Saturday, November 3, 2012

"You're a NIMBY HYPOCRITE!" -- a response

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Andy Leahy
of the blog NY Shale Gas Now wrote this yesterday
about the "Hypocrisy of NIMBYism":

``Politically, today's announcement works like this:  It takes the legs out from under opponents by challenging their fundamental hypocrisy  — on grounds of both ideology and economic self-interest. 

After all, lots of folks who prefer to consider themselves well-informed, well-meaning,  and righteous — are already caught in the trap of railing against fossil fuelswhile they at the same time directly or indirectly burn the stuff daily.``
This came up for me recently at the Oneonta FERC scoping session on the Constitution Pipeline.

I was walking around with a big banner showing the illegal and unpermitted start of the Constitution Pipeline, the Williams Central Station.

  • I have seen a permit for TWO dehydrators. This image shows THREE. (vertical blue-grey stacks in the center). I have seen recent photos which now show FOUR.

    (there is supposedly a permit for three dehydrators, but I have not been able to obtain it yet via a Freedom to Know request from PA DEP, and IMO it has questionable legitimacy)
  • There is no permit for the full site design. They are piecemealing  (and thus segmenting) the project to avoid environmental review.
  • The only permit issued is a DEP GP-5, which according to PA law is not appropriate for the start of a transmission line (like the Constitution).
  • This facility is certainly under FERC jurisdiction, however FERC is still in PREFILE (hence: PF12-9)
  • Looks to me they do whatever they want to regardless of permits.

So anyway, a big union guy in one of those yellow "Jobs!" tee shirts came up to me and started calling me a NIMBY Hypocrite.

"How did you get here?" he shouted, while poking a finger at me. "YOU DROVE!"

Yeah, so?

"All of you people here in New Jersey are all the same. HYPOCRITES!"

"Whoa, wait a minute. New Jersey? This is NEW YORK!
Do you even what state you're in?", I asked.

"Ugh yeah, sure." he shrugged.

"Really? What town are you from?" I had heard the gas companies were busing people in to make trouble at these meetings, but here was first hand evidence.

"Never mind that-- You're a NIMBY HYPOCRITE!"

I had been struggling in the past to know how to respond to this.
The energy that night was incredible, and somehow I found these words to say:

"Look: If you want to have a discussion about how we can all get off hydrocarbon fuels, then lets join forces and have that discussion. Let's both work together to achieve that goal.  I agree, this should be our #1 priority!

Fighting fracking is a secondary diversion, but urgently necessary, it seems. We are under attack by an industrial army of bulldozers and drill rigs lined up at the border wanting to turn this beautiful place into a wasteland.


But in fact you drove here too, and you don't see any problem with that, do you?

SO IN FACT you are trying to hold me to a higher standard that you are willing to live by yourself, and THAT SIR, is the definition of hiprocrisy."

Feel free to use that if you find it helpful.


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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