To the editor of THE EAGLE:
In February, I was still a Selectman here in the town of Dalton. I voted in favor of having Kinder-Morgan survey property here in town for the site of a proposed gas pipeline. I saw this as coming up with the best plan for both the town residents and the environment. Since that vote, in June, a handful of residents put up a citizen’s petition and had my vote, as well as the other three Select Board members who voted to allow the survey, rescinded. I believe that the residents of Dalton and Berkshire County have been misled by this group.
The way I see it, Massachusetts residents would all like to see renewable energy -- wind, solar, geothermal -- but not in their backyard. How is Cape Wind doing after 10 years -- is the paperwork done yet?) As one who has solar panels, I know that we do not produce much energy in the winter from those panels. Common sense tells me that natural gas, much cleaner than coal and oil, with a smaller carbon footprint (no matter where the gas goes) is the way to go.
Because of the fracking, which is done in 95 percent of the wells drilled in America today, whether for gas or oil, America will become the number one resource for energy by this time next year. So, gas being a step forward, our energy companies are now converting to gas rather than coal and oil because of the carbon tax. I also believe that because fracking will reduce the cost of oil for the big oil companies, the Koch brothers, will use it as an excuse for not switching to gas.
In the recent copy of "Onearth," published by the National Resources Defense Council, President Francis Beinecke said, "Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to stop the EPA from finalizing carbon limits and the American Legislative Exchange -- a group of tea party supporters and corporate giants, including the Koch brothers, Peabody Energy, and ExxonMobil -- has drafted bills aimed at preventing states from upholding national limits on carbon pollution." I also think that this energy outburst by America could turn into an export boom to get Europe off of Putin’s gas. I would rather supply Europe with energy than NATO troops!
So, in conclusion, I believe that, if the groups and laws that we have relied on to protect us -- the EPA, the NRDC, the Clean Water Act of 2005 (which also included the underground injection control program) -- are allowed to do their jobs, we will be OK until the technology catches up with the renewable resources.
STUART SARGENT JR.