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Letter: Sustainability

Chris Collins (“Not all say ‘nay’ to pipeline,” July 4) reveals that Greenfield’s mayor envisions possible economic benefits to Franklin County from Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline. Last year, FRCOG released a report that brings into question some underlying assumptions that may be at play here: “Sustainable Franklin County, June 2013: Franklin County’s Regional Plan for Sustainable Development.” The report states:

“Franklin County has made significant strides in the fields of clean and renewable energy, which have established a strong foundation for future work. However, there is much more work to be done to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions while also creating jobs and improving the economy. If successful, the payback for the county will be significant.

“If, however, Franklin County continues with ‘business as usual’ energy consumption, we will experience negative impacts to our economy, environment, and quality of life. A more sustainable future for Franklin County requires us to strive to reduce energy use related to transportation as well as residential and commercial energy consumption in buildings.”

FRCOG’s report points out that all fossil fuels “release too much” carbon dioxide when they are burned. Furthermore, “(w)hile CO2 has received significant attention as its contribution to global warming, new research is also highlighting the role of methane (CH4) to global warming. Methane is a principal component of natural gas and is released in significant quantities through the process of obtaining natural gas by cracking shale (a.k.a. ‘fracking’). ...

“In order to achieve a sustainable energy future in Franklin County, we need to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. Energy efficiency measures and behavior modification as well as the implementation of new technologies (e.g. improvements in vehicle mpg ratings and renewable energy) will help reduce consumption and GHG emissions. While the reduction of the consumption of fossil fuels will have a significant impact on Franklin County’s GHG emissions, we also need to replace the fuel used with green power in Franklin County. This will not only cut GHG emissions, but will also have many added benefits to the regional economy and energy resiliency.”

KATY EISEMAN

Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network (MassPLAN.org)

Cummington

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