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


Description

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
SiteBurrillville
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Shale gas fracking
Oil and gas refining
Other
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsCurrent Pipeline Length: 1,127 miles

Current Capacity: 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)

Ownership: Spectra Energy Partners, LP, a subsidiary of Duke Energy

Operator: Spectra Energy
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
Neighbours/citizens/communities
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

Impacts

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

Outcome

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

Links

FANG, Northeast Campaign
http://www.fangtogether.org/northeast/

Oil and Gas Journal: Construction Begins at Cove Point
http://www.ogj.com/articles/2014/10/construction-begins-on-cove-point-lng-export-project.html

Waging Nonviolence: "Week of action marks turning point in campaign against Spectra Energy"
http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/week-action-marks-turning-point-campaign-spectra-energy/

The Providence Journal: Burrillville residents, supporters on the march against pipeline plan.
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20140814/News/308149918

Media Links

Video of a laugh riot action against Rhode Island "Bridge to Nowhere"
http://capitalismvsclimate.org/2015/02/laugh-riot-protesters-interrupt-pro-fracking-senator-whitehouse/

Other Documents

FANG Occupies the Office of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/11043036_350855978445727_6732449726434670790_n.jpg

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.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/1907453_350248601839798_6464907864780935010_n.jpg

Meta Information

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

Images

 

FANG Occupies the Office of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

 

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.