Our Opinion: Kinder Morgan intent on angering Berkshire towns

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Kinder Morgan continues to demonstrate its flair for alienating Berkshire communities in the path of its pipeline proposals.

The corporation has filed suit in Berkshire Superior Court for an injunction allowing its Tennessee Gas Company to begin tree-cutting in Sandisfield along a four-mile loop cutting through Otis State Forest. Kinder Morgan had grown weary of waiting for state lawmakers to grant it a waiver of Article 97, which protects state land from development, that it required to proceed with the project.

There is no good reason why the Legislature would provide a waiver of a regulation designed to protect state lands, especially when the planned natural gas pipeline spur is designed to benefit utilities in Connecticut, not Massachusetts. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an enabler by approving the pipeline extension without the necessary state waiver under Article 97.

Kinder Morgan's heavy-handedness has earned it the opposition of Attorney General Maura Healey, who will take on the corporation in court, and a likely lawsuit from the Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the Pipeline (STOP) for potential environmental damage (FERC is included in the "notice of intent" filed in US District Court in Springfield for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act.) Kinder Morgan's tactics provide a taste of what may come as the corporation tries to plow a pipeline through Berkshire County.


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