Since July 1, over 200 Greenpointers have joined a strike to protest the controversial North Brooklyn Pipeline project by National Grid. They have all been withholding $66 from their monthly gas bill.
The strike comes after two years of negotiations between National Grid and the New York Department of Public Service, as well as constant protests against the pipeline project.
National Grid contends the new construction will allow for safer, more reliable, and more efficient gas supply in North Brooklyn.
The project would install a new gas pipeline underneath parts of Brownsville, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Williamsburg. Detractors argue that the pipeline would pollute the ground and water of multiple communities of color and low-income communities.
Additionally, the cost associated with the project has drawn the ire of many Brooklynites. National Grid has reported that their agreement with the New York Department of Public Service would raise their customers’ bills by an average of $5.56 per month in 2021 and then by $4.89 per month in 2022.
Groups such as the Sane Energy Project have opposed National Grid at every step during the pipeline approval process, culminating now with the strike.
“The state and the city really haven’t stood up to National Grid, it’s really only ever been the community,” said Sane Energy Project community engagement coordinator Lee Ziesche. “After almost a year of confidential settlement negotiations that didn’t really involve community members, the plan that National Grid and the state came up with and filed in May just really ignored all the community’s concerns.
“Right now we don’t have a lot of faith that the Public Service Commission is going to do the right thing and reject this rate hike,” Ziesche added.