Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades
The Feb. 13 editorial “Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll” made a strong case for not buying liquefied natural gas from an environmentally destructive Russian Arctic gas port. The editorial made a much weaker case in criticizing the efforts by climate activists and legislators to oppose the building of pipelines in Massachusetts designed to carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania gas fields to and through Massachusetts.
Gas pipelines that are built now will be in service for decades to come, long after we will have the ability to economically heat and power our homes and businesses with clean energy. We would be pressed to keep burning carbon-emitting gas for years just because the expensive infrastructure to deliver it already exists while clean heating infrastructure may require new investments.
Should we ask affected communities such as West Roxbury and Weymouth to accept polluting and dangerous natural gas equipment and pipelines for the profit of utilities and gas drillers and exporters?
I would be happy to see the United States close the loophole that allows Russian gas to evade sanctions, and I can live with the occasional need for a load of LNG from Algeria if that will allow us to stop building additional long-lived, unneeded, and polluting gas infrastructure here.
The writer is a volunteer legislative coordinator for 350 Massachusetts.