New Hampshire will not benefit from pipeline plan

To the Editor:

I would like to make people aware of the reality of this pipeline that is proposed to come through Amherst. A lot of people are not informed of the facts, and up until a few weeks ago that included myself. I would like to share my findings with all the good people of Amherst.

In full disclosure, I am an affected land owner here in town. After doing immense amounts of research, I wouldn’t want this pipeline coming through Amherst even if it wasn’t going through my property. Here’s why:

This project is not about serving the natural gas needs of New Hampshire residents. This pipeline project is 100 percent about a company called Kinder Morgan and their gas and oil distributor cronies who wants to profit from sending “fracked gas” from the Marcellus Shale mine in Pennsylvania and New York to a distribution site in Dracut, Mass. The gas will then be piped down to ports in Boston and Canada for export to Europe and India where they are highly reliant on natural gas. Those countries have been buying their gas from Russia at overinflated prices since they have a monopoly on supplying natural gas in those countries.

Kinder Morgan is flat out lying about the purpose of their pipeline. None of this gas will serve us in New Hampshire. Yet, you will be paying for it. That’s right – this will be partially funded through a surcharge on your electric bill.

As proposed, the 36-inch pipe will carry 2.2 billion cubic feet per day pressurized at 1400 PSI (can you say dangerous?). This is more natural gas than both Massachusetts and New Hampshire have ever used by a wide margin. Not coincidentally, there is a port in Boston, Mass., that has natural gas pipeline coming in from Dracut

ready for use. And, the owners of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which has been bringing fuel to Dracut from Canada, have asked permission to reverse its flow to take fuel from Massachusetts to the port of St. John in Brunswick, Canada. It seems abundantly clear to me where this gas is really going – overseas.

In essence, KM is proposing to profit from government authority by taking private property under the guise of public gain. This is flat out wrong, folks! While the map shows this going through my land today, it WILL change, and the next map could have it going right through you and your neighbor’s property.

I know it will change since I live less than 1,000 feet from our high school and the other side of the pipeline is less than 1,000 feet from our middle school. I also live on the Souhegan River, which this pipeline crosses in my backyard and then another three times and before it runs through Ponemah Bog. See a problem with the current route?

Now let’s discuss the safety and environmental aspects of this. KM is stating as one of the benefits – “Future expansion of natural gas distribution in New Hampshire.” I would prefer our state leaders find an alternative to fossil fuels, and specifically, fracked gas. You can Google Kinder Morgan safety and environmental violations. It is almost as pathetic as their ethics and integrity. Did I mention Mr. Kinder and Mr. Morgan are former Enron executives that bought up the gas pipelines in the U.S. when Enron disbanded? Yeah, real good guys to get into business dealings with Maggie Hassan.

There’s a reason Massachusetts rejected this pipeline be built in their state. Let’s not be the dummies that take this crappy deal. I invite you to further educate yourselves at nhpipelineawareness.org and our Facebook site, Amherst Citizens Natural Gas Pipeline Awareness. There is a lot of great information out there and you will be as astonished as I am at what you find.

Matt Rafuse

Amherst