Will government listen to locals

Well, here’s a shock:

People in this region do not want a nat­ural gas pipeline running through their towns.

We don’t blame them. We wouldn’t want one, either.

These folks let the federal govern­ment, represented by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, know that in no uncertain terms during a packed public meeting last week at Milford Town Hall.

The federal government, through FERC, listened, but will it heed? That’s an open question.

Regulatory commissions always listen but sometimes, regardless of what they hear, they do what they believe to be in the best interests of …

Well, you see, this is where we fall into a state of wonder: We wonder, as we are certain you do, whose best interests are taken into consideration. We would hope it is the best interests of the nation or of something equally nebulous like nation­al security or national infrastructure or national energy needs. But we’re not cer­tain, and we don’t think you are, either, and that’s sad.

It’s sad because it shows how we, and probably you, are unsure of what level of trust to place in federal regulatory com­missions and, using them as conduits, the federal government. Trust in government is not at its greatest level right now, we all know that, and that makes us, and prob­ably you, uncertain of how this pipeline issue will turn out.

What we do know is this: FERC offi­cials are collecting comments from local public officials and residents to match against what the pipleline firm, Kinder Morgan, has submitted in written docu­ments. We choose to believe that FERC officials will give those comments careful consideration.

And then (drum roll) FERC will decide: Pipeline yes or pipeline no.

We vote for no.

FERC? No way to tell.

Giving FERC officials the benefit of the doubt, we believe they will decide to do what is best for … well, here we’ve come full circle: Best for whom? If, for instance, FERC decides that the pipeline is good for the entire region despite the clear lack of benefit for New Hampshire, well, regional good could trump state not­-so-good.

All we can do is wait and see. Local offi­cials and especially local residents have certainly done their part and should be proud of how they mobilized to attempt to defeat something they believe will be detrimental. If they don’t win, well, it won’t be for lack of trying.

Be proud of yourselves.