A mother’s plea to Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte:Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Ayotte, you are well aware that the Kinder Morgan gas pipeline route through Richmond was recently moved from nearby woods to a route right through six homes, including my own. I cannot understand how both of you can be aware of a mother’s fear for her children and still ignore us. I just can’t believe that you apparently have chosen not to help.
Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Ayotte, what we and our neighbors are asking of you is quite simple and should be very easy to accomplish. Simply have the pipeline route returned to where Kinder Morgan originally wanted it and away from our homes. Yet we hear nothing from you offering to intercede on our behalf.
The pipeline is going through our yard because a group of Connecticut millionaire investors were able to exert influence over the process and have the pipeline route changed from their heavily cut woodland “posted against any public use” to a route through our houses. The Connecticut group represented its land as public access recreation land that needed protection, which is absolutely untrue. Are you supporting them?
Our two children found an idyllic hilltop wonderland of grand pines, hemlocks and streams providing countless opportunities for playful adventure. For us we found the perfect home, private, safe and surrounded by the woods we love and, most importantly, safety for our children. It would be the home our children would grow up in.
Today that is all at risk of being destroyed by the Kinder Morgan gas pipeline proposed to go through our yard within feet of our home. There will be a 150-foot-wide path of destruction, the gas pipeline itself and we will be located in what Kinder Morgan calls an “incendiary zone.”
Not only will we be surrounded by heavy construction, blasting and clear-cutting, once that nightmare has passed we will have a dangerous pipeline carrying volatile gas right by our home. Kinder Morgan’s safety record for the pipelines it owns across the country is abysmal. Yet I am supposed to raise my family in this environment. This is every parent’s worst fear, you must realize this.
In addition, the new route goes through land that is open to the public and is used for a wide range of activities and is an extremely fragile ecosystem supporting endangered species, wetlands, streams and springs feeding our wells.
Like most people, we have a mortgage and our home is our biggest investment. When we bought this house and took on the extra expense required to live here, we had no regrets. This was primarily a decision made for our children.
Never could we have imagined being part of this nightmare. Yes, our house may survive this destructive construction process but the wonderland our children discovered and have reveled in every single day since we came to live here and our sense of safety will be destroyed forever.
Today our house is unsellable because of the potential pipeline route and its value will be drastically reduced if the pipeline does go through. Like our neighbors, we are not able to pack up and walk away from our home. If our homes even survive.
It seems sometimes political leaders become insulated or removed from the regular people and families they represent. Yes, I understand the Iran nuclear negotiations are important but so are my children and my neighbors’ grandchildren and the disabled man two doors away and we are in need of your help. We may not be as glamorous as international negotiations but Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Ayotte, we also matter.
38 Scott Mountain Road