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Letter: Meeting was a farce

I attended the July 24th joint meeting of the Frankin Regional Council of Governments and the Franklin Regional Planning Board. The meeting was a both a minor service to the community and major disservice.

As originally planned, the meeting’s objective was for FRCOG and its planning board to learn more of the pipeline. Then, reportedly because of Open Meeting Law objections, the meeting had to be postponed so that it could be made open to the public at large. I don’t doubt the planners’ good intentions in originally inviting only Kinder Morgan to speak, but clearly, at this point in time, FRCOG’s and most of the general public’s understanding of the issue is well beyond Kinder Morgan’s talking points.

FRCOG should have realized this and adjusted by inviting experts to counter Kinder Morgan’s obfuscations. The minor service provided by this meeting was showing us once again that Kinder Morgan won’t answer real questions. The significant disservice was not realizing that we’re tired of Kinder Morgan’s pablum and it’s time for a real debate.

FRCOG can do better than that, and it can correct itself by sponsoring a community forum where there will be genuine give and take from all sides, including Kinder Morgan, if it dares to show up. In the meantime, the real issues involving the pipeline may be heard in this interview with the Conservation Law Foundation: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=14-P13-00030&segmentID=4

MARK BURTON

Shelburne Falls

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