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Information is Power! The Tennessee Gas Pipeline and You. Greenfield Forum Apr 22.

Greenfield Community College Celebrates Earth Day April 22 with an Educational Forum:

Information is Power – The Tennessee Gas Pipeline and You

The forum will take place in the Greenfield Dining Commons from 7 pm to 9 pm on Wednesday April, 22, 2015. Light dessert refreshments will be served.

In celebration of EARTH DAY, Wednesday April 22, 2015, The Green Campus Committee of Greenfield Community College will be hosting an informational forum for students, faculty, staff and the wider community on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline. A panel of guests experienced in the ongoing debate over the appropriateness of increasing natural gas infrastructure will speak and then be available to answer audience questions. The Green Campus Committee has a history of celebrating EARTH DAY, founded in 1970 by environmental activists John McConnell and Denis Hayes, and agreed that the subject of best practices in sustainable energy was appropriate for the day.

Members of the panel:

Katy Eiseman of Cummington holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from UMass Amherst. She now heads MassPLAN and is a co-founder of No Fracked Gas in Mass.

Jim Cutler began his career as a solar thermal engineer in 1981. In 2009 he moved back to Western Mass, to the town of Ashfield, where he serves as Ashfield’s town energy manager.  In 2014, after being informed that the NED pipeline may bisect his property, he cofounded Hilltown Community Rights and joined the executive boards of MassPLAN and PLAN for the Northeast.

Paul Mark represents the 2nd Berkshire District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. This district includes sixteen towns, including Greenfield. He has pledged to stop the pipeline.

Richard Kanoff  is energy and regulatory counsel for PLAN-NE and MassPLAN.  He is a partner at the Boston-based firm Burns & Levinson LLP and previously served as an assistant attorney general for Massachusetts, specializing in energy matters.

 Moderator: Brian Adams Science faculty and Green Campus Committee member

Groups attending with more information: No Fracked Gas in Mass, Climate Action Now, North Quabbin Energy, and Northfield Pipeline Awareness.  There will also be an “action table” for audience members who would like to write a letter to a representative or to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and need assistance.

NOTES:

– The US Energy Information Administration, a federal agency that collects and analyzes energy information, reports that New England has “natural gas inflow capacity that is nearly twice the region’s annual demand.”http://commonwealthmagazine.org/category/environment/

– Gordon Van Welie, CEO of ISO New England, however, says that we must increase capacity to keep electricity prices down to avoid rolling blackouts.http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2013/03/19/dependence-natural-gas-poses-threat-electricity-prices-reliability-grid-operator-says/rD57L4HJCs2fqKVwhok3BO/story.html

– Which is it?

– From an international perspective, how important is it for us to ship natural gas to Europe?http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/world/europe/us-seeks-to-reduce-ukraines-reliance-on-russia-for-natural-gas.html?

– And from a local perspective, what is the impact on conserved and private lands? Do we have a say? Some local citizens were discouraged by the lack of information at the TGP open house at GCC where questions regarding situating compressor stations and pipeline trajectories were not answered.http://www.recorder.com/news/15557202-95/400-attend-pipeline-open-house

“GCC takes to heart our comprehensive mission, says President Pura.  Convening such community based conversations on our campus is a meaningful role for us to play.  There is no question that this issue is significant to all in our community.  My thanks to the GCC Green Committee for their efforts.”

The Greenfield Campus Committee hopes that this forum will answer questions and explain action steps. Come prepared with questions for an engaging discussion.