A bill aimed at providing more energy to the burgeoning populations of Queens and Brooklyn has made its way through the House, and if it’s approved by the Senate, the city will be a step closer to achieving the Bloomberg administration’s clean energy goals. NY1’s Erin Billups filed the following report.
A bill approving the construction of a three-mile gas pipeline through Brooklyn and Queens quietly sailed through the House of Representatives Tuesday night.
On the floor, bill sponsor Congressman Michael Grimm talked up the project's economic benefits.
"The Gateway Pipeline project will generate approximately $265 million in construction activity. That's almost 300 local jobs," said Grimm.
It's a part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2007 PlaNYC initiative, which he says is about building a stable clean-energy future for the city.
Unlike other proposed pipeline projects, this one was met with little criticism. Lawmakers say they've even received support from the Sierra Club.
"This particular gas pipeline is one that is not intrusive into peoples’ backyards per se,” said Congressman Joseph Crowley. “Most importantly, it will be the elimination of two dirtier fuels: number four and number six oil."
The national grid pipeline would tap into a pipeline in the Atlantic Ocean that runs from the Gulf Coast all the way to New York.
It needs federal approval because the pipeline would run underneath the Gateway National Recreation Area with a meter and regulation station at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
Bill co-sponsor Gregory Meeks said that on top of having access to cheaper, cleaner fuel, the project will benefit the national park.
"Somewhere in the neighborhood of $8, 9, 10 million that will help restore the parks so it can be utilized by people in the area," said Meeks.
Given that many bills in Washington are used as leverage, New York's lawmakers are proud to say the pipeline legislation is an exception. It’s proof, they say, that there is bipartisanship on the Hill.
"Gregory Meeks and I worked very hard to keep it narrow," said Grimm.
"We said this is good for the city," said Meeks.
The congressmen expect the Senate to take up the bill with little opposition.
A spokesperson for Senator Charles Schumer said he’s still reviewing the bill.