On Wednesday, April 16, at 12 p.m., I joined a group of activists at a press conference outside the offices of senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer at 780 Third Avenue in Manhattan.
The demonstration, organized by Food & Water Watch, New Yorkers Against Fracking, 350NYC and NYPIRG, was intended to urge our senators to vote “no” on a bill that would fast-track liquefied natural gas exports. As speakers Alex Beauchamp and Pat Almonrode aptly stated, the oil and gas industry is exploiting the crisis in Ukraine to increase natural gas production under the guise of helping Europe wean itself from Russia’s fossil fuels.
This is what Naomi Klein calls the “shock doctrine” – the knack for exploiting crisis for private gain. We well know that Europe does not need American natural gas given the major strides it has made in renewable energy production. In addition, this fast-track bill will not promote U.S. energy independence because the majority of it will likely be shipped abroad.
Moreover, due to the many hazards of fracking and liquefied natural gas as an extremely volatile substance, this fast-track bill would only bring harm to U.S. communities.
At the close of the press conference, we delivered 15,000 petition signatures opposing the fast-track bill to our senators. In light of the most recent United Nations climate report put forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which calls for a swift switch to clean energy sources in order to avoid climate catastrophe, we hope the our Senators will hear our voices and choose public will over dirty fossil fuel interests.
MPA Candidate, Baruch College