Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
WRITE ON: When Government Fails Us

By MICHAEL FITZGERALD

In the same week as most Finger Lakes residents prepared to vote in national, state and local elections, 25 people voted with their bodies north of Watkins Glen, resorting to civil disobedience to make their point.

The 25 people — one as old as 90 — were arrested and carted away in two separate incidents outside the gates of property owned by a Houston, Texas energy corporation called Crestwood. The arrestees were all charged with trespassing. A few also were charged with disorderly conduct.

Their crime was blocking Crestwood’s gates, refusing to let vehicle traffic in or out of the lakeside facility. The smart money says there will be more blockades in coming weeks and months by the group called “We Are Seneca Lake.”

They are putting themselves on the line because they believe that government — the same government we went to the polls Tuesday to elect — has failed to protect us from clear and present dangers posed by the planned storage of natural gas in unlined salt caverns.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rubber-stamped its approval of the natural gas storage project after only cursory scrutiny.

The natural gas storage is separate from Crestwood’s pending application before the NY Department of Environmental Conservation to store 88 million gallons of liquid propane gas on the same site, also in unlined salt caverns.

Opponents fear that FERC’s natural gas approval is an ominous prelude to Crestwood getting the nod from the DEC to build a massive industrial park and transit depot with facilities for trucks, railroad cars and pipelines in a storage complex that will serve the gas and LPG needs of the entire northeastern U.S.

And opponents also cite that the natural gas storage has a set of negatives nearly equal to the downsides posed by storing the more volatile LPG.
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