Letter: Government must block Kinder-Morgan assault

To the editor:

Kinder-Morgan still plans to invade and chop down important sections of the Otis State Forest and to permanently pollute Spectacle Pond. While I don't know all the backroom politics involved with how the Department of Conservation and Recreation sold out to Kinder-Morgan; one can only imagine.

Don't think for a moment that draining a million gallons out of a pristine pond and running it through a solvent-laden pipe will not permanently pollute the pond! The staging area for building the pipeline will irreparably alter the beauty and integrity of this recreational area. Thousands of trees, some of them old-growth, will have to be cleared to get large equipment in and out.

I would like to address some of the parties involved in this critical decision separately:

To the Army Corps of Engineers who will be deciding the fate of this project: It is you who will eventually be cleaning up the messes from the damage to our environment. More fossil fuel infrastructure means more droughts and more flooding, as seen in the recent hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Parts of our county and Vermont have still not fully recovered from the flood damage. Saying "no" to this project will go a long way toward preventing massive disasters in the years to come.

To our politicians: By not protecting us from the continued assault from fossil fuel mining, drilling, shipping and infrastructure-building you are setting us up for a future that will closely resemble Dystopian disaster movies. Is that what you intend?

To the DEP: Fracked gas is one of the most toxic greenhouse gases, and one that destroys a million gallons of fresh water with each drilling incident. In a report from HealthyChildren.org, a pediatricians' climate education organization, we are reminded that children will be the most affected by climate change: heat waves, asthma, severe storms, floods, wildfires, not to mention Lyme and other parasites that will flourish as the planet heats up.

To our banks and financiers: You are impoverishing us by financing these companies. Your decision to go along with fossil fuel economics assures us of an unstable and uncertain future.

To our workers and our union leaders: Studies have shown that the fossil fuel industry may actually be preventing the creation of millions of healthy, well-paying jobs such as retrofitting our homes for more efficient heating, installing solar panels, manufacturing wind turbines and creating public transportation. Fighting for a few hundred dirty, dangerous, temporary pipeline-building jobs (if you even get any of those jobs) is a poor substitute for the kind of full employment going on in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandanavia.

To all residents of Berkshire County: Saying NO to this unnecessary pipeline project locally is one way of saying YES to a productive, healthy, environment that provides enough clean water, clean land and clean air for everyone to flourish.

We don't need this fracked gas storage pipeline. Connecticut residents aren't switching to gas. We need real jobs that create real health. We need our government and industries to start protecting us.

Let your governor an legislators know what you think!

Karen Andrews,

West Stockbridge


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