Reed Schimmelfing: Appreciates Gazette’s coverage of Kinder Morgan pipeline

Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

To the editor:

A big thank you to the Gazette for its coverage of the proposed Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline. Though its proposed path does not go through the paper’s circulation area, it is clearly of significant concern to many readers. This was evidenced again by many of us from Hampshire County who made the trip to Greenfield for the Department of Public Utility public hearing last Thursday.

The paper’s story correctly represented that the overwhelming majority of those present oppose the pipeline, though it also gave voice to those who spoke in favor. What may not have been made clear by the coverage was the direct response by opponents to the claims made by those in favor. It was especially unfortunate that the pipeline union worker who spoke left the auditorium shortly after she spoke her peace, including citing the pipeline as her/their “Big Dig.”

A speaker shortly after directly addressed that perspective, citing the very same union’s involvement with work on renewable energy infrastructure projects that actually benefit the people of our region such as solar, wind and geothermal. The union member also missed the loud, universal supportive response from the audience confirming that nobody sees the workers as the problem.

The union worker also did not hear anyone point out the fundamental difference of the Big Dig and the proposed NED pipeline. She is correct that citizens are being asked to fund both projects.

Those impacted and inconvenienced by the Big Dig, however, will benefit from it for decades to come while the benefit of the pipeline is for corporate profit that leaves the area while spoiling forever a wide swath of pristine western Massachusetts.

The bridges and tunnels of the Big Dig will stay in Boston. The vast majority of the gas intended to pass through this proposed pipeline will be exported to Europe at a massive profit to multinational corporations.

Reed Schimmelfing



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