I’d like to add to Susan Wessels’ “Reasons to Oppose Pipeline” (Feb. 5).
The Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline plan to construct a 36-inch, high-pressure natural gas pipeline parallel to electrical transmission lines through seventeen New Hampshire communities might be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.
We are called the “Granite State” for a reason. Workers would have to blast through nearly 80 miles of granite boulders and ledge to bury this oversized pipeline. The toxic chemicals used in blasting could easily contaminate the many lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and wetlands it traverses, and pollute the precious aquifers that provide drinking water for the vast majority of residents in these small New Hampshire towns. Herbicides to remove vegetation along the corridor would have similar impact.
The co-location of high-pressure pipelines adjacent to high voltage electric transmission lines is an even greater recipe for disaster. Ruptures occur even at pressures much lower than the roughly 1,500 PSI anticipated for this North East Direct (NED) pipeline. Numerous explosions, documented by the gas industry itself, have resulted in human fatalities, injuries, structure fires and acres of charred land up to 950 feet from ruptures — the area ominously referred to as the “incineration zone.”
In the densely populated Northeast, countless more citizens would be subjected to such hazards. How much time and money would local towns need to prepare volunteer fire departments and emergency personnel for a disaster of such magnitude?
Even without explosions, the “fracked” gas slated to pass through our communities presents a significant threat. Hydro fracking literally shatters the barriers between the Earth’s strata, releasing a cocktail of unknown substances that had rested deep underground, isolated from one another — and us — for eons. Pipeline leaks are common and allowed below certain levels. And the routine venting of natural gas at noisy compressor stations and other appurtenances releases methane — a powerful greenhouse gas — and other pollutants into the air, endangering health and increasing global warming.
Analysts cite ample evidence that the gas from NED is largely for export, though we would be paying for it through tariffs on New Hampshire electric bills. It’s like getting stuck with the bill for constructing a major highway through our woods, wetlands and rural neighborhoods, with no on- or off-ramps for local traffic.
But this is more than a New Hampshire issue. A growing network of citizens has been mobilizing to fight NED wherever it rears its ugly head. As we join forces across town and state lines, it occurs to me that WE are a pipeline — of people conveying truth in order to preserve our future.
We reject a private corporation’s scheme to make us pay for an obsolete infrastructure carrying dirty fossil fuel to foreign shores while the world cries out for clean air and water. We oppose riddling the countryside with dangerous natural gas pipelines, not because we are NIMBYs.
Call us NIABYs — Not In Anyone’s Backyard.
Let’s bury this pipeline proposal once and for all — by pronouncing NED dead.
P.O. Box 712