The Daily Star
---- — Some comments on the FERC DEIS hearing in Oneonta on Tuesday, April 1:
Many dozens of young men were massed on the sidewalk and steps of the Oneonta High School, all uniformed in bright orange shirts sporting the name of their union and possibly, the Constitution Pipeline.
In the parking lot were the two enormous luxury buses that had brought them.
I walked in just as their leaders exhorted them to “get inside, sit as close to the front as you can.” I went to the front of the auditorium and was able to reserve three seats. The stampede behind me quickly filled the rest of the front center row, most of the second row and both the first and second rows on the sides.
Once the speakers began, it was clear that these outsiders had arrived early enough to fill many of the “speaker slots.” In the first 2½ hours, the speakers were running about 4-1 in favor of the pipeline, mainly coming from the ranks of the bused-in group. Many said they were engineers who had experience laying pipe and stated that they had had to attend week-long “safety classes” as evidence that there was no safety issue involved.
Few speakers on either side could adequately address the environmental questions. Most of us can’t.
We can only stand in awe and dismay as we see crops failing, flooding and drought ruining the landscape and hear our politicians giving away our futures to the demands of an insatiable corporate plunderer.
I hope that those young men were adequately paid, wined and dined for doing their dirty work, and I wonder how many of them will be employed if the pipeline gets the green light.