Anne Perkins: Berkshire Gas’s moratorium on natural gas is bogus

Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2015

To the editor:

I am pleased to see that Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has asked Berkshire Gas to lift its moratorium and that the Gazette has editorialized in support of an independent review.

Given my experience with the company, I believe the moratorium is nothing but a tactic to garner support from the public for the Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s Northeast Energy Direct project through western Massachusetts.

Although Berkshire states that it is running low on natural gas, I don’t believe it. The company seems to have had no ability to plan ahead.

In 2009 when I requested that a gas line be brought approximately 40 feet from the company’s line at the street into my house, I was told it would cost me $4,000 because I would only be using one gas wall heater. In other words, I would not be using enough gas to warrant the expense. I reluctantly continued using my oil boiler for heat for the two rooms I had hoped to heat with gas.

Yet in 2013, a mere two years ago, when I again approached Berkshire Gas, it willingly put in a line to my house for free after I signed an agreement promising to use many therms of gas over the next five years. They were pushing me to use as much gas as I could.

Now, with this moratorium, I could not replace my oil boiler with an efficient gas boiler even if I wanted to do so. Given the inability for UIL Holdings Corporation, Berkshire Gas’ parent company, to plan ahead, it is impossible for me to believe that the company is low in capacity.

What will it do when it understands that the pipeline will not be built? Finally repair the leaks? The people of western Massachusetts understand that no new fossil fuel infrastructure can be built if we want the planet to survive.

Anne Perkins



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