Aug 11 2010

Jersey City

Satirical treatment of Spectra Energy's proposed pipeline through Jersey City.  Several websites have captured the company's track record and public concern about it.

This satirical treatment of Spectra Energy's proposed pipeline through Jersey City has shown up on many websites.

Mayor, Council & Citizens Tell Spectra Energy & FERC

‘NO’ to Gas Pipeline Through Jersey City

To THUNDEROUS Cheers & Applause from Audience

New Jersey ain’t Texas!

This is the message delivered to Houston-based Spectra Energy by citizens and officials at a public meeting in Jersey City.

Spectra Energy wants to run 16-miles of new gas pipeline and 5 miles of replacement pipeline on what it calls its New Jersey-New York expansion.  If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the 30-inch diameter high-pressure gas pipeline would run from Staten Island, NY, through Bayonne and Jersey City, NJ, and into Manhattan, according to Spectra Energy.1

Both Spectra Energy and FERC, which called the meeting, got an earful from some 300 citizens who attended.

City That Fights

“You came to a city that fights,” said Frances O. Thompson, Board of Education Commissioner and activist, according to news coverage in The Jersey City Independent.  “[The pipeline] is not a done deal. Jersey City will make sure it won’t happen.”

Thompson was among “at least 90 speakers who spoke for a total of four and a half hours,” according to Douglas Carlucci, reporting for The Jersey City Independent.2

The first speaker, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, was equally blunt; and his presentation is recorded on video.

Mayor – “This Is About Safety”

“This is not about money.  This is about safety,” the Mayor said.

He pointed out that the pipeline would run the length of one of the most densely populated cities in the country.  Spectra Energy’s current plans have the pipeline running close to Homeland Security designated Critical Tier 1 and Tier 2 infrastructure in Jersey City.

“Bottom line is – we really don’t want this in Jersey City,” the mayor concluded.  To thunderous cheers and applause from the audience.  (Watch the video.)3

Other elected officials speaking against the proposed pipeline include City Council members Steven Fulop, Michael Sottolano and David Donnelly.  State Senator Sandra Cunningham also opposes the plan, according to The Jersey City Independent.

Spectra Energy’s Explosive Track Record

Jersey City Medical Center President Joseph E. Scott reminded Spectra Energy of its track record, according to the article in The Jersey City Independent:

“Simply put, if a breach to the pipeline were to occur as it did in Edison, New Jersey, on March 24, 1994, and was in close proximity to the Jersey City Medical Center the resulting impact to regional acute health care services and public safety would be catastrophic.”

The New York Times covered the Edison, NJ, explosion that involved Texas Eastern, the pipeline division of Spectra Energy.  The news report also cited past fatal failures of Texas Eastern in an article with this headline and lead paragraph:


Pipeline Owner Was at Fault in Fatal Accidents in the 80′s

The Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation, the owner of the 33-year-old underground pipeline that ruptured and set off a fiery explosion in central New Jersey, was responsible for three fatal accidents in the 1980s in the South and Midwest.  And it is a partner in a venture responsible for a 1990 propane explosion that enveloped an upstate New York village in a fog-like vapor and killed two people

The New York Times – March 26, 1994

Moss Bluff Explosions

Spectra Energy’s more recent history also includes catastrophic failure.  The company’s underground gas storage reservoir outside of Houston (Moss Bluff) suffered two explosions in 2004, 6 1/2 days of fire with flames as high as 1,000 feet and two evacuations.  An estimated 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas was consumed during the fire that lasted nearly one-week.4

Spectra Energy has declined to talk with this blog about “lessons learned” from its Moss Bluff experience.

Public concern about pipeline safety is not hysteria.  The Wall Street Journal reported that, “Nationwide there were 47 pipeline incidents last year that caused a death or serious injury, according to federal statistics, up from 40 in 2008 and 45 in 2007.”5

City Councilman Steven Fulop and his team have developed an outreach effort to the community on Spectra Energy’s pipeline plan.  As part of that, they have established Google and Facebook sites where interested parties can sign up for updates:

Jersey City NO Gas Pipelines (Google Group-Info)

Jersey City NO Gas Pipelines (FACEBOOK)

Links & Resources

1 Spectra Energy’s New Jersey/New York Expansion –

2 Residents & Officials Come Out in Force Against Proposed Gas Pipeline in Jersey City  (The Jersey City Independent, by Douglas Carlucci, August 5, 2010)

Or pdf file: residents-officials-come-out-in-force-against-proposed-gas-pipeline-in-jersey-city-the-jersey-city-independent

3 Mayor Healy Speaking about the Proposed Spectra Gas Pipeline in Jersey City YouTube Link:!

Or Jersey City Website:

4 Fiery Inferno at Spectra Energy’s underground natural gas storage reservoir at Moss Bluff, Texas (outside of Houston) – For details see this link:

5 The Wall Street Journal on 47 pipeline incidents in 2009 – See The Wall Street Journal report titled, “Gas Blast Rocks Texan Town,” June 8, 2010.    For those with a subscription to The Wall Street Journal, you can access the online version of this story at the following link (you may have to cut and paste this link into your browser window):

One Response

  1. Claude Mundy Says:

    What a bunch of BS. Gas pipelines are one of the safest and most economic forms of transporting cheap energy there is. But, if you prefer expensive and volatile heating oil being delivered in trucks driving around on icy city streets, that’s your call.

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