Spektra Energy's Fracked Gas “Bridge to Nowhere”, USA

The movement against Spektra Energy's fracked gas pipeline expansion gains momentum in New England.

Spectra Energy currently operates a natural gas compressor station in Burrillville, Rhode Island that draws fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale through 1,127 miles of pipeline in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In anticipation of increasing global demand for natural gas, Spectra Energy have announced plans to build several hundred miles of additional pipeline, increase output, and make Burrillville a major hub of gas exportation on the East Coast. Environmental justice organization such as Fossil Free Rhode Island and FANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas) have rallied support across Rhode Island to protest expansion of the pipeline, which they have declared a "bridge to nowhere". Their efforts have resounded especially with residents of Burrillville, who are expressing growing fears over chemical exposure, noise pollution, and the risk of explosions. To date, 27 organizations from NY, CT, RI and MA have signed on to a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has the power to approve the project. Most recently, FANG activists completed a 28 mile march from the compressor station in Burrillville to downtown Providence. Earlier in the year, four FANG members were arrested in the office of Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Senator who positions himself as environmentally progressive, yet has actively supported construction of the pipeline.
Basic Data
NameSpektra Energy's Fracked Gas “Bridge to Nowhere”, USA
CountryUnited States of America
ProvinceRhode Island
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas refining
Shale gas fracking
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Current Pipeline Length: 1,127 miles
See more...
Project Area (in hectares)6733
Level of Investment (in USD)5,000,000.00 Dollars
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date01/01/2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesSpectra Energy Corp from United States of America
Relevant government actorsFederal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas)

350 Conneticut

Fossil Free Rhode Island

Burrillville Against Spectra Expansion
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Global warming, Soil contamination
Potential: Fires
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Development of AlternativesTo date, 27 organizations from NY, CT, RI and MA have signed on to a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has the power to approve the project.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Expansion of the Algonquin pipeline was approved by the United States FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) on March 3rd, 2015. Spectra Energy plans to begin in April 2015.
Sources and Materials

FANG, Northeast Campaign
[click to view]

Oil and Gas Journal: Construction Begins at Cove Point
[click to view]

Waging Nonviolence: "Week of action marks turning point in campaign against Spectra Energy"
[click to view]

The Providence Journal: Burrillville residents, supporters on the march against pipeline plan.
[click to view]

Media Links

Video of a laugh riot action against Rhode Island "Bridge to Nowhere"
[click to view]

Other Documents

FANG Occupies the Office of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
[click to view]

The March to Burrillville FANG activists conducted a 28 mile march in the snow from the compressor station in Burrillville to the capitol building in Providence.
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEleanor Finley, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Last update27/10/2016