FERC, Kinder-Morgan ignore public interest

To the editor:

It should be clear to anyone who has done their homework that the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline by Kinder-Morgan is not in the public's best interest. Not only do we not need new pipelines, the NED will pollute air and potentially our drinking water and end up costing us more on our utility bills. Kinder-Morgan's only concern is to enhance its profits, and it will be at the expense of our communities.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission supposedly allows us to participate as an "intervenor" in the NED project application process. This level of participation allows access to more of the information that is submitted and is supposed to be available to anyone who feels impacted by the project. The deadline for filing to be an intervenor is Wednesday; however, when I attempted to do so on the FERC website, I was directed to a page that says it has been "down due to inclement weather" since Dec. 18. I don't think FERC is hearing our voices.


In addition, Kinder-Morgan's standard disclaimer is that it will abide by all federal safety and environmental standards. The truth is that our national standards have been incredibly weakened, thanks to big corporate-monied influence. For example, most people don't know about the Halliburton Loophole passed during the Bush/Cheney administration that exempts fracking from the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. What's more, this company has a history of violating safety standards and paying fines as just a part of doing business.

I do not feel we are being well represented or protected by our federal government in this matter. We need to demand that the process to approve gas pipelines reflect what we now know (the process was developed decades ago) about the full extent of the harm this infrastructure can cause during construction and operation. This pipeline should never be built, not here, and not anywhere. Health and safety should be our main concern.

Henry Rose, M.D., Dalton