Activists protesting the construction of a new natural gas pipeline into the heart of Manhattan stepped up their efforts to draw attention to the issue this weekend by getting naked, painting their bodies green, and dancing along the West Side Highway.
The NJ-NY Expansion Project, known familiarly as the Spectra Pipeline after the Texas-based energy company behind it, runs about 16 miles from Staten Island, through New Jersey, and under the Hudson before surfacing in the West Village.
Spectra touts the pipeline as a necessary infrastructure project that will create jobs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by replacing oil with natural gas.
Opponents question the wisdom of running a high-pressure gas pipeline into the middle of the West Village, and note that the natural gas it will carry is derived from the controversial process of hydrofracking the Marcellus shale.
The pipeline plan received federal approval in May, and construction began this summer.
From the beginning, opponents of the project have pushed back, chaining themselves to construction equipment on the Gansevoort Pier where the pipeline enters Manhattan and staging a hazmat-suited dance party in the lobbies of Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo, which are financing the project.
You can learn more about Spectra’s arguments for the pipeline at the enthusiastically titled website YesGasPipeline.com.
That’s some background on the issue. If you’re into photographs of naked green people, we’ve got those too: