Letter: Facts argue against pipeline proposal

Facts argue against pipeline proposal

To the editor:

In his letter of Jan. 8, David Wimberly presented a slanted message about the pipeline proposal. He misrepresented the "NIMBY/anti-crowd." Pipeline opponents are examples of Middle America's fight against climate change. We insulate our homes, turn down the heat, conserve gas and electricity, and open curtains on sunny days. We support solar energy and are glad to see more solar panels every year.

We are Middle America: teachers, physicians, environmentalists, historians, retirees, concerned homeowners, owners of small businesses, voters. And we are willing to fight for the well-being of our communities.

Moreover, Mr. Wimberly's accusation that pipeline opponents are "seriously ignorant" has no basis. We have done our homework on the issues.

Mr. Wimberly, on the other hand, advocates fossil fuels and ignores how they pollute our air and water — which suggests that he is the one who is willfully ignorant.

Worse yet, by supporting the pipeline, Mr. Wimberly advocates paying more for our electricity. He ignores the fact that Kinder-Morgan's NED pipeline was proposed on the basis that New England consumers would pay its $5 billion-plus cost through increased prices for electricity. That increase would be a tax imposed by electric companies, agencies in which we have no representation.

Taxation without representation — the offense that led to the American Revolution. Does Mr. Wimberly stand for the principles that King George supported in the 1770s? We know what happened there — British troops were hounded through every village and town.

Now we are on the verge of a new revolution, a revolt against fossil fuels. And we are resisting Kinder-Morgan's minions in every village and town.

My own bias against the pipeline comes from having lived downwind of a refinery in Oklahoma, a state which is shaken almost daily by earthquakes blamed on fracking wells. I learned in my youth that the petroleum industry cares nothing about public health. Profits take precedence over public safety — and Kinder-Morgan's record affirms it.

In 2015, according to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Kinder-Morgan and subsidiaries' pipeline leaks caused 21 accidents, several explosions and more than $4 million of property damage in only 10 months — on top of their hundreds of "significant incidents" 2003-2014. (Data from http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov.)

Why would we want one of their leaky pipelines here?

Glendyne Wergland, Dalton


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