Our Opinion: What isn't said in BFI pipeline study

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The Beacon Hill Institute has released a study attributing considerable benefits to the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline through Massachusetts. But what is left unsaid is as important as what is said.

The Institute, which is based at Suffolk University in Boston, concludes that the project bringing natural gas into the region would create 1,713 jobs. If the pipeline was built to carry 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas it would "virtually end" the region's winter natural gas shortage.

The Institute, which describes itself as a proponent of free markets, is open about its stance, one that attracts right-wing donors like the Coors family. Kinder-Morgan funded the BHI study on the Kinder-Morgan proposal, which isn't to say it is necessarily biased or inaccurate.

But if the pipeline project creates 1,713 jobs how many will go to Massachusetts residents? If the answer is less than a majority that is not a selling point. A natural gas "shortage" is in the eye of the beholder, and if it exists, it may be addressed by other proposed pipeline projects that travel the cost, not the state.

Environmental issues are not the concern of the BHI but they are of residents of the state and Berkshires. If the project degrades the environment, the jobs created and the gas provided won't be worth the cost to an environment that defines us in many ways.



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