After the fatal Merrimack Valley gas explosions, and with mounting evidence that climate change is already harming the economy and health of our state, the fracked gas industry is understandably on the defensive. We just don’t need more gas pipelines or more gas: the existing system has the capacity to meet the state’s current needs, and gas demand is predicted to decline in the future.
The loss of faith in gas, and all fossil fuels, which may have been ignited by the Merrimack Valley disaster, has now been accelerated by the failure of the industry and of state environmental officials to test for, and admit to, the serious health and safety risks of Enbridge’s proposed compressor station in Weymouth. Evidence uncovered by DeSmog news site, and reported by the State House News Service, Boston Globe and Patriot Ledger, reveals that the environmental assessments performed by labs under contract – and the subsequent air quality permit issued by the state – had left out some important and troubling information.
All of this is summarized in the May 23rd Boston Globe story “In Weymouth, Echoes of Flint.” It’s worth a read.
Other Massachusetts communities threatened with unnecessary, risky and costly gas projects (e.g. Agawam, Ashland, Hopkinton and Longmeadow) would do well to be highly suspect about what they’ve been told about the health and safety of those projects. The fossil fuel industry and its enablers can use money, PR, or regulatory sleight-of-hand, but it won’t work we know they can’t be trusted.
This is another strong argument for renewables, like solar and wind: they don’t require extensive health and safety analysis, or cover-ups.
Best Wishes for a Healthy, Safe (Honest) and Clean Environment.