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Editorial: Kudos to Sen. Stan Rosenberg

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

We applaud state Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, for his courage in refusing to jump on the current anti-pipeline bandwagon, as so many of his peers have done. Rosenberg has not come out in favor of the Kinder Morgan proposal, but simply says he doesn’t have enough facts on it yet to make up his mind. Some of the opposition to the plan, which would run a natural gas pipeline from Berkshire County to Dracut, can be attributed to thoughtful opposition to anything that would lead to the production of more carbon dioxide — and therefore climate change, some to the idea of exporting American fossil fuels overseas, and the remainder to pure Not In My Backyard knee-jerk reaction. Rosenberg says he’s trying to see where this plan fits into the future energy needs of the state and the region — and whether it’s really necessary. We wish more public officials were willing to stand up to public pressure and take thoughtful stands on important issues.

Timely warning

Ashfield lawyer and GCC professor Buz Eisenberg delivered an important warning the other day in Charlemont about assaults on the US Constitution, which he described as having “been incessantly battered post-9/11. The misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and the toll they have taken on those people and our troops,” the erosion of freedom of speech after the passage of the PATRIOT Act, and the National Security Agency excesses disclosed by Edward Snowden were all a result, he said, of the three branches of the U.S. government “shirking constitutional duty in a rush to appear tough on terror.” As usual, he was right on target.

The summer hunger gap

The Franklin County Hunger Task Force, a subcommittee of the Franklin County Resource Network, is once again planning a Fill the Belly Bus Food Drive to fill the shelves of local emergency food programs during the two-week gap between free summer meal programs for low-income children and the start of school meal programs in the fall. It’s a good cause, and we urge readers to participate by donating nonperishable food items, such as canned soups and stews, canned fruit, peanut butter and jelly, pasta and sauce, and baby food, as well as personal care supplies, laundry detergent and disposable diapers, Aug. 8, at the Greenfield Stop & Shop from 9 to 10 a.m. and Foster’s Super Market from 11 a.m. to noon — and on the Greenfield Town Common between 3 and 5 p.m. Or, look for the yellow school bus logo in the windows of local businesses.

Food and cash donations will also be collected Thursday, Aug. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Coop Concert in the Greenfield Energy Park on Miles Street.

This isn't that difficult of an issue for Sen. Rosenberg to be pondering. The other legislators haven't "jumped the bandwagon," it's just that bad of a project at face value. Why should his constituents pay for a corporate infrastructure project that they are unlikely to benefit from, and may actually end up raising their electric/gas rates (due to exports)? Why invest billions (and Kinder Morgan keeps raising the cost estimates) in fossil fuels when we know they are not the energy of the future? How long will those gas wells in New York/PA last anyway? Then what? Why sign up his constituents for a project where the *only* guarantee is that their bills WILL go up due to the tariff, but there is no guarantee for anything else to their benefit? Not that hard to figure out, Stan.

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