Letter: Gov. Baker must oppose Kinder Morgan plan for state forest

Gov. Baker must oppose Kinder Morgan forest plan

To the editor:

Dear Governor Baker,

Along with many Western Massachusetts friends, we are asking you to join with Attorney General Healey's legal effort to stop Kinder Morgan from its proposed public taking of lands in the Otis State Forest. This is an obvious illegal action by a private corporation and a collaborating Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

We ask a simple question, As a land planner and landscape architect I [Walter] know the first obligation in the route planning for any facility such as a gas pipeline is to show alternatives avoiding all protected and conservation lands. Why are viable alternative routes not impacting state conserved lands not a prominent and viable part of this current deliberation?

This Northeast Energy Direct (NED) plan, it appears, is to purposely target conservation lands perhaps simply because there are fewer homes and buildings. Because they are protected lands with hard-won public and private dollars, we can be assured these lands are among the most fragile and cherished landscapes in the commonwealth.

Not only does Kinder Morgan target these properties, it elects to target some of the more fragile conserved lands such as those in the Otis Forest. This is corporate arrogance that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

The time has come to defend our commonwealth's constitutional laws. You can lay this issue to rest with the power of your authority and voice.

Kinder Morgan is demonstrating its brazen disregard, self-perceived power toward the citizens and environment of Massachusetts and New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and more,

We have but a modest energy concern in Massachusetts, as the attorney general's recently sponsored unbiased study demonstrates. That energy concern is more than anything, a corporately orchestrated marketing manifestation and the gas is not needed! NED is overkill in every conceivable manner of assessment!

FERC, as an unbridled federal agency funded almost exclusively by the oil and gas industry, holds a mandate to increase energy output without regard for state or local regulations, and with disregard for the negative consequences to our lands, water and quality of life.

If you as governor do not uphold the power of the state Constitution you've been entrusted to defend, you will have abandoned the mandate of your office and your sworn duty.

Walter and Susan Cudnohufsky, Ashfield


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