CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Nearly two dozen demonstrators gathered in Hillary Clinton's hometown recently, calling on her to weigh in on a planned expansion of the Algonquin natural-gas pipeline near the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
The demonstrators rallied in downtown Chappaqua in pouring rain and were stationed at the traffic triangle that is bound by South Greeley Avenue and Route 120. The group was met with honking car horns in support, and held a candle-lit vigil towards the end of its meet up.
“We need Hillary Clinton to address this gas pipeline-nuclear power plant issue," said Susan Rubin, a longtime Chappaqua resident and environmentalist.
New York's presidential primary is on Tuesday, April 19. Indian Point is located in the nearby village of Buchanan.
While Rubin wants all of the presidential candidates to weigh in on the pipeline's location, she is especially interested in Clinton's position, arguing that the potential future president won't be able to evacuate from the area, either, should a disaster happen at Indian Point.
“It's a terrorist target," Rubin said about Indian Point. "It's a bigger terrorist target now that there's an explosive pipeline going in next door.”
Rubin has a longtime history of opposition against the pipeline expansion, which calls for widening capacity for transporting gas. The pipeline is being sought by Spectra Energy, which received federal approval for the measure.
“I've been fighting for clean air and water and safe life, public health, for years and years and years, not just Spectra but Indian Point and school food - all sorts of things," Rubin said.
Demonstrators chanted several tunes, including one where they asked, "Which side are you on, Mrs. Clinton? Which side are you on?"
A member of a trade group that includes Indian Point owner Entergy was on hand and commented to Daily Voice.
Rob DiFrancesco, director of group New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA), noted Clinton's representation of the state as a U.S. Senator for eight years and how she has voiced support before for keeping the plant open but safe.
“She's a senator who served the community well and she has come out just recently talking about 'yes, we must have a safe facility at Indian Point, but Indian Point must remain open.”
Clinton has called for a thorough federal review of Indian Point but not a closure, according to Politico New York , citing the impact on electricity rate payers in such a scenario. Clinton's Democratic primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, backs a closure, the article states.
“We're aware of his position,” DiFrancesco commented on Sanders supporting a plant closure.
Referring to Sanders home state, DiFrancesco brought up the prospect of natural gas replacing a shuttered nuclear plant there. A gas-plant proposal is moving forward in Vernon, VT, the home of former nuclear plant Vermont Yankee, according to a report in The Brattleboro Reformer.