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Mayor Bloomberg Defends Controversial Gas Pipeline Project

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– While a lot of New Yorkers are up in arms over the plan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is all for a controversial natural gas pipeline, saying it is something “we desperately need.”

The $850 million, 15-mile pipeline would run from Staten Island to Bayonne and Jersey City before crossing into Manhattan at Greenwich Village.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Hears From Bloomberg

Bloomberg says the pipeline controversy boils down to a matter of choice – do we want more nuclear power, more coal fired plants or a natural gas line?

“There’s no free lunch – you’re going to have choices,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor also noted that coal kills 13,000 people a year in the country and stressed that stopping coal fire plants is one of the highest priorities we have.

“We have to have an alternative source and the alternative source that’s the most practical at the moment – it’s not solar, wind, someday maybe – but for the moment it is natural gas and that’s the way gas comes and we need that pipeline,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said he agrees with Gov. Andrew Cuomo that we can’t walk away from an energy source that we desperately need.

Some critics have pointed to a natural gas drilling technique, known as fracking, and said that method would cause environmental issues.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb Reports From Union Square

“I think our governor has it right – Gov. Cuomo said he didn’t want fraking in the watershed – I agree with that – but that you shouldn’t walk away from an energy source that we need,” he said.

What do you make of the pipeline controversy?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  • Larry Higgs

    I live a block away from the proposed pipeline route in Jersey City. There are two schools even closer to the route, a high school and an elementary school. Thousands of people a day will drive over this pipeline which parallels the NJ Turnpike extension and never know they danger they are in. The PATH train and Hudson Bergen like rail cross the pipeline and it will come dangerously close to the high rises at Newport. And that is before it crosses the river into the west village. A high pressure gas pipeline should not be put through such a densely populated area. One incident, similar to gas pipeline explosions that happened in California and eastern Pennsylvania last year could kill hundreds of people. Spectra’s safety record is also questionable. This is too great a risk for too many people. The pipeline could be routed through industrial areas and under the harbor directly to a gas depot, but Spectra rejected it due to the cost. It is up to public officials and FERC to force Spectra to take the safer route.

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