Keystone decision applies to NED also
To the editor:
As a resident of Windsor, the site of a proposed compressor station for the Kinder-Morgan Northeast Direct (NED) fracked gas pipeline, I took particular interest in the president's rationale for rejecting the Keystone Pipeline and The Eagle's strong editorial endorsement of his action. (Sunday, Nov. 8).
As with Keystone, the claims of job creation are inflated by Kinder-Morgan. At the Windsor open house on Oct. 27, residents were told by company personnel that almost all of the labor involved in construction will be provided by out of state trained teams, and once constructed, the unmanned compressor station and pipeline will create no local employment.
The president noted that Keystone is a "pass through" to get dirty tar sand oil to export terminals. Three quarters or more of the dirty fracked gas for NED will go to an export facility in Dracut, thereby benefiting only Kinder-Morgan, not state residents. Further, there will be no gas service for any of the hill towns through which the pipeline will pass.
Despite the artificially created shortage of gas last winter (shades of Enron anyone?) there is ample evidence that the commonwealth's needs could be easily met by repairs to existing infrastructure and the use of liquefied natural gas storage facilities in Whatley and elsewhere. The state attorney general is investigating Kinder-Morgan's claims regarding the need for gas from the NED pipeline.
But most telling is your statement in the Nov. 8 editorial: "At this juncture, doubling down on fossil fuels, whose burning is crippling the planet through global warming, would have been indefensible and irresponsible." If the $3.5 billion that is the proposed budget for the NED pipeline were instead spent on solar, wind and hydro-power, our planet would be better served.
As the president indicated, the conventional wisdom that environmental protection must inevitably come at the cost of economic growth has been proven wrong. So here, as with Keystone, investment in renewable energy sources would provide local jobs and clean energy in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Finally, fracked gas is dirty gas and the process of fracking is environmentally indefensible. New York has banned fracking and yet if NED is completed, New York residents will be forced to deal with the same chemicals used in fracking when they are precipitated out at the compressor stations in the state, or when gas is released to control pipeline pressure.
It is time to turn away from the antiquated technology of carbon based energy to environmentally sound renewable sources. The commonwealth should follow the president's lead and say no to the Northeast Direct Pipeline.