Dominican Sister of Hope Bette Ann Jaster has been involved with a dedicated group of people who are resisting Spectra’s AIM (Algonquin Incremental Market Expansion) Project. The AIM pipeline is a 42-inch, fracked gas pipeline, running 105 feet from critical infrastructure at Indian Point, an aging nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY. Those of us at Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center are within ten miles of the pipeline. It also runs forty feet from an elementary school and people’s homes.
Filled with health risks and the danger of possible explosions, history suggests that the pipeline is not a good idea. In 2015 alone, there were nearly six seroius pipeline incidents every week. Pipelines built since 2010 fail at three times the rate of pipelines built in 1950-1970. Moreover, the pipeline is dangerously close to New York City (~35 miles away): a catastrophe could affect millions.
According to Sister Bette Ann Jaster, the issue of the pipeline is bigger than environmentalism: it’s spiritual.
“We are in solidarity with the Sioux people of Standing Rock, North Dakota as they resist the oil pipeline there,” she wrote in a statement. “Our sacred waters, the Hudson River and wetlands here and the Missouri River there are all connected. Fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if we as a nation are to keep our promise from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
Frighteningly, the pipeline is scheduled to go live by November 1st, or sooner. At a time when it’s easy to feel disenfranchised with regard to the issues of our world, this is an issue that we can all work to change. Ten minutes of your time can help to do something really good for the environment. Better still if you don’t even have to leave your computer to help.
1. Sign a Petition
This letter will be sent to our senators urging them to express our concerns to President Obama. Signing it takes seconds. Never has advocacy been so easy!
As a member of anti-fracking groups, Sister Bette Ann participates in weekly interfaith prayer vigils to pray for our leaders and our neighbors, “that we and they, including the trees, waters, air and all creatures may witness a halt to this madness.” She adds, “Please join us in prayer.” Today, consider taking a few minutes in stillness to pray for this issue, that the beauty and dignity of Earth might be protected and preserved by all her inhabitants.
3. Call Our Elected Officials
A simple phone call can do a lot. Consider calling our elected officials and express your support for an end on all construction on Spectra’s pipeline. Here’s a script that you can draw from or read verbatim. Here are the phone numbers:
Governor Cuomo: (518) 474-8390
Senator Schumer: (212) 486-4430
Senator Gillibrand: (202) 224-4451