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Kinder Morgan Ramps it Up

A couple of fast developments came about in the last few days.
Here are the major points.

- According to a Mt. Grace newsletter report on a meeting with the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), TGP/ Kinder Morgan has decided to go ahead and file with FERC as early as September, foregoing involving the DPU for now. Yes, this means they will be submitting an application with incomplete information on the properties they can't access. Whether or not they'll seek permission to enter properties from the DPU while their application to FERC is being reviewed, we've yet to confirm, although the information from the EEA meeting suggested they would.

- This also means they can start surveying any time on the property they DO have permission for. According to the information from the EEA meeting, they will start in Richmond this week.  According to their recent presentation in Groton, they intend to start surveys "in July", starting with public roadways first. (See the video here. Answers about surveying procedure and timeline starting around 1:40:30)

Katy had a great idea of each town printing out and hand-delivering Rescind Permission letters to every landowner along the line so they can hand them directly to the surveyors. Deny Permission letters for nearby properties wouldn't be a bad idea either. You may need a small local army to get out there and cover everyone, but certainly in the smaller towns, it can be done.

It could be a way to boost the percentage of non-surveyable land even more. We think it's currently 67% of the pipeline route that's blocked from their access, either by flat our denying permission, or from non-response to their requests. The Constitution Pipeline out in upstate NY has it's first application turned down by FERC, partially because they couldn't survey 23% of the route. We're already far more resistant, but why not give everyone a last chance to join in.

If you want to go ahead and do this, here are the links to the letters:
» Rescind permission letter
» Deny permission letter

If your town has granted permission to survey on town property, now would be a good time to pressure them to rescind as well.

As always, legal help is available at MassPLAN.org, thanks to contributions from many concerned citizens.


FRCOG Meeting with Kinder Morgan Rescheduled
Remember when the Franklin Regional Council of Governments' meeting was scheduled in too small a location to allow any but a handful of the public attend? It's been re-scheduled for a much larger venue.

Review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline project rescheduled to
July 24 at Greenfield Community College

Recorder Staff, Saturday, June 28, 2014
The Franklin Regional Council of Governments and its Franklin Regional Planning Board have rescheduled to July 24 their first-ever joint meeting to review the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project.
The boards’ original May 15 meeting on what Tennessee Gas Pipeline now calls its Northeast Energy Direct project was postponed because it was found to be in violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law in a space too small to accommodate the general public.
The rescheduled session has been relocated to a larger venue, the dining commons of Greenfield Community College. There, the 6 p.m. meeting will open with a presentation about the project by Allen Fore, public affairs director of Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s parent, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.
» READ MORE

From Our Friends at Conservation Law Foundation
Documents Reveal Governors’ Gas and Hydropower Plan Shaped by Industry and Incomplete Analysis
Jun 24, 2014 by Christophe Courchesne

Today, we are making available to the public a detailed briefing (PDF) on the documents we have received to date, along with an archive of the 48 documents (zip file, 25MB) cited in the briefing.
In short, the documents we have obtained reveal not only outright hostility to conducting the planning process in the open, but also a troubling willingness on the part of state officials to take enormous risks with our money, our region’s energy progress, and our climate.
» READ MORE

Legislators Respond with Investigation
Legislators raise questions about state officials participating in closed-door meetings on natural gas pipeline development
By RICHIE DAVIS, Recorder Staff,
Saturday, June 28, 2014


The report last week that New England state administrators met in closed-door sessions with energy business leaders to craft a plan for billions of dollars of natural gas pipeline development to be passed onto utility ratepayers is raising eyebrows — and further questions — among some area lawmakers.

“That’s huge,” said Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, who met last week with 19 other legislators along the route of a Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. plan that would cross the state.

The meeting coincided with a set of documents released by the environmental advocacy group Conservation Law Foundation that detail close involvement by electric and gas utilities in developing a plan for financing projects such as the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Energy Direct project that would cross Plainfield in Hampshire County and nine Franklin County towns, including Deerfield, on its way from Pennsylvania and New York to Dracut, north of Lowell.

The Conservation Law Foundation criticized what it called a “closed-door process” by the quasi-governmental consortium, called New England States Committee on Electricity, and asserted it has failed to fully examine the environmental and economic ramifications of endorsing pipelines and new transmission lines through the region.
» READ MORE
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

SUNDAY – JULY 6, 2014 – RICHMOND
— Rolling March Kickoff Celebration - At Hilltop Orchards. Celebrate Massachusestts Fossil-Free Indpendence Day.  Music, speakers and food in the Orchard. Hot dogs, hamburgers or veggie burgers, salads, tea. $12 per person, $5 for children under 14. Cash bar for wine, cider and soda. Visit www.eventbright.com for advance purchase, or cash or credit accepted on day of event. Proceeds to go to Berkshire Environmental Action Team.
Arrive 11:00
Buffet, music and speakers 11:30-1:00
Hilltop Orchards
Canaan Road (Rte. 295)
Richmond, MA

Rolling March – Richmond  - Start at Hilltop Orchards on Canaan Rd., (Route 295) to Route 41, Church Lane to Sleepy Hollow Road past the Beagle Club Gas Hub to Dublin Road to Lenox Road, East Road to Swamp Road, ending at Bartlett’s Orchard.
Participation in the Kick-Off event is not necessary for participation in the walk. Amenities and transport back to Hilltop provided for free. Persons wishing to walk only should park and assemble at the Gazebo by 1:00 pm. Walkers welcome to join us as we “roll along”. Walkers are encourages to use signs, have rain gear, water bottles and must sign waivers.
Arrive no later than 1:00
Park and assemble at the gazebo
Hilltop Orchards
Canaan Road (Rte. 295)
Richmond, MA

MONDAY – JULY 7, 2014 – PITTSFIELD
Stop the Pipeline Standout  - The Pittsfield and Dalton leg of the state relay walk / rolling march will start with a “standout” rally at Park Square.  Those who oppose the proposed high-pressure gas transmission line are invited to come to Park Square and stand in opposition. There will be signs available, or participants are invited to get creative and make their own.
8:30-9:30 AM
Park Square
Pittsfield, MA

Rolling March – Pittsfield & Dalton  - The journey from Pittsfield, through Dalton to Windsor will happen by bicycle, relaying the symbolic pipeline from Richmond to Windsor on it’s way across the state.  Any and all bike riders in the area are encouraged to join for the 20 mile round trip. After the transfer of the “pipeline” baton, the riders will be departing from Park Square at 9:00 with a send-off from the Stand-Out protestors. RSVP is appreciated, but not necessary. Please contact Cheryl Rose to confirm 413-842-5141.
Cyclists assemble for 9:00 departure
Park Square
Pittsfield, MA

TUESDAY – JULY 8, 2014 – WINDSOR
— Rolling March – Windsor - Join us in the Windsor Walk to spread the word about the proposed gas pipeline. The plan is to walk the stretch of Route 9 through Windsor on July 8th, Tuesday. You can join us for some or all of the route which is about 8 miles. . Bring a sign! we will be delivering the baton to the Parish House in West Cummington.
Starting time TBA

WEDNESDAY – JULY 9, 2014 – CUMMINGTON
— Rolling March – Cummington - Join us at the Parish House in West Cummington mid-morning, and head up Packard Road to Plainfield, where you can continue on to 116 towards Ashfield. More details to follow.
Starting time TBA

*See schedule for a full list of towns and dates.

SUNDAY – JULY 13, 2014 – MONTAGUE
— Rolling March – Montague - Walk from the Deerfield-Montague Bicycle path Connecticut River Bridge to Millers Falls-Erving Rte.63 Bridge over the Millers River. About 6 miles.
Starting at 10:00 AM

THURSDAY – JULY 24, 2014 - GREENFIELD

— FRCOG Meeting with Kinder Morgan, Review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline - The Franklin Regional Council of Governments and its Franklin Regional Planning Board have rescheduled to July 24 their first-ever joint meeting to review the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project.
6:00 PM
Dining Commons
Greenfield Community College
 

HAVE TALKS, PRESENTATIONS, MEETINGS OR ACTIONS PLANNED?
Let us know!



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