Making Headlines This Week

Protestors Rally Against Natural Gas Pipeline

Opponents are weighing in on the debate over building a natural gas pipeline that would run through the New York region.

The proposed $850 million development would introduce 15 miles of new pipeline, running from Staten Island to Bayonne and Jersey City, before crossing into Manhattan. Five miles of existing pipeline between Staten Island and Linden, N.J., would also be replaced if the project goes ahead, reports The New York Times.

More than 300 anti-drilling and Occupy Wall Street protestors rallied against the project at a public meeting last week in Greenwich Village. Some critics voiced concerns about environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, the method for drilling natural gas.

Jersey City Mayor, Jeremiah T. Healy is opposed to the pipeline, while New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, views it as a cleaner, greener alternative to dirty heating oil, writes The Times.

Spectra Energy, the Houston company developing the project, emphasizes that it has undergone several revisions and now exceeds federal requirements for pipeline safety, the Times reports.

A decision by federal regulators is expected early next year.

Rhode Island Leading in Wind Energy Development

Europe is outstripping the U.S. when it comes to offshore wind power. While European nations have already installed more than 1,100 wind turbines out at sea, the U.S. has built none so far, reports Climate Central.

Cape Wind, a company proposing the development of 130 wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod, has undergone extensive environmental reviews from federal, state and local agencies. More than seven years after the reviews began, the U.S. Department of the Interior finally approved the construction of the turbines. However, the company continues to face lawsuits from environmental groups.

In response, Rhode Island has developed a plan for where wind farms should go and where they should not. Called the Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or SAMP, it considers numerous potential complications and takes input from interested parties. For example, marine and human activities that might be affected by wind farms, and input from environmental groups and fishermen, are included in the plan.

SAMP has received support from the Federal government, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and wind-energy companies, according to Climate Central.

Climate Change Skeptics Remain Unconvinced

Climate scientists and advocates of climate policy action hoped the findings from a recent study would convince skeptics that global warming is real, reports The New York Times.

The study, done by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project and submitted for peer-review, indicates that the world’s average temperature has risen by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the mid-1950s, confirming “global warming is real.”

Longtime critics of climate science expressed dissatisfaction with the report.

Climate skeptic Anthony Watts, who blogs at Watts Up With That, argued that the study’s methodology was flawed and noted that the report has not yet been peer-reviewed, according to The Times.



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