Concerned citizens from three states and over two dozen organizations have joined forces to fight the proposed Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project. The group’s current members hail from New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and call themselves The StopNED Coalition to reflect the regional scope of their mission. “NED is a massive pipeline, extending over 350 miles from Pennsylvania to eastern Massachusetts, and the impacts to homeowners, open spaces and conserved habitats is equally massive.” said Wilmington, Massachusetts resident Suzanne Sullivan, one of the coalition’s members; “In Wilmington, the route is proposed through a Zone 1 Water Supply Protection Area, appearing to be literally only a few feet from the town’s public water supply well. This Coalition has been organized specifically to fight this travesty-in-waiting on a regional level. ”
The Coalition’s founding members, many of whom are already active in local and regional groups opposed to the pipeline, met recently in Greenfield, MA to strategize and coordinate efforts across the region. A major focus will be working with affected residents, especially the many towns in Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire who find themselves suddenly drawn into the NED project as a result of Kinder Morgan’s recently filed proposed route. “Kinder Morgan moved a significant portion of the route into New Hampshire adjacent an existing transmission corridor claiming it would minimize impacts when, in reality, it will still require the acquisition of an additional 100-foot wide right of way, directly affecting hundreds of homeowners in seventeen towns.” said Doug Whitbeck, a Mason, New Hampshire resident whose town is not only on the new pipeline path, but potentially the location of a massive compressor station.
While much of this project’s attention has been focused on New England, over half the NED pipeline would be sited in New York from Wright to the Massachusetts border town of Hancock. “We are thrilled to combine our efforts with those of the pipeline opposition in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. So many of our issues are the same across the region with this interstate project that it makes perfect sense to form a regional collaborative,” said Bob Connors of Canaan, New York.
In addition to working with directly affected homeowners and towns The StopNED Coalition will address the broader environmental and economic impacts of the pipeline. “Increasing the region’s dependence on natural gas will hold businesses and homeowners hostage to this volatile commodity’s price swings, as well as price increases arising from possible export” said Cummington, Massachusetts resident Rosemary Wessel, “We all will benefit far more from clean energy solutions that fight climate change, offer stable prices and create thousands of local, permanent jobs.”
To date, organizations represented in the StopNED Coalition include 350MA, 350NH, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Clean Water Action, Climate Action Now (CAN), Dracut Pipeline Awareness, Hilltown Community Rights (HCR), Massachusetts Pipeline Awareness Network (MassPLAN), Millers River Watershed Council, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Nashoba Conservation Trust (NCT), No Fracked Gas In Mass (NFGiM), New Hampshire Pipeline Awareness Network (NHPLAN), No Pipeline In Southern New Hampshire, Northfield Against the Pipeline (NAP), North Quabbin Pipeline Action (NQPA), Pipeline Study Committee- Berlin, Stop New York Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP), Stop the Pipeline Coordinating Committee (SPCC), Stop NH Pipeline: Fitzwilliam, Troy, Richmond, Stop the Northeast Energy Direct (StopNED ), Stop The Pipeline Boylston, MA, Toxics Action Center, and Wilmington Pipeline Awareness.