Letter: Know your facts about the pipeline


To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I would like to respond to the letters of Michael Filpi (July 23) and Lawrence Brotman (July 27) on the supposed merits of building a high-pressure pipeline to transport fracked methane from New York State and Pennsylvania through the Berkshires and across our state.

Mr. Filpi thinks people who are opposed to the pipeline just don’t want it here. The fact is, many of us don’t want this pipeline anywhere. We don’t want to promote the human and environmental dangers that fracking imposes. And we don’t want to support more fossil fuel infrastructure when it’s been established that fossil fuel contributes to catastrophic climate change.

Rather than building a new pipeline that encourages more fossil fuel consumption, I’d like to see Mr. Filpi and others hired to repair our existing pipelines, saving the 20 percent they are currently leaking. Many good jobs can also be created insulating every home and business up to current standards, and building more green energy infrastructure. These are the types of jobs we should be promoting.

To Dr. Brotman I say, a few years ago, I too thought that natural gas was a clean energy choice. I now know better. While natural gas may burn cleaner than coal or oil, that is only one part of the story. At least 5 percent of fracking wells leak toxic chemicals into ground water immediately after construction, and many more fail over time. Leaks from pipelines are not uncommon, and many accidents have occurred. The proposed route for this pipeline is by the reservoir where Dalton and Pittsfield residents get their drinking water. Fracking is not clean or safe.

In addition, construction of the proposed Tennessee Gas pipeline will undoubtedly lead to export overseas where the price is about three times higher than in the U.S., thereby raising the price we pay. And let’s not forget we are currently slated to pay the almost $4 billion cost of the pipeline itself through a tariff on our utility bills.

Green energy is the best choice for the future, and it’s where I believe we should be putting our investments. We owe it to the generations to come to have a thoughtful and transparent process to evaluate the need for and impact of this project. I encourage everyone to find out the facts and look at the big picture. We have a choice, let’s make the best one.




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