The proposed route could cross conservation land—a terrible precedent to set for private projects. Construction would leave permanent degradation of our landscape, private properties, wildlife, forests, agricultural land, and aquifers.
Residents could be burdened with increased rates on their electric bill.
FINANCIAL BURDEN for LANDOWNERS
The payment for the easement on private land would be a one-time deal and is not much money when weighed against the loss of property value. The presence of gas pipelines has historically had a severe negative impact on property values, rendering the properties it crosses virtually unsellable, possibly no longer eligible for a mortgage, and often with increased insurance premiums.
IMPACT ON WATER
This pipeline would create concerns about construction impact on our residential wells. Water quality could be affected during and after construction. Blasting could disturb sediment, causing it to flow to the home rather than resting safely at the bottom of the well. Water tables could also crack or shift during blasting, rerouting the water away from a well. Gas companies are currently exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act and do not have to disclose the chemicals in the pipeline; a pipeline leak could contaminate water sources with undisclosed chemicals.
While large tracts of conservation land may be inviting to pipeline companies, the permanent scarring for that purpose would not be in the public’s best interest. The precedent of taking conservation land threatens future donations of private land for conservation.
NO BENEFIT in our homes
This pipeline would not bring fuel directly to homes for heating and cooking; this would be a transmission line, not a distribution or service line. It would transport natural gas to facilities that can accept high pressure natural gas such as distribution facilities, power plants and export facilities.
If FERC determines that there is a public need for the pipeline, they could grant the pipeline company access to the land under eminent domain—enabling private corporations to make substantial profits through the use of our precious private property.
This project would deliver fracked gas from Eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the impact in those areas and to our climate would be devastating. We shouldn’t be using the power of eminent domain to develop a resource that is damaging to our environment.
HEALTH and SAFETY RISKS
There are serious concerns about the safety record of gas pipelines in general and Spectra Energy in particular. Gas leaks threaten sensitive aquifers, soil, and plant life. Explosions involving pipelines of this size and pressure actually occur and are catastrophic, with the fire being fed by many miles of fuel between shut-off stations, leading to prolonged, extremely high-temperature burn. Our communities’ emergency response facilities are not equipped to deal with such occurrences and the cost of developing the appropriate capability would be borne by local taxpayers.
INTENDED FOR EXPORT
The capacity of the pipeline could be used for export. Not only is this an inappropriate use for a project that would be built using the power of eminent domain, and devastating the environment, but it means we would see minimal, if any, benefit as towns, a state, a region, or a nation.
When the pipeline is used for export, then the stated reason for having the pipeline, to prevent rising prices for electricity with cheap domestic gas generation, would be suddenly impacted by market prices that customers in Europe and emerging economies like India and China will be willing to pay. The gas companies could see huge profits, but ratepayers would see no offset for the increase in our rates.
GAS is NOT CLEAN (as advertised)
While natural gas produces less carbon than coal or oil when burned, the methane that leaks in drilling, flaring, transmission, and distribution is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and negates any gains over burning other fossil fuels.
PIPELINE is NOT NEEDED
This pipeline claims it will supply the region with affordable, clean-burning and domestically-abundant natural gas but the demand for additional gas is not there. Additionally, this is a transmission line built to transmit gas vast distances which will not supply our region or homes with natural gas.
EXPANDED INFRASTRUCTURE is a step backward
Building a permanent infrastructure for this fossil fuel could ensure its use far into the future. This project represents a step backward in technology and several steps away from important National and State goals for renewable energy.