Click to download document describing the slides: Talking Points for SHORT Renewables Are Ready
Click to download slide presentation: Renewables Are Ready Short Hynes
Click on image to see the whole infographic which outlines the findings of the report.
Refreshing to see climate change called out as a factor.
Read the full report here:
Finally, here is a great article about the AG: The Unstoppable Maura Healy.
PEOPLE NEEDED! Make your leaf-peeping count and head out to beautiful Painfield to lend a hand to our Painfield neighbors. Western MA says NO to Kinder-Morgan’s plans to take over our farmland!
Here is a good one-pager info on Article 97. A tale of FERC, the MA constitution, and Kinder Morgan, from NE-PLAN.
Blockadia and Ferocious Love: This is how it’s done.
Naomi Klein describes Ferocious Love and Blockadia in her book, “This Changes Everything”:
The power of this ferocious love is what the resource companies and their advocates in government inevitably underestimate, precisely because no amount of money can extinguish it. When what is being fought for is an identity, a culture, a beloved place that people are determined to pass on to their grandchildren, and that their ancestors may have paid for with great sacrifice, there is nothing companies can offer as a bargaining chip. No safety pledge will assuage; no bribe will be big enough. And though this kind of connection to place is surely strongest in Indigenous communities where the ties to the land go back thousands of years, it is in fact Blockadia’s defining feature.
A weekly vigil has sprung up in Northfield at the proposed site of a compresser station. This action started with one or two people. Last week it was 25.
Many people have been working tirelessly to stop the monstrosity that is the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. From understanding the complexities of the energy business, politics, and law, to spreading the word, making phone calls, contacting legislators, speaking up, writing, organizing, learning, documenting the fight and the beauty of this place, making signs and standing, standing up. This is the latest installation in our story of ferocious love for our land, the region, the habitat, the creatures that share this place with us, and our children.
“Love will save this place”.
Thank you, Deirdre Derchin Olson for these gorgeous photos!
Comments are due to FERC Aug 15, 2015.
As always, www.nofrackedgasinmass.org has a wealth of detailed information about the pipeline fight.
link to FERC permit info
link to FERC Scoping announcement
Example FERC comment from Rachel Branch:
July 14, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
Docket No. PF14-22-000
COMMENT ON SCOPING MEETINGS
I am Rachel I. Branch, a Citizen of the United States of America, a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and therefore claim standing to oppose the issuance of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permit for the Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., and its Northeast Energy Direct Project.
Prior to my questions for the Scoping meetings, I expressly and respectfully request that these meetings be postponed until all the Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas resource information is supplied to FERC. It is essential for postponement so that those of us opposing this project have all the information available to pursue specific, fact-based, pertinent questions for the Scoping meetings. I further strongly respectfully request that these meetings be held in the cities and towns directly impacted by the proposed pipeline and compressor stations.
1. Will Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas (KM/TG) assure FERC and all Americans, with no equivocation, that public health and public safety will be paramount and protected BEFORE pursuing this project?
2. Will KM/TG be required to supply all environmental studies and those entities that performed these studies to FERC for the public’s perusal?
3. Will KM/TG be required to supply the amounts paid, and to whom, for those studies?
4. Will KM/TG be required to provide all public health and public safety assurances, backed up by factual specificity, BEFORE any proposed pipeline construction is begun?
5. Will KM/TG be required to provide all public health and public safety assurances, backed up by factual specificity, BEFORE any proposed compressor station construction is begun?
6. Will KM/TG be required to prove the necessity of this proposed pipeline with studies verifying the actual need, and, once again, supply information pertinent to how much was paid and who compiled such studies or information?
7. Will KM/TG be required to provide answers to all questions without being allowed to respond with “TBD,” as its use allows omission of information FERC and the public need?
8. Will KM/TG be required to state, unequivocally, the actual cost of the proposed pipeline and be specific in regard to environmental protections for human beings, the ecosystem, the air, the water, the soil, the wetlands, the extraordinary biodiversity that sustains the beings that cannot speak for themselves in our woods, our hills, our mountains, our lakes, ponds and streams, and the extraordinary biodiversity that sustains life and our earth?
This matter before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is so crucially vital that every avenue available to the Commission must be given the highest priority for the good of the American people, your sworn obligation to protect the public health and public safety, and the understanding that the Commission’s integrity must not be compromised and is sacrosanct and inviolate. Anything other than thorough transparency is not acceptable, unconscionable, and does not protect our Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Rachel I. Branch
999 Massachusetts Avenue
North Adams, MA 01247-2231
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Scoping Hearing begins at 6:30 PM. Let’s pack Greenfield Middle School again with another overflow crowd! Invite your co-workers, neighbors, relatives and friends.This is our chance to ensure that FERC does its job and conducts a thorough environmental impact study (EIS) of the proposed Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline (Northeast Energy Direct or NED).FERC is asking for public comments on potential environmental, public safety and socio-economic impacts, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen negative consequences of the pipeline.Everyone’s voice is needed! You do not have to be an expert. Our job is to demand that FERC ask the right questions during their investigation. Please submit your comments in writing, whether or not you speak out at this meeting. Visit the No Fracked Gas in Mass website for further details.
What a night! Thank you everyone who was able to make it out to the Department of Public Utilities hearing this past Thursday. In a nutshell, Berkshire Gas needs approval for a contract to buy gas which would be shipped through the pipeline Kinder-Morgan is trying to build through Western MA. The DPU is supposed to determine whether this contract is for the public good.
Here is a link to the video of the hearing. Watch it to see all kinds of varied, thoughtful, passionate, compelling, brilliant arguments by We the People. There are SO MANY reasons NOT to build this pipeline. How on earth can the DPU approve after a hearing like this?
By MARTY NATHAN in the Hampshire Daily Gazette
NORTHAMPTON — Psychological warfare is being waged in Massachusetts towns as natural gas local Distribution Companies (LDCs) declare moratoria on new subscribers until the building of Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED, also known as the Tennessee Gas) Pipeline is agreed upon.
Every day for months I have been seeing Berkshire Gas ads explaining its policy of preventing new gas hookups, citing “pipeline capacity constraints” limiting gas availability. My understanding of gas supply is fuzzy, though I suspected from the first that any time pipelines are being mentioned by energy companies in western Massachusetts, Kinder Morgan is probably behind the curtain.
Then a couple of weeks ago I heard mention by a Northampton official that barriers to new gas hookups are hindering development of key projects in the town.
The moratorium strategy is being adopted not just by Berkshire Gas in Franklin County and in Amherst, Hadley and Hatfield, but as well by Columbia Gas in Easthampton and Northampton. The Hampshire County towns for both companies are all fed by the Northampton Lateral of another Tennessee Gas pipeline in southern Massachusetts.
Thus the new Pleasant Street affordable housing project in Northampton, much needed by our community to serve low income people, is being stalled, as is the opening and expansion of small businesses in this lurching recovery from the Great Recession.
To what purpose?
These two LDCs have applied to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to bless contracts (whose details and pricing are secret) to acquire natural gas from the Northeast Direct which, if built, will pass from Wright, New York, to Dracut. Columbia Gas has said that it needs 114,000 dekatherms/day to replace existing contracts that it plans to get out of and to cover projected growth.
It says that without the new NED gas delivery, its customers will suffer from shortages.
The problem is that the only consumer demand that Columbia is looking at is that occurring on “design” or peak demand days — in the middle of the winter, when the furnace in every house is chugging and electrical output, much based now on the burning of natural gas, is high.
Though never explicitly stated in their filings or press releases, yearly peak days can be counted on the fingers of one hand. On all other days, supply well-surpasses demand.
On design days there are alternatives — either shipped in or locally stored liquefied natural gas or gas bought on the open market, which can and should be a part of any distributer’s plan. In Amherst, specific temporary stopgap measures have been proposed for the design days, till long-term answers have been implemented.
A similar analysis could be done for all the other affected towns.
Yet Columbia, Berkshire and Cape Gas companies have ignored those options and thrown their lot in with Kinder Morgan, stating that the building of the pipeline is necessary for energy security for the Commonwealth. This is convenient for Kinder Morgan, which must make a case for such need: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to whom it has applied for permission to build the pipeline requires that there be local (i.e. Massachusetts) service provision in order to OK the project.
The truth is, though, that the main market for the NED fracked gas is overseas. From Dracut it will be sent to Nova Scotia and then across the Atlantic. There simply is not enough demand in the U.S. to absorb the enormous amount of frackable gas in the Marcellus Shale and prices (and therefore profits) have plummeted.
Critics in the know say the LDCs projections of local demand are phony, that Columbia Gas is choosing to break other contracts to substitute the NED and overstating the growth in regional demand. They hold that companies are vastly understating the amount of gas that could be saved by truly aggressive energy efficiency methods and conversion to renewables.
Just plugging the leaks in Boston’s old gas pipes alone could save 41,000 dekatherms a day. No one has yet studied Springfield or Holyoke, both cities served by Columbia Gas.
The distributors then back up their narrative of unmet local need with the moratorium, creating a crisis that threatens community development and punishes towns, many of whom have taken a stand against the environmentally destructive NED. The moratorium is being implemented unilaterally and without oversight. It verges on extortion of the communities Columbia and Berkshire Gas are by law dedicated to serve.
It is very important that we do not submit, but that we soberly assess the benefits and harms of new carbon infrastructure like the NED in a time when there must be a profound energy shift to conservation and renewables.
No matter what Columbia and Berkshire Gas say, the $5.5 billion to build this destructive dinosaur would be better spent in effecting that shift.
Marty Nathan, M.D., is a physician at Baystate Brightwood Health Center and a member of Climate Action NOW. She lives in Northampton.