Pipeline will affect 822 New Hampshire families, be a disaster

To the Editor:

The Kinder Morgan NED pipeline is a bad and a stupid deal for New Hampshire and a disaster for all the communities in its path. It’s bad because there will be 822 NH families who will have to give up right of way across their properties in the current plan. If they refuse, their land may be taken by eminent domain. These families will see noisy, heavy equipment clear- cutting and digging up a 150 foot wide construction corridor through their property. They will not only see a substantial drop in their property values, but will not be able to sell their homes if they want to move to a safer place. The scars left can not be replanted because a 50 foot wide path must be kept open with the aid of pesticides. Property values within the incineration zone will also be negatively affected. Many roads will be closed while the construction is underway. And the communities impacted will have to deal forever with the safety risks of explosions and forest fires and a substantial increase in their budgets for emergency services as the pipeline ages.

If you don’t believe it’s unsafe to have a 36-inch pipe carrying 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day at a huge pressure of 1460 psi through your community, look at Wikipedia’s List of Pipeline Accidents and click on the United States button. Then look at the many videos of pipeline and compressor station explosions and other problems on YouTube.

This is also a stupid idea because NH has the smallest need for additional natural gas capacity of any state in New England but would have to adopt the largest pipeline. We would get only a small percentage of the gas traveling through our state. And there are alternative sources available to satisfy our modest needs which would cause much less disruption within our borders.

Once it gets to Dracut, Mass., much of the natural gas will be pumped to Canadian LNG export terminals to be shipped to Europe where it can be sold at higher prices. See this Internet link for a discussion of the importance of this gas to the Canadian economy. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/04/us-canada-lng-exports-analysis-idUSKBN0L80DG20150204.

What are the alternatives to the Kinder Morgan pipeline? NH House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan, who represents two towns on the proposed pipeline’s route, wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline. He urged FERC to approve instead a proposal by Eversource, National Grid and Spectra Energy to expand capacity on existing Spectra pipelines. That makes use of existing pipelines with smaller lateral delivery pipes. Another alternative was discussed in a presentation to the Merrimack Town Council. It concluded that NH’s winter shortfall in gas could be satisfied by three LNG tanker trucks from Boston harbor serving a natural gas storage facility in NH once a year. Yet another possibility is the Joint Open Season Consortium announced this January that will provide new natural gas supplies to New England and Atlantic Canada. This consortium will connect the existing pipeline systems of three companies.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline and its associated compressor stations have to be built from scratch. The most optimistic projections for this monumental project predict first operation in 2018. Using and upgrading existing pipelines and their established rights of way seems much more sensible.

Your last edition contained a front page article about state Sen. Gary Daniels being the only Milford selectman to vote against opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline. That doesn’t surprise me because of his former activities as the NH representative of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC creates boilerplate laws favorable to large corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens and promotes them to State legislatures.

If the Kinder Morgan pipeline is implemented in New Hampshire, our State government should come up with a new State Motto. “Live Free or Die” will no longer be appropriate for a State that allows public and private property to be taken by eminent domain for the benefit of private corporations and foreign buyers.

JACK CONAWAY

Amherst