Erik W. Burcroff: We must keep our lands safe from Kinder Morgan pipeline

Last modified: Monday, September 07, 2015

To the editor:

Two Houston billionaires propose a risky and badly funded fracked gas pipeline project destined to cause public and environmental harm in our region. The Kinder Morgan North East Direct gas pipeline serves no real need for the affected areas or its residents. All available evidence heavily outweighs dubious claims of public benefit.

COO Richard Kinder left Enron just before it imploded, then swooped back to buy its assets on the cheap. Bill Morgan was a VP at Enron. Now they are aiming their boom-and-bust business model at us. Kinder Morgan’s initial plan had ratepayers funding the installation, monitoring and remediation or removal of the pipeline. Only public outrage stalled this aggressive plan; it still lurks.

This would be another glaring example of public risk for private profit. The large high-pressure pipeline would perpetuate dependence on a toxic energy source and an unjust land grab.

The company designates “sacrifice zones” where the industry allows the use of Class 1 minimal pipe thickness and welds. That’s not safe and we don’t want to live in a place where a “blast site” could scar the landscape for generations.

A vast majority of fracked gas pipeline fires occur in pristine areas. I hear the testimony of current neighbors of valves, pipelines and pump stations and I wonder if it is right to cross so many head waters, rivers and wetlands, forests, native and historic sites for temporary profit.

We do not want months of industrial traffic bringing megaloads of materials and equipment, routine off-gassing, noise and light pollution. Increased activity from helicopters and drones sound repulsive. We are resolved to weatherize, conserve energy and install as much renewable power as possible.

We are stewards of our land, air and water. We do not want a fracked gas pipeline as part of our legacy. Imagine if all the R&D, lobbying and lawyer fees were put to clean energy, community strength and a robust ecology. Local and regional sovereignty must trump profit-mad damage to our common wealth and our Commonwealth.

If we don’t speak up, what do we tell our grandchildren?

Erik W. Burcroff



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