Sit-in at Whitehouse's Providence office - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Sit-in at Whitehouse's Providence office

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@DanaRGriffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- Six environmental activists sat in Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's office for two hours Tuesday. The protestors want to stop the proposed Spectra gas pipeline upgrade and expansion in New England. Demonstrators took to Senator Whitehouse's office to get their message out.

B.A.S.E Organizer, Kathleen Martley said, "We don't believe in the expansion. It's very bad for our environment in Burrillville and the health risks. It could blow up."

Spectra Energy's gas compressor sits on nearly 700–acres of buffer zone in Burrillville. The company claims it meets all federal regulations and there are no health threats.

F.A.N.G Organizer, Nick Katkevich said, "This pipeline is gonna cost a billion dollars as pipeline expansion and we feel that type of money should be invested in clean renewable energy not more toxic fossil fuel."

The pipeline would run from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts– with a mile being added to Rhode Island. The compressor station in Burrillville would be upgraded–a plus for local union construction workers.

Rhode Island Laborers' District Council Business manager, Michael Savitoni said, "Fulfilling the need where the population centers are in the northeast would create thousands of jobs, if not tens of thousands of construction jobs for workers all thorough the northeast including Rhode Island."

Senator Whitehouse was in the state but not at the office today. His communications director sent us a statement that reads in part:

"While the senator is still reviewing the details of the Burrillville proposal, he generally supports the short–term expansion of natural gas capacity in New England."

"We don't think a climate champion should be supporting a fossil fuel project," added Katkevich.

The decision about whether to approve this pipeline project will be decided by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which is currently in the public review process.

The public meeting in Burrillville is scheduled for September 16th.

Senator Whitehouse has invited the protestors to meet with him at a free community dinner on September 3rd.

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