Wednesday, April 13, 2011

At Long Last, Victory For Red Hook And Columbia Street Waterfront Communities. Agreement To Bring Shore Power To Red Hook Cruise Terminal Reached

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At a protest demanding end to idling cruise ship at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, January 2011

Good news! The New York Times just reported that a multi-agency agreement has been reached, which would supply cruise ships with shore power from specially built electrical port outlets at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook.
Currently, the ships dock for hours and sometimes days, continually burning diesel fuel to provide electricity onboard.

For more than two years now, Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steve Levin, State Senators Daniel Squadron and Velmanette Montgomery and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez have called for such a comprehensive shore power agreement. In January 2011, our local officials were joined by community organizations at the Red Hook Cruise terminal to demand an end to idling cruise ships and to the resulting pollution that chokes nearby residential neighborhoods.

Thank you to everyone who worked on getting this agreement. It will make a big difference right in our own community, but especially in Red Hook and the Columbia waterfront.

In a statement released earlier this morning, Senator Squadron stated:

"With this agreement to bring shore power to the cruise terminal, Brooklyn can finally breathe a little easier. The noxious diesel fumes that cruise ships in port have been spewing are bad for Brooklynites and bad for the environment. I have worked with Council Member Brad Lander, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, our colleagues in government and the entire community to advocate for an expedited agreement to implement shore power. I commend Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority, the New York Power Authority, the Economic Development Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Carnival Cruise Lines for working together to find this important solution."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it time for a new Tea Party in Brooklyn Harbor?

According to the NYTimes Feb 1, 2011 story, The Paradox of Corporate Taxes: on Carnival Cruise Lines: “Over the last five years, the company has paid total corporate taxes — federal, state, local and foreign — equal to only 1.1 percent of its cumulative $11.3 billion in profits. Thanks to an obscure loophole in the tax code, Carnival can legally avoid most taxes. “

And an April 16, 2005 Times story announcing the company's move to Brooklyn: "executive vice president for fleet operations for the Cunard and Princess Lines, said that Carnival had decided to shift the berths of some of its best ships to Brooklyn because the Red Hook terminal was the first to be modernized by the city in a $150 million redevelopment project "

Then we have the Sept 2007 story in the Brooklyn Paper: Cruise industry fails Red Hood: “In the first year that the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was in operation in Red Hook, the amount of cruise-related income generated in the city dropped from $992 million in 2005 to $729 million in 2006, the Cruise Line Industry Association report showed. …..— represents a loss of nearly 7,000 jobs. “

And now $12 million in public tax dollars are going for the infrastructure at the port to cleanup this mess generated by this dirty industry! A dirty industry does not even contribute tax revenue back to the community or jobs!

Something is very wrong in the way our elected officials are doing the people's business.