Letter: No pipeline needed

Gov. Patrick has held closed-door meetings that propose a tariff to be levied on all electricity ratepayers in Massachusetts to finance an unnecessary, overbuilt, high-pressure, gas transmission pipeline all across the state of Massachusetts. This in addition to enlarged capacity on the existing pipeline in Southern Massachusetts. And there is a third pipeline proposed to run into Massachusetts from Connecticut.

The fact that a tariff is contemplated demonstrates that this giant pipeline is NOT justified by customers in the region. There is another FERC petition contemplated to reverse the direction of an existing pipeline in neighboring Maine to flow North, to LNG terminals planned for Nova Scotia, and likely, Kinder Morgan’s waiting fleet of tankers.

There are also six big lateral pipelines proposed for Massachusetts. It sure looks like a grid: for shipping and storage of Marcellus gas en route to shipment overseas. Massachusetts: one big gas storage grid. Initial estimates of this tariff were $2.5 billion, now openly discussed by gas investment entities at $4 billion, on electricity ratepayers backs ... sure smells like the same sort of blank check we’ve seen before with the Big Dig, (also initially $2.5 billion but the “investor” feeding frenzy grew to $22 billion: which we’ll be paying for until 2038 — this has drained income from the entire state for decades).

Based on the figures available, the “crisis” being ginned up by gas investments’ media hype sure smells like Enron playbook manipulation. With the massive exemptions from federal and state law, along with bottomless federal subsidies we already pay to support gas extraction, private investment interests are only too happy to enact yet another transfer of wealth to the obscene greed of the 1 percent, further cannibalizing household and small-business income in our state.

A public farce is underway, touting “take advantage of ‘cheap Marcellus gas’ next door’” when the facts make it very clear that, with private fortunes to be made from foreign sales of Marcellus gas, it is we who might be taken advantage of for investor greed ... again.

JENNIFER MARKENS

Ashfield

We need renewables: NOW. And we need to divest of fossil fuels.

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