Stop the Pipeline!

Help protect our neighborhoods, our environment, and our safety.

Notes from Bizarro World, where fracking is awesome!

In our big tent of pipeline opposition, there are really only three groups who aren’t welcome or who have deliberately excluded themselves: First are the NIMBYs, the Not-In-My-BackYard crowd who want all the perceived benefits of a pipeline as long as somebody else is paying the costs, suffering the inconvenience, and taking on the risks. NIMBYs are not welcome in…

Alert: New York State now a frack-free zone!

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the result of a long-awaited study by his state’s health commission on the effects of fracking and, on that basis, made the previously temporary moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing into a permanent ban.

Kinder Morgan: “We listened…but not really.”

The Lowell Sun pipeline poll we described last week is still available on at least one page of The Sun‘s website and guess what! Late returns have shifted the result from a slight “yes” to a slight “no.” The results can be seen only once you have registered an opinion, and are subject to further change. TODAY’S QUESTION DEC. 9 Would…

To our New Hampshire allies

Attention New Hampshire residents: This Saturday, December 13th, make plans to attend an informational meeting at the Mason Elementary School at 13 Darling Hill Road in Mason, NH, from 9 am to 12 noon. Speakers will describe the project, what it may mean to you, and ways to protect your community…

Kinder Morgan pipeline still to bisect Townsend

Yesterday’s revised NED Pipeline filing is available online in many large files on the FERC website. Included are maps of the company’s new preferred route for its 36-inch high-pressure transmission line that now cuts across southern New Hampshire. Under this scheme, our part of central Massachusetts has been spared the brunt of the pipeline and massive compressor station Kinder Morgan had planned for us, although we still have the 12-inch Fitchburg Lateral Extension to contend with…

Doing the colocation tango

Later today, Kinder Morgan is expected to file details of its new preferred NED Pipeline route, now following existing power line rights of way for 34 miles from New York into Western Massachusetts, and again for about 72 miles across southern New Hampshire.

We’ve been told the new route is an improvement over the previous preferred route, involving far fewer landowners while disrupting less-sensitive land that has already been compromised to some degree by vegetation clearing and the construction of transmission towers. Even so, that doesn’t affect the project’s necessity, or lack of necessity, and it doesn’t eliminate the threat of raising our rates by exposing our local natural gas market to competition from higher priced export markets.

And don’t imagine that a pipeline colocated with a high voltage line would be contained within the already-cleared land under the towers.

Videographer Stephen Wicks has produced a six-minute presentation on colocation, showing Kinder Morgan’s agents already at work surveying for the pipeline along a parallel track that would require significantly widening the right of way and clearing many additional trees.

COLOCATION? from Stephen Wicks on Vimeo.

Here’s what we know about colocation:

  • Underground metal pipelines running parallel to high voltage power lines tend to interact with the lines’ electric and magnetic fields, resulting in corrosion and damage.
  • Increasing the distance between the lines and the pipeline is necessary to reduce the problem of electromagnetic interference, but can not entirely eliminate the corrosion.
  • A ruptured pipeline and subsequent explosion would also damage any nearby power lines.
  • Widening the right of way to accommodate both a pipeline and a high voltage power line would require cutting down additional trees and having additional environmental impact.

We also share Stephen’s concern that these contractors and their equipment were imported from Louisiana, making us wonder how many of the local temp jobs that Kinder Morgan keeps bragging about will be filled by local workers.

Because of these issues, and since the “original route” will remain before FERC as a viable alternative, we will be viewing today’s amended filing with a skeptical eye.

The Daily Show: Pink Fracking

We’ve been asked to blog on “pinkwashing” before, since it’s a problem that goes beyond any one company, their specific activities, and the charity they’ve chosen to treat as their own personal absolution store. This Daily Show clip puts it all in context…