Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Draft letter to a policymaker in New York State on the proliferation of natural gas pipelines

I have been advised that the legal process is both too expensive and takes too long for an artist to engage in to resist the proliferation of natural gas infrastructure at the expense of citizens. Some activists, such as the Montrose 9 + 2, have taken the route of risking (and being) arrested to prevail under the "necessity defense," that the necessity of opposing a disaster prevails over other considerations. Instead, I was advised to, and decided to find a policymaker who could spearhead the necessary changes. So I drafted the following letter for a policy maker in NYS:

I am writing as a citizen concerned with pubic good, and aware of your record of concern for the people of this state, with the hopes that we might meet to discuss your position on natural gas. I am a resident of NYC, and an ecological artist, with a transdisciplinary PhD in environmental sciences from the University of Plymouth, UK, and an Affiliate at the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I was approached a year ago, by activists opposing the Algonquin natural gas pipeline (AIM), now being installed in Peekskill, NY close to the Indian Point nuclear facility. Since then, I have informed myself about the risks that concerned them. In June 2015, I launched a public art project, “Blued Trees,” at the invitation of private landowners resisting eminent domain condemnation of their lands. That work has now been installed within the corridors of miles of proposed natural gas infrastructure, throughout the United States, copyrighted, and in the case of the Algonquin, a cease and desist was issued, and subsequently ignored by Spectra Corporation. The grounds of this legal-art work, are that the public good is not being served, as we face a catastrophe of climate change, alarming data on fugitive methane emissions, the probability of a fracked gas explosion close to a nuclear facility thirty miles from NYC, and impacts on watersheds and the small farming communities of upper New York State. I would be very appreciative if we might meet to discuss the data about this situation.

Thank you for you time and attention,

Dr. Aviva Rahmani 

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