Target: Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick
Goal: Protect nature preserves, native areas, homes, and parks from the devastation of a gas pipeline
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. has proposed a 126-mile tract for a new gas pipeline that will run straight through Massachusetts’s natural land and water resources as well as tax state citizens to pay for the project. Known as the TGP Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, the project will damage sensitive habitats housing threatened and endangered species, which are already protected by the state’s government under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act and State Wildlife Action Plan. The project is early in the planning stages but the next few months are the most crucial for public comment.
The 30-to-36 inch pipeline will run six feet under native woodlands, wetlands, and rivers, leaving these habitats in danger not only from a gas leak but also from clear-cutting to construct the line. Since the pipeline will be in low population areas, the gas company only needs to meet the lowest safety standards. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are 77 significant gas pipeline incidents a year, which impact the environment, endanger local citizens, and cost millions of dollars in clean-up. The citizens of Massachusetts are defiantly in opposition. Only 25% of the gas will be for New England residents and the rest is for export, a proposition that will enormously increase the gas company’s profits.
With the idea of losing the last undeveloped land in the state as well losing homes and farms, citizens also have to worry about the proposed tariff to pay for the destruction of their homeland. The pipeline is considered a strong forerunner in the demands to meet future energy needs on the east coast. However, if citizens are expected to front the pipeline’s bill, many would prefer the community’s money go to a more renewable energy source instead of natural gas.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. has been approaching landowners for surveys for the pipeline. At this point, landowners do have the option to say no. However, the company could use the action of ‘eminent domain,’ meaning the government can authorize public use of a private land disregarding the say of the landowner. The gas company is seeking approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within the near future. With the FERC approval, eminent domain is very possible.
By signing the petition below, you are urging the Governor of Massachusetts to oppose the release of homes, farms, and preserved lands of Massachusetts to the grasp of this greedy gas company.
Dear Governor Patrick,
The Northeast Direct Pipeline, a project by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., is proposed to cut through untouched and precious land in Massachusetts as well as homes and farms of local citizens. By cutting through 206 wetlands, the Connecticut River, various aquifers, and the habitats of threatened and endangered species, this pipeline will first damage the area by clear-cutting for construction and then pose potential threats by the risk of a leak.
I strongly urge you to deny the company access to preserved lands as well as defend homes and farms from this invasive pipeline. The tax proposed for Massachusetts citizens to fund this project should be for a renewable energy future instead of creating a destructive nonrenewable present. With 77 significant gas pipeline incidents in the U.S. a year, please take action to protect Massachusetts’s environment, wildlife, and citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alexander Baxevanis via Flickr