Letter: Be alarmed, informed, about pipeline proposal
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Why isn’t the proposed installation of five miles of 36-inch wide, high pressure pipeline carrying lethal, explosive chemicals through the Berkshires front page news every day?
Not to sound like Chicken Little, but I’m deeply disturbed by how many people in the Berkshires still don’t know about the Kinder Morgan pipeline plan. I applaud The Eagle for having taken such a strong stand in its editorials, and request that you do everything in your power to keep this issue front and center for your readership throughout the summer and fall, as the project heads toward federal review.
Should this project be approved, there would be blasting, digging and permanent destruction of roads, forests and wetlands. This would include many private properties. There is a strong potential for serious accidents as new pipes are constructed near existing ones: ruptures, leaks, and explosions, as happened in Sandisfield in the 1980s. People who live, work and vacation here need a fuller picture of the issues surrounding this project, so that they can make an informed decision when Kinder Morgan comes knocking at their door.
This gas isn’t really that natural. This poisonous, polluting, ill-begotten, ecologically questionable, economically oppressive cousin -- unrefined fracked gas -- will be transported through our lands for what? Not for home heating. After being liquefied, a portion is slated to be used to power our electricity, and the rest shipped overseas for enormous export profits. However, even the electricity argument doesn’t hold much water: Studies are beginning to show that in a low demand scenario -- conservation, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency -- there is truly no need for such infrastructure at this time.
People need all the facts and we need news outlets like The Eagle to get the full story and keep this news on everyone’s front burner until we have a population that can distinguish between the propaganda of a Big Oil and Gas company that claims we need a "bridge fuel" to help us fight climate change and reality, that shows us how little these companies have ever cared about climate change, sustainability, our health or our pocketbooks.
I had other plans for this summer until I learned that we may only have a three-month window before one of these pipeline proposals lands on the doorstep of Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC). If FERC approves it, the company can begin to claim eminent domain. People need to find out why this project is being fast-tracked and has been surrounded by secrecy and behind-the-scenes work. It might be time to clean up our cynicism, apathy and resignation and get busy. They are counting on us going back to sleep. NoFrackedGas InMass.org is doing a great job. I urge you to check it out.
I want everyone in the Berkshires to know about this proposed pipeline and what it will mean for them personally should it move forward. I want them to know before we are entrenched in a nightmare of environmental destruction, unprecedented profiteering and rape of our resources. This proposed pipeline is one of those issues that’s way beyond right vs. left, it’s about sanity vs. insanity. Once you understand what’s really being proposed it becomes obvious that this does not belong here, or perhaps anywhere.
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