To: Hon. Daniel J. Galán, Secretario del Departmento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales, Hon. Luis G. Fortuño, Gobernador, Hon. Thomas Rivera Schatz, Preseidente del Senado, y Hon. Jennifer A. González Colon, Presidente de la Camara de Representantes, y Hon. Luis M. Santiago González, Presidente de la Comisión de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales del Senado y Hon. Eric Correa Rivera, Presidente de la Comisión de Recursos Naturales, Ambientales y Energía de la Cámara de Representantes del Estado Libre Asiciado de Puerto Rico
¡NO AL GASODUCTO! NO TO THE PIPELINE!
We as young Taíno Guaribo Gua Coku Gua Boriken (Puerto Rico), oppose the “Green Route" project proposed by the current government as an energy reform solution to reduce the cost energy. The so-called "Green Route" is nothing but a mechanism of mass destruction to Mother Earth, Atabey, that will negatively impact wildlife and their habitats, presents a threat to Sacred Sites, the life, well being and property of the People. We have already suffered the loss of life, and damage to our environment, wildlife, habitat and homes from explosions. On November 21, 1996 there was a huge explosion caused by a gas leak in the town of town of Rio Piedras that injured over 100 people and took the lives of 34 people. The latest “accident” occurred on October 23, 2009 in the town of Cataño when a fuel leak caused an explosion in the oil refinery "CAPECO (Caribbean Petroleum Company, (owners of the Gulf gas stations in Puerto Rico). Today we still have not received a report on the environmental and wild life impact of said explosion.
It is outrageous to witness this act of crass violation of fundamental basic human and constitutional rights of our Nation and Peoples. Everyone has the Sacred and undeniable human right to enjoy the benefits of development without the destruction of their natural resources, wildlife, habitats or threat to their sustenance, Sacred Sites, life, culture and property of the People.
This deplorable plan means that power plants would go from dependency on foreign oil to dependency on foreign natural gas; making us totally dependent on the Fenosa Company (a Spain based company), a leading multi-national corporation in the gas and power sectors, creating yet another dependency on a monopoly. It operates in 23 countries and has more than 20 million customers worldwide. We have already experienced the devastating consequences to Atabey, Mother Earth caused when they began to lay the infrastructure for this project in the south of the Island, “Gasoducto del Sur”. They now pretend to revive this disastrous project with a very misleading name change from the Southern Pipeline to the “Green Route” implying that it is renewable green energy, and changing the route to the central mountain range all the way to the metropolitan area.
According to the AEE plans, the pipeline route is 146 km long with a potential impact to over 100 meters wide and, would severely impact around 400 agricultural acres.
• It will severely affect the conservation of the of the Rio Grande de Arecibo and Rio Portuguese Watersheds and impact many rivers including, Rio de la Plata, Río Bayamón, Quebrada Diego, Rio Cibuco, Cano Matos, Perdomo Canal, Rio Grande de Arecibo, Caguana River, River Caguanita, Pellejas River, Rio Corcho, Quebrada Arenas, Río Tallaboa, Tanamá River, Indian River, Rio Grande de Manati and Rio Yunes.
• The pipeline route is comprised of 106 km of the karst area which supplies more than 25% of the total water demand of the country and directly impacts 223 acres of Special Conservation Zones. Furthermore, the presence of sinkholes and unstable terrain located within the pipeline route would cause more landslides than usual. Unstable terrain in south-central mountain range have some of the highest slopes ranging from sea level on the coast to 3,000 feet above sea level in town of Adjuntas, it crosses two seismic fault lines and then continue to San Juan affecting 13 municipalities.
• It will impact some 51 communities, and passes through the lands of the University of Puerto Rico in the Town of Utuado, with potential risks to 22,854 families and students. Although the government says "there is a prudent separation of the pipeline from the communities"; the pipeline will pass along the side of the road that runs in front of the Levittown community in Toa Baja which is home to about 30,071 people; and the pipeline will be exposed along sections of the Arecibo Utuado PR10 where some 13,104 vehicles transit every day.
To see the full report by Casa Pueblo go to:
• Although, the preamble to the constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico says that “a democratic system is fundamental to the life of the community… and …that a democratic system is one where the will of the people is the source of public power, where public policy is subordinate to the rights of man, and ensures the free participation of its citizens in collective decisions”. This multinational project again ignores and tramples on the right of the People to participation in decision-making.
Where is the democracy in our country when the government feels free to ignore the will of the people? Therefore we reach out to your conscience and heart to oppose the “Green Route” pipeline of death. Your voice and action together with those of others will help to preserve what is ours. We already face enough risks to our environment, lives and property. Let us explore new sources of renewable and sustainable energy alternatives!
¡NO AL GASODUCTO! NO TO THE PIPELINE!