Kinder Morgan is same old energy company

To the Editor:

Kinder Morgan, the company which proposes, by eminent domain, to take our private property and great swaths of our conservation land, is coming to town for an “open house” at Hampshire Hills on Feb. 24, from 6-8 p.m. Kinder Morgan is not “Another Kind of Energy Company,” as it advertises. It fracks to produce “natural” gas, which is only natural when it is miles under the earth’s crust. When it is fracked to the surface, it is no longer “natural”, it is the same old fossil fuel which gives our children phenomenal rates of asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis, and is directly responsible for 5.13 million lost work days and 26.3 restricted activity days annually. So lets stop using this cute, antiquated term. Maybe “fracked gas” would be better. So on the 24th, think of something to put on your poster – and raise that poster high.

The owner and management of Hampshire Hills wish to promote a free and fair debate on this issue. They are doing what they can to make this protest a success. We should come early, organize shifts, and be there even before Kinder Morgan sets up. Then, we should confront those who are manning the booths with our well thought out questions. Their videos, posters, and power point presentations should not go unanswered.

According to Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan’s public affairs vice president, only 23 percent of the pipeline’s gas would be sold in New England. That is why they are making a beeline for the coast and its access to the international market. Just because there is more money to be made by shipping gas overseas, you can’t use eminent domain to take private property unless there is a direct community benefit – not to international fossil fuel customers, but to the local community.

This Tennessee company had a recent open house in Greenfield, Mass., and left the citizens with many, many unanswered questions. The open house was deemed “just PR exercises,” which is what we can expect to see in the many Kinder Morgan booths on the tennis courts of Hampshire Hills on Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 6-8 in the evening. The chairman of the Selectmen in Greenfield, Mass., who is also chairman of the Board of Health, pointed out that burning “natural” gas causes a range of severe respiratory diseases.

Greenfield didn’t want these negative effects. Their portion of the pipeline is scheduled to cut through a rail yard, an unused aquifer, and Native American burial grounds. “Our” pipeline is headed straight through Ponemah Bog and other conservation land, areas thick with wildlife and other native plant species.

Deerfield filed a negligence claim to stop Kinder Morgan from placing any of the pipeline in their town. The citizens claimed that the export of “natural” gas will definitely not lower energy rates, which can be proven. Kinder Morgan is honoring Greenfield’s ban until the results of a court ruling are known.

We can do the same. I do not live in one of the towns directly affected by the pipeline, but this is not a NIMBY (not in my backyard!) issue. We don’t want the pipeline spoiling anyone’s backyard. We don’t want Kinder Morgan sneaking it through our aquifers, conservation land and cemeteries.

You know, our 18th and 19th century forefathers powered 80 percent of their factories and mills using water power, requiring clean state-of-the-art underwater turbines. We had a measure mill, a starch mill, many textile mills, many lumber mills, and a 4-story box factory all here in Wilton – powered by water. Are we not equally creative? Can we, with our advanced technology and wealth, not put our billions to work on renewable, non-polluting sources of energy? Fracking, and the ugly landscape it leaves behind, is antiquated technology. We can do better.

Serafin C. Anderson

Wilton