"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Clare Donahue, of Un-NaturalGas.org, is a principal founder of Sane Energy Project, a coalition of like-minded groups relative to the environment and how gas pipelines and fracking are destroying our lives in so many ways. Consider her comments and plan on seeing The Pipe.
June 20th, 7:30
The Brecht Forum
451 West Street at Bank Street
The Pipe is a documentary by Richard O'Donnell about the town of Rossport. Ireland, and what happened when Shell Oil decided they were going to run a gas pipeline out of the ocean floor and across their village.
Our event is called "A Pipeline in the Village?" and with that play on words we're connecting the small town of Rossport with New York's West Village, where the Spectra pipeline project is currently proposed, and with the Via Verde, a pipeline being pushed now in Puerto Rico.
As different as these places might seem, the film shows how eerily similar the situations are. There's a landowner in the film, Willie Corduff, who says, "They came in here not ASKING us, but TELLING us what they were going to do."
And of course, this is the issue exactly.
The issue with pipelines and gas infrastructure is universal, it's the lack of self determination. The Shell pipeline in Ireland; the Via Verde pipeline in Puerto Rico (known as Gasoducto), and the Spectra pipeline in NY--these 3 pipelines are all connected by this issue of multinational corporations holding sway over citizens rights, and of governmental systems that are set up to enable that. These pipelines are a safety issue, but there's also a larger issue of democratic processes being tossed aside.
These are radically different places and populations, with extremes of economic scale, but the relevant point is, you might be a wealthy New Yorker living in the West Village, and as prime a piece of real estate as that is; as powerful a voting block as that is, your right of self determination can be swept aside just as easily as it has been for an isolated fisherman on the coast of Ireland or Puerto Rico.
Everyone talks about regulation being the answer, but this is what regulation buys us in this day and age--a system for governmental agencies that enable multinationals to get their way, no matter what the risks to the public might be. All under the guise of having made it "safe,"