Rosenberg's supplemental "Scoping" hearing: well attended and well spoken
Though the supplemental scoping hearing scheduled by MA State Senate President Stan Rosenberg officially followed FERC's rules, the atmosphere was much more humane and personable. The GCC Dining Commons was full and over 70 people gave testimony. Aides for Warren, McGovern, Office of the Attorney General were present to observe, but didn't speak.
The extra weeks since Kinder Morgan's July 24th Resource Report dump, smack in the middle of the Scoping schdule, have granted the people the chance not just to examine what's IN the Reports, but what ISN'T. With over 10,200 "TBD"s, a blank Horizontal Drilling Plan, and vague language regarding damage avoidance and mitigation plans, the 6,500+ pages still leave people wanting more - MUCH more information. The testimonies given were, as usual, VERY thoughtful and astute.
» See the full video of the hearing at GCTV's site
» MassLIVE report on hearing
Rosenberg's office will be accepting comments up through September 25th.
Final Scoping Meeting:
September 29, 2015 • 6:00 PM
Franklin Pierce University, Field House
Scoping Comment Deadline:
October 16, 2015.
» Read more about submitting scoping comments here
According to an inter-agency conference call memo recently filed on the NED Docket, Kinder Morgan is planning on filing their formal application on October 24, 2015.
Kinder Morgan's intended filling date
At last word, confirmed with FERC after announcement of the new Scoping Comment deadline, they have not changed this intended date. It is the company's discretion on when to file.
KM takes it up a notch, or two, or three
New requests for survey issued by Kinder Morgan
Letters like »these are released periodically from TGP and have been sent again recently, hoping to get more people to change their minds and agree to allow them to survey. Remember, denying them permission to survey does not affect your ability to negotiate if it comes to eminent domain proceedings later (which is at least a year and a Certificate approval away), and denying them permission to survey helps keep them from filing a complete application with FERC.
It is important to respond by denying permission to survey, at some point during the process, by using the Deny Permission to Survey letter we have on the No Fracked Gas in Mass site. If you've never responded to their requests, they can argue that they've tried to reach you and never heard back. They did this in 2013 to get the MA DPU to give them access to one person's land. ( » Read the DPU's ruling. ) Once you have sent the Deny Permission letter to TGP, you should not need to send another for each request they make. Printing, laminating and posting these No Survey signs are a good additional measure as well.
Some have simply written "REFUSED" on subsequent letters and sent them back, others have found »more creative ways to fill out the consent form, and returned them to TGP AND filed them on the FERC Docket. You also can just not respond if you've already sent the Deny Permission to Survey letter.
Local officials feeling the heat
A couple of municipal officials have reported far less congenial correspondance than the recent request for residential property survey from TGP recently. Responses to municipal leaders have taken a much more imposing tone than those issued to homeowners.
» Letter issued to North Reading from TGP's Attorney over Denial of Survey
» Letter issued to Erving's Board of Health from TGP's Attorney over request to speak at meeting
Pipeline co. rejects Erving Health Board
By AVIVA LUTTRELL, Recorder Staff
Thursday, September 10, 2015
ERVING — Kinder Morgan’s rejection of a request by the town to discuss the public health impacts of the controversial pipeline project at a public hearing later this month has left the Board of Health chairman reaching for answers.
Read more ...
Kinder Morgan still trying to garner business
with new offers for electric generators
Kinder Morgan has recently started a new "Open Season" for bids for contracts with electric generators. Shows that they only have about 43% of the capacity of the new "smaller" pipeline sold and the other 57% is still wide open. It could be that they genuinely would like to have that extra capacity taken up by electric generation contracts. It also could be that they are putting in this Open Season bid as a matter of creating a favorable image for FERC, and if they garner no new business, any additional capacity not sold is still intended to go to export.
The deal seems somewhat more sweetened for potential customers, offering more flexible contracts:
"Among the planned terms and conditions, TGP’s PowerServe will provide enhanced hourly flow rights and no-notice service so gas-fired generators can flow gas without confirmation of upstream supply. The no-notice component will be available under either a Storage Service option or an Automatic Park and Loan option, both of which will be supported by regional storage and/or line pack. PowerServe is intended to be subscribed by power plant operators or by customers serving power plant operators such as electric distribution companies, natural gas marketers or aggregators."
» Read the full press release
The New England Power Generators Association has recently pointed out that "electricity and natural gas prices are at historic lows in New England". Kinder Morgan is trying to hide that fact. This study seems to rely heavily on the 2013-14 winter to make their case, downplaying the fact that recent market reforms and adjustments to ISO New England's Winter Reliability Program contributed to a considerable reduction in price volatility this past winter. More initiatives are underway at ISO New England that should result in further price relief. Kinder Morgan can commission study after study, but a massive new pipeline through the region entails too much risk to ratepayers, landowners, and the environment, to be a viable option for meeting our energy needs.
Kinder Morgan ups their marketing campaign
As discussed in PLAN for the Northeast's Katy Eiseman's latest OpEd in Commonwealth Magazine which highlights their recent phone poll outreach, Kinder Morgan is reaching out on several fronts to the general public with a multi-faceted PR campaign.
Their latest TV commercial features everyday-looking folks talking about how much they support renewables, and that natural gas is part of that movement (the erroneous argument being that there's no such thing as grid storage and you need natural gas to back up times when solar and wind aren't producing). This cites gas as producing only 50% the CO2 emissions of coal or oil backup that would be used if there was no gas backing up renewables.
This doesn't address the fact using grid-scale storage or renewables would produce ZERO CO2 emissions or the fact that methane - the primary component of "natural gas" - is over 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 over it's first 20 years in the atmosphere. Even if not taking accidental leaks into account, natural gas transmission lines like NED purposely release methane into the atmosphere at compressor and valve stations and pigging operations.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
They've implemented a few moves to try to catch up to the opposition, creating Union-Shirt in the StopNED neon yellow and even admitting to imitating our presentation slide and hand-out styles. Lately they've introduced their first yard signs emblazened with the "Build the Pipeline" message, a clear response to the many thousands of anti-pipeline signs that have dotted the entire pipeline route. With one of their shadow-organizations ( NortheastEnergyFuture.com ) listed as a website contact, their origin was a bit of a puzzle to the general public for a while, until an astute NH resident noticed a KM office store-room stacked up with them. Since then, they've come out of the PR closet, proudly brandishing them at a recent event.
Welcome to the open air, gentlemen.
Elected officials also up the ante
MA Rep. Kulik pushes for change at the DPU
After MA State Representative Steve Kulik and the citizens' group PLAN for the Northeast were denied internevor status in the Department of Public Utilities proceedings for local gas distribution companies seeking contracts for NED, Rep. Kulik has now filed legislation to change the rules.
» Read the Bill
As recently stated in the Daily Hampshire Gazette:
"From the earliest intimations that a gas pipeline would stretch through parts of his district, state Rep. Stephen Kulik has proven dogged in his push for an open and complete regulatory review process."
This new proposal is quickly gaining support among the Legislature.
Petitioners: Stephen Kulik, Jay D. Livingstone, Stephen L. DiNatale, Steven Ultrino, Bradley H. Jones, Jr., Ellen Story, Susannah M. Whipps Lee, Colleen M. Garry, Byron Rushing, Michelle M. DuBois, Frank I. Smizik, Linda Dean Campbell, Paul McMurtry, David M. Rogers, Denise Provost, Chris Walsh, Barbara L'Italien, Gailanne M. Cariddi, James R. Miceli, Peter V. Kocot, Paul W. Mark, Louis L. Kafka, Dennis A. Rosa
NH Delegation Pushes FERC, Kinder Morgan for Answers on Pipeline: Calls for Transparency on Pipeline Permitting Process
Sep 11, 2015
Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), along with Representatives Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2) and Frank Guinta (NH-1), called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Kinder Morgan to answer questions and address concerns raised by New Hampshire residents and stakeholders regarding the proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline.
"In meetings across New Hampshire, our constituents continue to raise questions and concerns with the Commission's permitting process," the delegation members wrote to FERC. "New Hampshire residents deserve a fully transparent process and should be guaranteed that the Commissioners will consider and respond to their concerns. To date, FERC's interactions with the public have been unsuccessful in answering these relevant and important questions."
In their letter, the delegation members asked FERC Chairman Norman C. Bay about the Commission's permitting process, procedures for considering public comments, and whether the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has conducted a safety analysis for the NED pipeline.
» Read more on Kelly Ayotte's site ...
MA Legislators FERC Comments
A growing number of Massachusetts Legislators are voicing concerns and opposition to Northeast Energy Direct. This week a new delegation mirrored the long-known opposition of Western MA lesiglators for the first time.
» MA State Reps Jones, Lyons, Cole, Whipps-Lee &Harrington, express concern
» See statement by MA State Legislators - Rosenberg, Downing, Kulik, Mark, Cariddi, Whipps-Lee
Citizens' opposition ramps up as well
August a record breaking month NED Comments
As the scoping process kicked into full gear, comments on the FERC Docket for NED (#PF14-22) nearly tripled the previous record per month. Analysis provided by Steve Frades shows the ration of Con to Pro comments remains staggering.
» See FERC Comment Analysis
Hunger strike at FERC lead by Beyond Extreme Energy
Realizing that without crucial changes at the Federal level, we, as a nation could chase down one pipeline proposal after another for decades, the folks from Beyond Extreme Energy have started an 18-day hunger strike at FERC's doorstep in Washington DC.
» Read more about "Hungry for Change at FERC"
You can join in by creating Quilt Squares!
But act by September 16, when they need to be mailed in.
» Quilting square instructions
More regular weekly vigils and protests
Another weekly vigil joins the ranks. Protests now ongoing in Northfield and Pittsfield, MA and Winchester NH.
» See the Schedule and consider starting one in your area!
Northfield Pipeline Procession canceled due to weather
Click picture to view video from Ashfield performance
Due to predicted thunderstorms this evening, the Children of the Wild Pipeline Procession in Northfield is being rescheduled. The new date is undetermined, but will likely be September 25 or 26.
Watch the No Fracked Gas in Mass Event page, or contact ChildrenoftheWild.org. to confirm the new date for Northfield's performance.
UMass to hold discussion panel
"Theory and Practice of Direct Action"
STPEC is proud to host a panel discussion with four activists and organizers from the Pioneer Valley who have participated in direct action to resist war, torture, racism, police violence, home foreclosures, and nuclear power. Their experiences shed light on the different philosophies that have guided direct action over time.
September 17, 6:30 - 8:30
» Read here for more information
» Lots of New Events on No Fracked Gas in Mass
Looks like we're in for a long haul ...
Launching multiple outreach campaigns as other prep for an extended effort, Kinder Morgan is showing no signs of withdrawing their application for the Northeast Energy Direct or CT Expansion pipelines. We will be in this fight for the long haul and can use all the ammunition we can get.
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