To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Regarding the July 27 letter by Dr. Brotman about how a new gas pipeline will benefit us, if Dr. Brotman were looking to reduce the carbon footprint of his house he might be better served by looking for one with a solar array, heat pump and other energy saving devices, in addition to one with a natural gas hookup.
Contrary to his assertions, solar power is readily accessible and affordable in most areas, and with current incentives, pays for itself in energy-savings. Solar arrays also offer a very real reduction in the carbon footprint of a residence. Natural gas may be a cleaner burning fuel but the real carbon footprint of natural gas, including drilling, extraction, environmental damage and transportation makes the comparison with oil far less favorable.
As far as fracked gas is concerned, it has been proven to cause significant environmental harm and health issues in the locations where fracking occurs. Does it really matter if fracking doesn’t occur in the Berkshires when the reality is the pipeline facilitates damage that is occurring somewhere, anywhere?
The itemized pipeline benefits do not include increased local access through residential hookups. The expressed intent is to transport gas to Dracut and beyond. Managing an intelligent energy infrastructure for society is not only about convenience and individual economics, but rather about larger concerns for environmental sustainability and health for everyone.
Investing in this fossil fuel infrastructure (high pressure/ high capacity pipeline) fails on two counts. It fails to provide local benefit and encourages the environmental damage associated with continued extraction of fossil fuels.
Finally, if Dr. Brotman were truly looking to decrease his carbon footprint, heating a structure that is unoccupied throughout the winter appears contrary to that purpose.