To the editor of THE EAGLE:
We are fortunate to have natural gas heat our new home in the Berkshires. We looked at many homes in the Berkshires prior to moving, and a main concern for us was to have natural gas and city water supplies. Many of the homes we looked at had well water, oil heat, and septic tanks. The last thing we wanted was to have an ugly oil truck arrive at our house, fill an oil tank with home heating oil, and then receive a bill in the summer time for hundreds of dollars just to heat our hot water. The fumes from the oil pollute the atmosphere, and pollute our lungs.
There are many reasons for these concerns. First, the carbon footprint of natural gas is about 50 percent less than oil. Second, it is a very clean fuel, and very reasonably priced. We have enough natural gas in our country to supply us for hundreds of years. The alternatives are not very satisfactory. The cost of home heating oil is very high, thus stretching the budget of many folks who are already pinched by high food prices, high gasoline prices, high Massachusetts state income taxes, high auto repair bills, etc.
The worst part of home heating oil is that we import crude oil from countries that are using that money to support terrorist regimes in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Iran. Why not keep the money here at home? Solar power is a good source of energy, but it's expensive and not readily available in this area at a reasonable price.
There is apprehension about fracking, but it is my understanding that the proposed pipeline through the Berkshires doesn't include fracking. The pipeline would only be a transportation conduit. It is also my understanding that the proposed pipeline would enhance the Berkshire area's availability for natural gas. Our monthly gas bill in the middle of winter last year averaged $90 per month since we kept the temperature at 54 degrees during our absence.
It's time to stop the bickering in the media about a pipeline that would definitely improve the lives of folks in the Berkshires.