Whether it is the Tennessee Gas pipeline through Massachusetts or the Keystone XL pipeline from Western Canada to the Gulf Coast, the position of advocates is essentially the same -- spare us the environmental arguments, we’re going to do it and no one can stop us. That they may prove to be right is a harsh indictment of U.S. priorities.
Frustration with the vagueness of a Tennessee Gas bureaucrat who met recently with Lenox Selectmen prompted Selectman David Roche to recommend Town Manager Christopher Kitchen to "Tell them to go to hell" in response to their request to survey a major trail in Kennedy Park that the company may want to use for its pipeline (Eagle, August 11.) The Kinder Morgan owned company continues to dodge specifics about its pipeline route, perhaps fearing clarity will embolden opponents and obscurity will weaken them. Or maybe it doesn’t feel it needs to deal honestly with communities and property owners. Either way, eyeing Kennedy Park as a pipeline route demonstrates its overwhelming arrogance.
A study released Sunday by the Stockholm Environment Institute concluding that the Keystone XL pipeline could produce four times more global warming pollution than the U.S. State Department originally calculated drew a response of "so what?" from the American Petroleum Institute, which declared that the tar sands will be developed regardless and companies will move the oil south by train if it has to.
In both cases the transported oil would evidently be sold outside Massachusetts and the US., so if there are benefits in terms of lower prices they will be collected elsewhere. The cause of reducing our dependence on fossil fuel energy would be hurt and climate change will continue to be fueled. Tennessee Gas is supremely confident it will get its federal approval and will move ahead regardless of survey approvals or lack of local support. The oil industry will burrow into the highly polluting tar fields, Keystone pipeline or no Keystone pipeline. All hail King Oil.