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Letter: No offshore drilling, but what about gas pipeline?

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on May

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on May 1. Credit: AP / James Neiss

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s media blitz about banning offshore drilling in New York waters was much ado about a real but distant threat [“Governor signs ban on offshore drilling,” News, April 30]. The State Legislature and governor were justifiably proactive in passing legislation that could help thwart future federal plans to drill for oil and gas off New York’s coast.

Puzzling, however, is how silent Cuomo has been about a grave threat: the proposed Williams Transco pipeline for fracked natural gas. Allowing it would be like replacing your home’s windows while ignoring a leaky roof.

Pipeline construction would entail digging a trench 23 miles under New York Harbor, disturbing harbor material that contains heavy metals and toxic industrial substances. If Cuomo supports such a hazardous project, he should also be prepared to hold himself accountable for the possible decimation of our water quality, fisheries and marine mammals.

Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation can stop this project, but only if it denies a water quality permit by May 16. If Cuomo allows Williams to move forward, his hypocrisy will be palpable. But if he stops Williams, he will have solidified his conservation legacy while keeping New Yorkers safe.

Guy Jacob, Elmont

Editor’s note: The writer is conservation chair of the Nassau Hiking & Outdoor Club.