Field Note: Sane Energy Project Is Fighting Fossil Fuels In Brooklyn


Field Notes is a section in Bluedot Living Brooklyn dedicated to amplifying organizations doing important work in Brooklyn and beyond. Field Notes are authored by the organizations and edited for clarity by Bluedot. If you would like to submit a Field Note, email [email protected]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has sounded the alarm: We must take urgent action to eliminate carbon emissions if we are to avoid the most devastating consequences of climate change. The global problem seems daunting, but we can all make a meaningful impact by fighting fossil fuels in our own backyard. 

In New York City, activists led by Sane Energy Project have stopped the giant multinational utility, National Grid, from expanding dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure in North Brooklyn, where it would threaten the health and safety of already overburdened and disadvantaged communities. Our fight shows that we can beat powerful fossil fuel corporations if everyday people step up and join the movement.

Since 2011, Sane Energy Project has been organizing grassroots action to replace fracked gas infrastructure with 100% democratically controlled, renewable energy in New York State. 

We have a history of winning hyper-local grassroots campaigns in close collaboration with frontline communities to stop toxic fossil fuel projects. To date, our small organization has either led or played an instrumental role in successfully stopping the construction of five pipelines, one liquefied natural gas (LNG) port, and two fracked gas power plants in New York. 

This year, our top priority is to permanently halt National Grid’s construction of the North Brooklyn pipeline and block its expansion of fracked gas facilities. No one asked for this pipeline: The fossil fuel driven utility began construction of the pipeline in 2017 without bothering to inform the communities that would be impacted. In summer 2019, when Sane Energy discovered National Grid was building the pipeline, we got right to work organizing town halls, workshops, and powerful direct actions which temporarily halted construction.

If you’re not sure how to play a part in fighting the climate crisis, we want you to know that it wasn’t experts or professional campaigners who have halted this pipeline: It was regular people like you who chose to step up and join the fight.

As we continue our fight against National Grid and the whole fracked gas industry, we know that we have to go beyond stopping fossil fuels: We must also build the renewable energy future we need. That’s why we’re very excited about bringing a very promising renewable technology to Brooklyn: Thermal Energy Networks (or for short, TENs). TENs will allow us to heat and cool our buildings with far less energy, using the natural temperature of the earth, water, and air in our city. Our hope is to build networks in precisely the same area that National Grid has threatened with their unnecessary, dangerous pipeline expansion. By bringing this proven technology to frontline communities, we can begin to repair the centuries of harm brought about by the profit-driven fossil fuel industry.

We’re making great strides in our energy transition, but our opponents are strong. We will need much more people-power to win the fight, and that’s why we’re here — to help you get involved. You can learn more and join the movement at

We won’t pay for the pipeline rally and march, Brooklyn Borough Hall and National Grid headquarters, Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Ken Schles/Sane Energy Project

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