The protesters who traveled the furthest distance for Monday's climate rally in Albany were also the youngest. Myles Avle-Kehoe came from Rochester and is just 11.
“Ultimately we are the ones who are going to be affected by this,” Avle-Kehoe said. “It concerns me so much because carbon kills species, including humans, I don’t want to die and I don’t want the next generation to die."
The roughly two-dozen advocates rallied outside the Albany Capital Center. Inside, National Grid hosted a day-long conference to outline its plans to reduce carbon emissions over the next several decades.
The rally-goers believe those plans fall short.
“The reality is that our species and every other species on the planet is in the balance. We are at one minute to midnight,” said Aaron Mair, former president of the Sierra Club.
The protestors are urging National Grid to back off plans to build or expand natural gas pipelines across the state. In addition to the proposed E-37 project in Albany County, the utility company involved with a plan that would transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New York City.
“I think it is incredibly hypocritical to be fracking people in Pennsylvania and putting them at the same risk that we said we would not want here in New York,” said Lee Ziesche, an organizer with the Sane Energy Project.
“We need to ensure the reliability and resiliency of our system,” said National Grid in a statement. “The reality is, we just do not have enough gas supply to keep up with our customers’ demand and renewable energy sources are not available in sufficient quantities to keep up with that demand."
“We see those as kind of scare tactics that they are kind of trying to lock us into this fracked gas future,” Ziesche said.
On Monday, the group also carried letters and post cards to capitol, where they hoped to urge Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers to halt the pipeline projects and invest in clean energy.
"It is doing a lot of bad things to our Earth and we are kind of destroying it and this is our shot, we don’t have many more," 13-year-old Jessie Kelley said.