy’s request for the 401 water permit.
Thank you, Robert May
Note: Robert May wrote a piece for Truthout about some of the serious issues surrounding Spectra’s pipelines through Northern Westchester. You can read it HERE. It should also be noted that there has been an ongoing grassroots resistance to the pipelines. One of the first blockades was in November, 2015. Chris Hedges posted about that event and related pipeline issues HERE.