RFK, Jr. joins Constitution Pipeline fight

pipeline RFK
Photo by Taylor Ricciardi

A large coalition of environmental groups is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “just say no” to the controversial Constitution Pipeline, which would deliver natural gas across New York’s Southern Tier.

More than a hundred people rallied in Albany to urge Cuomo to deny certification that is still needed to build the Constitution Pipeline, a joint project of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, and Williams, a natural gas company.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is an environmental activist and author, spoke at the rally.

“Our children are going to pay for their joyride, and they’re going to pay for it with polluted landscapes, poor health, huge clean up costs, drowned cities, a melted Arctic, and disappeared species,” Kennedy said.“We are going to impoverish the next generation by making these people prosperous, and that is not a good choice.”

The 124-mile proposed pipeline would start in Susquehanna County,  Pennsylvania and would end in Schoharie County.

After the speeches on the lawn of the Capitol, the protesters marched around the Capitol, and then down to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC is requiring a 401 Water Quality Certification to verify that the pipeline is not violating the state’s water quality standards.

“This is not about making America a better place, this is about enriching a few billionaires and the shareholders of these companies,” Kennedy said.

Many speakers mentioned how Cuomo acted in a pro- environment way when the DEC banned fracking in New York. They said it is important for him to help again now.

“Governor Cuomo can be a climate hero, and say no to the Constitution Pipeline,” said Wenonah Hauter, the founder and executive director of the Food & Water Watch.

The protester chanted “We’ve got the power,” “Deny the 401,” and “United we are strong, we can stop the pipeline”.

Some of the groups represented at the rally include The Center for Earth Ethics, We Are Seneca Lake, and Food & Water Watch.

“This is a tired, dinosaur, expired business model,” said Kennedy, referring to the transportation of natural gas across state lines.