Highlights from the Cooper Mayoral Candidate Forum

Although the official video from the gas-friendly greenwashers at NYLCV edits out the banner drop and chant when OTP took over the end of their April 22nd Mayoral forum, activists heavily influenced the night, leafletting and raising the issue of pipelines loud and clear. Although Lehrer also tried to edit the issue out of the next day's radio broadcast, in the final minute of the show, a caller brought it up again. Lehrer observed that pipelines will be "an issue the next mayor is going to have to confront." Amen to that. At the forum, Lehrer, who has interviewed Mark Jacobson, brought up his study that outlines how NYS could go 100% renewable by 2030, to blank stares from the candidates, who did however, seem comfortable with wind power across the board.

Although he warned he would not get deeply into fracking, Lehrer did attempt to get candidates to define a policy beyond the usual stance not to frack in the watershed (a question outlined on our flyer), but received only the usual platitudes in response.

Then Lehrer said "One way it IS a mayoral issue pertains to pipelines," and asked specifically about Spectra. Christine Quinn was first up at bat: considering that Quinn has repeatedly ignored citizen requests for anti-Spectra resolutions and radon hearings, her statement that "we can't rush into it . . . need to have monitoring in place, make sure that ALL of the concerns get aired out, get REAL community input into how it gets done, when it gets done . . . clear and transparent monitoring going forward," was disingenuous at best. Quinn concluded by saying she "would not take it off the table," (to sustained booing).

Comptroller, John Liu, who had earlier in the evening taken a stance wary of discontinuing nuclear energy, followed Quinn by urging investments in renewables "as opposed to figuring out how to pipe more gas into the city" and (mis)quoted the well-known Sane Energy talking point that there were "2 letters in favor," (actually, 22 were in favor) "and something like 5000 letters opposed," (to sustained cheering). He questioned the safety record of Spectra as a builder, again quoting talking points from SEP flyers, concluding by saying, "we need energy, but this particular deal seems a particularly bad deal for the people of NYC."

Even climate denier Catsimatidis added, "Gas tends to explode" and putting the pipe into a densely populated area "is not smart."

Our feeling: We didn't hear from many of the candidates on the topic, and would like to know where ALL of them stand. Our coverage of mayoral forums will continue.