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Your Input Is Needed!

Please write to or call your Legislator on H.4187 to keep the tariff at bay and support a requirement of a formal study of alternatives before any new energy infrastructure is built
.

See helpful information below!

Here's a great and well planned call to action by Environment Northeast, an environmental think-tank that has been putting the need for the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline under the microscope. The bill that would have allowed the tariff to pay for the pipeline is hitting the Legislature and, thanks to pressure already put on by various forces opposing the pipeline, vague language that would have allowed ISO NE and NESCOE easily put the plan through was removed before ever leaving committee.

Banning the tariff could pull the financial rug out from under this pipeline!
Your action to further strengthen this bill is crucial.


There are more changes that could help strengthen this bill even more and we need everyone to contact their legislators now to make them happen. Read ENE's well thought-out plan below, read the overview of the issue and used this link to find your Legislator's contact information ( It's as simple as punching in your zip code in the Find a Legislator section near the top center of the page).

Spread the word, and don't forget your friends and relatives in major metro areas. :)

Request from ENE:
Thanks to  widespread concern voiced to Committee leaders, the latest version of this legislation removes vague language that would have authorized NESCOE and ISO to act on behalf of MA to enhance regional energy infrastructure (seen as a reference to the proposed tariff under which ratepayers would foot the bill for construction of the pipeline). While there are still more changes that need to be made to this bill, it's worth supporting with those changes rather than flat out opposing.
 
The next step on the natural gas piece is to require a study of alternatives that could reduce or avoid the need for new pipeline capacity and meet our energy needs at lower risk to consumers, the climate, and the local environment.  The best way to get this study included in the legislation is to contact legislators from the pipeline route and other legislative allies in order to get them to include it in the bill.  Now that the bill has been reported out of the joint Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee, it moves to the House of Representatives.  However, with a short amount of time left in the legislative calendar (session officially over at the end of July) and powerful Senators from W. Mass (Downing and Rosenberg) outreach should not be limited to the House, but rather should take in all key legislators. The more calls and emails that go in the better!

View the fact sheet for further explanation.

Suggested talking points below for input to legislators:

–  Concern about the pipeline is widespread (add specific concerns or note related activities).
–  States have acknowledged that pipeline capacity may not be needed if we invest in clean energy alternatives (see New England Gas-Electric Focus Group Final Report, p. 14)
–  States have yet to compare the cost of clean energy alternatives to the cost of pipelines (same reference as above).
–  In order to compare these costs, the Clean Energy Resources bill should require a study of alternatives to natural gas pipelines.
–  If this study is not required states may use existing authority to move ahead with the pipeline without considering lower-risk alternatives.
 

Town of Andover orders TGP to "cease and desist" in aggressive survey request tactics

A proposal to put a gas pipeline through Andover has met with resistance from residents and Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski, who last week issued an order that the gas company stay out of town. Stapczynski said he was tired of getting complaints from residents living near Fish Brook and the Tewksbury border about representatives of Tennessee Gas knocking on their doors asking to survey their properties.

“It has been brought to my attention by a number of residents that they have received numerous letters, harassing telephone calls and door-to-door intrusions,” Stapczynski wrote in a letter that he copied to five officials from the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. He said the pipeline company workers visiting homes in the area are requesting that residents “consent in writing to allow your company to access their property as part of your pipeline project.”

“Please let this letter serve as official notice that you are to cease and desist from any such activity in Andover until such time as the appropriate project representatives have appeared before the Board of Selectmen to discuss the project,” he said.

Stapczynski said he is “notifying the Andover police chief that such tactics and behavior from your representatives will not be tolerated.”
» Read more

Things heat up in Groton

We're hearing more and more activity out of the town of Groton, this recent panel discussion brought all voices to the table, including experienced activist, Jim O'Reilly. Discussion of the ISO-New England tariff and natural gas market rules (Set timeline to approx. 1 hour).
» Read more
» Video available on Vimeo
 

Balancing Act:
Richmond's Unprecedented Co-Presentation


Despite frequent invitations to join in informational presentations in interest of a balanced discussion, representatives of TGP / Kinder Morgan had consistently declined, until June 4.  With much negotiation, the Richmond Select Board and concerned citizens arranged to have an official Selectboard meeting that allowed 40 minutes for Kinder Morgan's presentation and following Q&A and a 40 minute presentation and Q&A with No Fracked Gas in Mass and Berkshire Environmental Action Team.
» Read more
 

Some rays of hope from Berwick campaign?

We've been asking current candidates for Governor about energy and the pipeline (and encourage you to do the same! Check back later for NFGiM's Elections & Legislation section.)

In response to inquiries about the pipeline from one concerned citizen, Democratic candidate for Governor, Don Berwick's campaign sent this response. It's similar to some others received by others in the last few days, showing more consideration than the oft-cited vision of a "fossil fuel free future" AFTER a new pipeline is built. This correspondence is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement on the part of No Fracked Gas in Mass.

My name is Dave Marsh and I'm the policy director with Don Berwick's campaign. Thanks for bringing these concerns to our attention and allowing us to clarify some dangerous misconceptions that have been discussed in recent days.
 

Don is very concerned about this pipeline, particularly about inviting a company with the TGP's dubious track record of safety violations and irresponsible practices into our state. In fact, Don is the only candidate who has expressed serious reservations about the merits pipeline. Other candidates have simply pledged to study the issue.
 
Here is a recent statement on the prospect of new natural gas infrastructure:
 

As Governor, I aim to set Massachusetts on the path towards becoming the first carbon neutral state. To achieve this ambitious goal, we must double down on aggressive efforts for additional conservation and efficiency, solar, off-shore wind, and hydro power to replace existing fossil fuel sources.
 
While we need a “bridge” fuel in the short time until we can power our grid and mobile sources completely without fossil fuels, I am very concerned about the dangers of making any more long-term investments in natural gas infrastructure. Pipeline proposals, including the Kinder Morgan pipeline, create safety concerns in the communities they pass through, and threaten to create infrastructure that lock us into the use of fossil fuels for far longer than necessary. They also will likely invite fracked gas into the state, which I oppose.
 
It is dangerous and misguided to support new pipelines unless we have fully exhausted every other option to supply reliable power. We should hit the pause button on new development until this full audit has been completed.
 
Let’s focus instead on plugging dangerous leaks from the existing natural gas infrastructure that waste energy and emit greenhouse gases far more harmful than carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Let’s also support innovative technologies that help smooth demand during peak times to reduce our dependence on base-load power. I fear that disrupting the reliability of our power supply would erode the public’s support for the essential goals of conservation and renewable energy. However, if a comprehensive and objective energy assessment of the state’s capacity and needs can guarantee cost-effective and reliable energy supply without building new pipelines, I would welcome a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Don Berwick for Governor


Vermont's Governor Shumlin Not Solidly on Board

One of the key components that set this pipeline proposal in motion was a letter from all six governors of New England committing to work together on regional energy infrastructures issues. This solidarity between all the governors has been touted in KM's presentations as one of the reasons for proposing the Northeast Energy Direct Project. Maybe it's not as solid an alliance as the letter led everyone to believe

» Read more: Governor Cautious on Build-Out of Energy Delivery Infrastructures
 

Pipeline put on your property
may be mortgage violation

By RICHIE DAVIS, Greenfield Recorder Staff
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It may or may not be an unlikely scenario, but allowing a gas pipeline to be sited on your property could put you at risk of technically violating your mortgage agreement, say local experts who are investigating the legal ramifications of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline proposal for its Northeast Expansion project.

A provision in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage agreements include sections that prohibit properties from storage or release of “hazardous substances” on the property in question, or to transfer part of a property “or a beneficial interest” without prior permission of the lender.

» Read More
 

Come tell the world your story
Climate Summer Riders getting ready to roll and meet communities along the pipeline route


Climate Summer - Ride for the Future bicyclists riding the pipeline route this summer will break up into two teams of 6 or 7 riders, "Kinder Morgan East" and "Kinder Morgan West". Along with other teams addressing the Spectra pipeline and Footprint gas electric plant in Salem, they will be reaching out at the grassroots level to show that more fossil fuel infrastructure is NOT needed. They'll be coming to a town near you and are looking for community partners to show them around, and tell their stories of how the pipeline would impact them and how it already has, even at the proposal stage!  They'll be helping people tell their stories and video taping them to put up on YouTube to be shared online. If you'd like to talk with them when they're in your area, or if you'd like to partner with them in going door to door to spread the word, please email coordinator Marla Marcum and let her know. These folks are well informed and stoked to help us out!

MassPLAN offers assistance for landowners & others 
Coordinated legal representation will be available for landowners and for all other aspects of efforts to stop the pipeline. MassPLAN, a broad coalition of groups opposed to the pipeline (including No Fracked Gas in Mass), has secured lawyers experienced in civic resistance, regulatory and land issues and is ready to assist. Email MassPLAN or visit the site for more information.

They are encouraging all land owners currently under threat of DPU hearings to write to TGP (though their Land Agent representative mentioned on letters from TGP) with their questions and concerns, making to sure to send a copy the DPU and elected officials such as their legislators, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Governor. Contact information for all can be found on www.nofrackedgasinmass.org.
 

GASP – Five state alliance resisting pipeline expansion

From early on in this fight, we’ve been in contact with the Lenox Green-Rainbow Town Committee regarding the pipeline and resolutions, and recently the Green-Rainbow Party issued a formal statement against it.  Now we’ve just received word of a five-state alliance, GASP – Green Alliance to Stop the Pipelines. This is another exciting development as our movement grows!
» Read More
 

Be sure to visit The Score and see the progress we're making!
 

Upcoming Events

SATURDAY – JUNE 21 – TOWNSEND
— BEAT / NFGiM Informational Presentation. Presentation by Bruce Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Rose Wessel of No Fracked Gas in Mass.
10:30 AM
Public Library Meeting Hall
12 Dudley Road
Townsend, MA

MONDAY – JUNE 23 – GROTON
— Kinder Morgan will hold an informational session to discuss and take public comments on the proposed expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. All interested parties should attend.
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Lawrence Academy
Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center
Groton, MA

MONDAY – JUNE 23 – ATHOL
— NQ Pipeline Action Meeting.  NQ Pipeline Action is a group of concerned citizens working together to build awareness, organize opposition, and engage in collective action with other groups against the proposed natural gas pipeline.  People attending a meeting for the first time are invited to come at 6:45 to get background information and talk with members of the steering committee.
Meeting will focus on actions that people can take now by continuing to do letter writing to elected officials and government agencies such as the MA Department of Public Utilities.  NQ Pipeline Action recently signed on to a letter along with Mt. Grace Land Trust, Environment-Northeast, and other organizations asking Governor Patrick for an in-depth study of the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) report of the costs and benefits of a low demand scenario.
At the meeting people will also be able to get lawn signs and hear reports about landowner meetings and other work in such towns as Royalston, Warwick, Athol, Erving, Winchendon, and Orange.  An up-date will be given on the MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) process and the possible Kinder Morgan petition to the DPU to survey on land along the proposed pipeline route.  A coalition of citizens from towns in Western and Northern Massachusetts formed recently to work on coordinating activities.  One statewide event in the planning stages that Mary King will discuss is a relay walk following the proposed TGP/Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline during July ending with a rally at the Statehouse in Boston.
7 P.M. (First timers, please come at 6:45)
Athol Town Hall

THURSDAY – JUNE 26, 2014 – BOLTON
Board of Selectmen’s Meeting with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company.  Representatives of Tennessee Gas Pipeline will attend the Bolton Board of Selectmen’s meeting. A presentation will be given by a representative of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company followed by a Q&A session. Additional information will be posted to the town website – www.townofbolton.com -as it becomes available.  View the Guidelines for Submitting Questions.
7:00 PM
Florence Sawyer School
100 Mechanic St.
Bolton, MA



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