Pipeline caution best course of action
ANN BERWICK is right in her praise for Attorney General Maura Healey’s study on the region’s electricity supply, including proposed natural gas pipelines (“More natural gas pipelines may not be the energy answer,” Opinion, Aug. 17). We need to better understand what our energy needs and opportunities are, including renewables and increased energy efficiency, before deciding the best course of action.
There is also another important factor that needs to be considered. Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct proposal to build a new natural gas pipeline through Massachusetts and New Hampshire — with dubious potential benefits for local residents — would be built across miles of conservation land that was meant to be protected for current and future generations. It would go through state forests and wildlife management areas, town and nonprofit conservation areas, across national scenic trails like the Appalachian Trail, under rivers and drinking water supplies, and through family farms.
Recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hearings were packed with residents coming out in opposition, many concerned about impacts to quality of life and conservation land. Town officials and legislators are also in opposition. The Trustees, as the largest and oldest conservation and preservation organization in the Commonwealth, firmly opposes underwriting a private energy project of questionable need with conservation land. We urge decision makers to uphold the public trust and defend our cherished fields, forests, rivers, and streams that we have all worked so hard to protect.