Our neighbors in Sandisfield need your help!
FERC proceedings have begun ... on short deadline
CT Expansion Project - TGP filed with FERC for an expedited review - they are skipping pre-filing. They are asking to skip the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) calling the construction of 13 miles of 36" pipeline a minor change. It looks like this could be the only opportunity for public comment. If FERC agrees that this is a minor change, Jane at Berkshire Environmental Action Team thinks they could just issue the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
People and organizations can intervene - by September 4th by 5:00 PM, or just file comments. In intervening - land owners along the route have standing, people who use the area (October Mountain state forest, Spectacle Pond maybe) - may have standing.
Our main demand: Their environmental information is in no way complete and they need to file a full EIS. Mention that during Mass state level review, they tried to skip parts of the process and the Secretray of EEA said to file a full Environmental Impact Report which they have as yet have failed to do.
File requests asking FERC to deny expedited review based on insufficient environmental information (MA Secretary required more information in the MEPA Certificate), lack of data showing need (MA is currently starting a study to determine need having decided that the industry led study was flawed). Could also suggest that this is segmentation of the larger Northeast Expansion and we need to understand the cumulative impacts of the greater expansion.
The Docket number for the CT Expansion is CP14-529
BEAT compiled info about FERC, the FERC process and how to use FERC's online services HERE.
» Keep up with news from Sandisfield
RELATED ACTION ITEM:
Ask The Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs to Join Us!
Email the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs, Maeve Vallely Bartlett, to have her comment on FERC docket No. CP14-529, informing FERC that their state level environmental filing was insufficienteven though TGP filed a EENF (Expanded Environmental Notification Form) wanting to skip through to a Final EIR without a filing a Draft - a process that would have allowed for a whole other opportunity for public comment. In the state-level case, the Secretary said no, they need to file all levels of environmental review. We want them to do the same thing at the federal level. (The email link is pre-written for your convenience, but feel free to change it as you see fit before sending.)
New Action Items on the updated
"Act Now" page
Pick one a day: make a difference one bit at a time!
» Visit the page
— Ask Governor Deval Patrick to publicly oppose the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline proposal by Kinder Morgan, to deny them access to state land for survey, and to keep the currently stalled tariff to pay for pipelines off the table.
Ask him to join our Congresspeople Warren, Markey and McGovern, as well as more than half a dozen State Legislators so far who have taken a public stand against this pipeline. Remind him that 26 communities have resolutions against it and over 12,000 people have signed the petition to ban it so far.
— Ask your state legislators to:
1. Hold a hearing on New England States Committee On Electricity’s (NESCOE) mode of operations and the lack of public accountability.
Call for an investigation of NESCOE – A Conservation Law Foundation briefing paper (http://www.clf.org/blog/clean-energy-climate-change/governors-infrastructure-plan/) shows that NESCOE operates pretty much behind closed doors with undue influence by the gas and utility companies.
2. Require that the new study of the ‘Low Demand Scenario” (how we can meet our energy needs with efficiency, demand response, renewables), is conducted in a way that’s open to public participation.
Responding to the pressure we’ve put on the issue, the Governor committed to a new study of the Low Demand Scenario and has tasked the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Affairs with following through. In an EEA meeting with over a dozen environmental, anti-pipeline and land conservation groups, Undersecretary of Energy Mark Sylvia stated that they want the process to be transparent and open to input from the public. Let’s make sure it happens that way! Ask your Legislators (and key committee members – see below) to stay in contact with the Governor and the EEA to ensure that public participation is part of the picture.
3. Pledge to oppose the release of Article 97 land from its protection.
To release protected land from that state protection requires a 2/3 majority of both houses of state government. Usually the request comes from the Senator and Representative from where the land is located. Please ask your Senator and Representative to pledge to oppose the release of any Article 97 land for building this pipeline, and to ask other Legislators not along the pipeline route to back them up.
Other important actions:
— Contact legislators NOT along the pipeline route
Many of the legislators along the route are already with us, but we need as many OTHER legislators as possible to be informed of the issues and persuaded that this project would be disastrous for the state’s economy and energy portfolio. Please reach out to friends and relatives out east and in other parts of the state so that those Legislators are hearing from their own constituents. If you don’t have connections in those districts, contact those Legislators anyway! If you’re looking Legislators for a particular town, you can type it in here under “Find a Legislator” and this page pulls up their contact info – great for targeted regional action.
» All State Senators
» All State Representatives
Here are links to the major committees who would have sway over these issues. These would be key people to contact first, but definitely feel free to contact more:
» Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy
» Joint Committee on Ways and Means
»Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
— Consider spending some time at the State House.
We have a representative interested in helping citizens learn to visit and talk about the pipeline with Legislators in person. Email for information.
Social Media to share with friends, family and legislators
A.Grace Steig of Climate Summer's #WestMass Team put together a great Pipeline Information Video. If your legislators only have a few minutes to pick up the basics of the pipeline issue, this could be the most effective way to get them up to speed. Share widely on social media to get the word out.
We have memes with information and action items available on our Pics Against the Pipeline blog. When you hover over them, a box with an arrow should appear below them. Click on that icon to share to Facebook, Twitter or by email.
Elections coming up
Candidates are holding events all over the place - opportunity for face time! Go to their events & appearances, talk with them about the pipeline. In preparation for the September 9th Democratic and Republican Primaries, MassPLAN has gathered answers to a standard questionnaire sent to all Gubernatorial and Atty. General Candidates. Read the responses they received here.
Keep in mind that there are many more offices open and candidates from many parties - state-wide and local. Find out where they stand before going to the polls, and if they don't seem to understand the pipeline issue - educate them!
To landowners along the Kinder Morgan proposed pipeline route: Two anti-pipeline video projects are offering to tell your story!
As part of his ongoing video documentary project about the growing grassroots movement against the pipeline, Steve is interested in meeting people who would be open to sharing their story - on camera - about the impact this proposed project has had or would have on their lives. If you are interested, please send an email, with a narrative or outline highlighting the key aspects of your story.
Visit Stephen's blog "From the Ground Up" to see his work on the project so far.
Paki and Hattie
Paki Wieland of Northampton Community TV ( NCTV) and Hattie Nestel are shooting interviews with landowners along the proposed pipeline route for airing as short You Tube segments and a longer cable TV broadcast. They are centrally located and will travel to your location.
If you are a landowner or know a landowner who would like to be filmed and interviewed on site for this project, please contact Hattie by email or 978-790-3074.
Elizabeth Warren speaks out!
In an OpEd to the Berkshire Eagle, Elizabeth Warren speaks out boldly against the pipeline proposal, and the rush to answer energy needs with old fossil fuel solutions.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
We can do better than pipeline
Berkshire Eagle: August 12, 2014
" …. the need to improve our short- term energy outlook and reduce unacceptably high energy prices does not mean that we should rush to support every energy infrastructure project, no matter the consequences. The decisions we make about energy proposals today will have an impact on future generations, and in each instance we must weigh the potential benefits against the potential consequences -- both in the short- term and long-term.
Before we sink more money in gas infrastructure, we have an obligation wherever possible to focus our investments on the clean technologies of the future -- not the dirty fuels of the past -- and to minimize the environmental impact of all our energy infrastructure projects. We can do better -- and we should."
» READ FULL ARTICLE
Businesses join in the opposition in Pepperell
Anti-pipeline support grows in Pepperell
By Kelly Carrion, Nashoba Publishing, 08/13/2014
PEPPERELL -- Wednesday's rain did little to stop a crowd of more than 40 people from gathering at Pepperell Family Pharmacy to unveil the list of about 100 local businesses that endorse the Stop the Pipeline campaign.
"The response from small businesses really has been overwhelming," said Claire Miller from Toxics Action Center, an organization based in Boston that assists neighborhood groups to fight pollution in their communities.
"People keep saying 'yes, I want to help the campaign' and 'yes, I want to sign this petition,' " she said.
Stop the Pipeline supporters went out for two days to gather endorsements from local businesses in Ashby, Ayer, Dunstable, Pepperell, Townsend, Groton and Tyngsboro. The signed petitions will be delivered to Gov. Deval Patrick's office this fall.
The petition calls on Patrick to withdraw his proposal to publicly finance new gas infrastructure and hold this pipeline to the strictest standards possible for any requested permits. Ashby Conservation Commissioner Cathy Kristofferson said it is important for Gov. Patrick to come out publicly in opposition of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline.
"This is a federal project, so we need pressure from all of our representatives, not only those representing affected areas," she said.
» READ FULL ARTICLE
BRPC Plan Meeting With Tennessee Pipeline Developers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
The company has agreed to make a presentation on Sept. 18 and Karns and the BRPC are now trying to craft a way to allow Kinder Morgan to provide information without the disruption that controversial issues tend to create.
"This is an information-gathering meeting," Karns told BRPC's executive committee. "As we're envisioning it, we won't have people marching up to the microphone to make statements."
» READ FULL ARTICLE
SATURDAY - AUGUST 16 - SALEM, MA
Celebrate with us! This Saturday Better Future Project, Climate Summer, HealthLink and GASPP are teaming up to hold a rally against the proposed Salem natural gas plant followed by a festival celebrating the clean energy future that we want to see. Bring the whole family! RSVP here:
TUESDAY - AUGUST 19, 2014 - NORTHFIELD
— Kinder Morgan representatives at a select board meeting.
The meeting agenda is as follows: 15 minute presentation from the KM rep. 45 minutes of questions from citizens to the KM rep. We will then have an opportunity for anyone who wants to express an opinion to do so (within a reasonable time limit). The Kinder Morgan representative will only commit to 1 hours time. After the hour he is invited to stay, but there is no expectation that he will do so.
If you want to submit questions to Kinder Morgan's representative please email them to Sandra, the town secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try and compile all similar questions into shared questions so that as many of our concerns as possible will be aired.
We are working on a petition for a town resolution--look for us outside on the sidewalk before and after the presentation to add your name.
Pioneer Regional High School
97 F Sumner Turner Dr.
MONDAY - AUGUST 19, 2014 - BOYLSTON
— Kinder Morgan presentation to select board.
Boylston Town Hall
TUESDAY — AUGUST 19 — ORANGE
— Public Forum on Proposed Pipeline at Community Church of North Orange and Tully — This public forum will focus on land issues and legal issues relating to the proposed pipeline. Special guest speakers include: Tom Lesser, Attorney with Lesser, Newman, and Nasser and Leigh Youngblood, Executive Director of Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust. An update of statewide activities to oppose the pipeline will also be presented, and background information on the pipeline project will be available. Question and Answer period will follow presentations. Rev. Don Erickson and the Community Church of North Orange and Tully are hosting this event. Sponsored by NQ Pipeline Action and Community Church of North Orange and Tully.
Community Church of North Orange and Tully
Creamery Hill Road & Main St.
North Orange, MA
THURSDAY — AUGUST 21 — ORANGE
— Orange Special Town Meeting at Orange Town Hall. Resolution to Ban Fracked Gas Pipelines on Warrant. If you are a registered voter in Orange, please plan to attend. This is a special town meeting called by the Orange Selectboard with about 5 articles to consider. With the help of 6 people we collected over 125 signatures in 3 days to get a resolution on the Special Town Meeting Warrant similar to resolutions passed in about 25 other towns.
Orange Town Hall
N. Main St.
MONDAY — AUGUST 25 — DUNSTABLE
— Kinder Morgan Presentation at Board of Selectmen Meeting.
Upstairs Meeting Room
511 Main Street
Site updates - Now with pipeline maps
Maps for each town are now up on town pages on No Fracked Gas in Mass. Look for your town here.
PLEASE DONATE TODAY
to CONTINUE to SUPPORT this EFFORT
Contributions go to support all of our work — mailings, informational materials, postage, travel to speaking engagements, rallies, meetings with elected officials, and legal support and so much more. Stay with us as we face the next round of challenges, including Kinder Morgan's possible pre-filing with FERC and continually evolving elements of the region's energy plan. A little or a lot, your donation helps your fellow citizens!
Visit our Donate page today!
We are proud to have Berkshire Environmental Action Team and New England Grassroots Environmental Fund as our fiscal sponsors to help accept tax-deductible donations (501c(3)).
New to the NoFrackedGas mailing list?
Catch up on previous newsletters.
Feel free to share newsletter this widely with neighbors and friends and family across the state. If you received it from a friend, feel free to sign up and join the mailing list.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing conversations and discussion.