April 23, 2016
Come to the Boston Statehouse to Celebrate and Rally for a Renewable Future and No More Pipelines
Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change Hearing: Commonwealth's Clean Energy Future
We seem to have won a great victory on the NED pipeline - and it’s time to celebrate. It's also a time to build on our strength to win more! We need to stop all pipeline expansions. We must stop the pipeline tax. And we must get our legislators to support smart, renewable energy and climate legislation to reduce emissions and support clean, renewable energy!
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
11:30 Rally, Celebration & Pizza at the State House Steps
12:00 Training/Opportunities to Visit Legislative Offices
          and Push Hard on the Pipeline Tax
1:00 Global Warming Committee Hearing, State House Rm. 428

One or more buses to Boston are available on a sliding scale from $5 to $30. For details and to sign up for a bus, send an email to masspowerforward@toxicsaction.org.
Please indicate your top three choices ( leaving from/ returning to Pittsfield, Cummington, Greenfield, Orange, Amherst, or Northampton) and we will do our best to  accommodate. Your flexibility is appreciated.
See you at the Statehouse on May 3rd
» Please RSVP to help us plan!

NY Denies 401 Water Quality Certificate
for Constitution pipeline!
Governor Cuomo and the NY DEC gave us an Earth Day gift by officially denying the 401 Water Quality Certificate. This is a precedent-setting decision that will help other states follow suit in standing up for their own water quality regulations and some greater power in the face of FERC’s rubber-stamp pipeline approvals.

Constitution’s Williams pipeline company has 30 days to appeal the DEC denial.  As stated by one NY pipeline fighter, “Aside from more embarrassment, Williams Co. have nothing to lose by doing so.  So we can expect they will appeal in the Second Circuit Court.  But they will lose, and lose badly.  We think the DEC's case is airtight.  We know ours is.”

Constitution is the pipeline that closely mirrored the Northeast Energy Direct supply path, running from the Pennsylvania fracking fields to the gas hub at Wright, NY. It’s also the pipeline for which trees were prematurely cut, taking out the Holloran maple sugar bush and approx 25 miles worth of trees.

» Read more from EcoWatch about this historic decision
» Report from Capital New York

Sandisfield still in a holding pattern

We’re still awaiting a ruling from Judge Agostino of Berkshire County Superior Court from the Sandisfield on Kinder Morgan’s injunction case against the Commonwealth. We will send another update when word of the ruling becomes available.

It’s important to note that the Sandisfield Conservation Commission still has an existing Enforcement Order against KM for damage to the wetlands during "routine maintenance" on the existing TGP pipelines in the area. As far as we can discern, KM has not yet repaired the damage, which seems like a valid reason to deny the 401 Water Quality Certificate for the CT Expansion project.
NED Suspension Update

As the word "suspension" implies, the possibility of the NED pipeline is not 100% gone. TGP has asked FERC to stop processing their application until May 26. TGP will then send information on whether they will proceed or not on that day.

The DPU has suspended all deadlines in the survey access dockets, so there is no need to submit comments for May 6th.  They've asked KM to notify all landowners listed on the petitions (see attached), and posted a notice on the top of their website.

We are watching closely to see if TGP intends to continue with the project at the end of May, and if so, what form and path it might take. Stay tuned.
S.2012 - the Energy Policy Modernization Act
passed overwhelmingly by the Senate, unfortunately

S.2012 - the Energy Policy Modernization Act is a voluminous bill that takes some time to wade through.  Among provisions for nearly every form and aspect of energy, including some positives for clean energy sources, Section 3103, titled "FERC PROCESS COORDINATION WITH RESPECT TO REGULATORY APPROVAL OF GAS PROJECTS," seems to give FERC even more power, and states: 

"It is the sense of Congress that all Federal authorizations required for a project or facility should be issued by not later than the date that is 90 days after the date on which an application is considered to be complete by the Commission."
Yet, Senators Shaheen and Ayotte from NH, Warren and Markey from MA, and Schumer and Gillibrand from NY, most of whom are open, seemingly sincere opponents of NED and gas projects to at least some degree, voted in favor of it.  Overall, the senate vote was 85-12 in favor.  » View the entire voting record of senators.

We should ask our senators: "What is good about this legislation--why did you vote for it?"  Also, "Why should it not be a vehicle for FERC reform, including institution of the three FERC changes citizens have been pushing for in NH:
(1) all major gas pipeline infrastructure (including compressor stations) projects, such as and including the NED pipeline project, should be scheduled for formal evidentiary hearings to ensure transparency and fairness;
(2) a comprehensive health impact assessment should be required for all gas pipeline infrastructure (including compressor stations) projects to ensure the health and well-being of citizens; and
(3) a Citizens Advocate position should be created for FERC proceedings to provide an advocate on behalf of citizens, to ensure a better system of checks and balances.
We should also contact our Congressional Representatives NOW to make sure the House version contains important changes like omitting these fast-track measures for oil, gas and LNG approval. The process is already exceedingly industry-friendly, we need to be moving in the other direction.
Obama will supposedly veto it if passed in Congress but, with that kind of Senate support, maybe Congress could override it, so pushing for changes to remove pro-oil-and-gas measures and strengthen clean energy measures in the House version before it passes at all could be critical.

We're also looking to larger environmental organizations who are gearing up action on this bill, so we can help swell the numbers for their efforts. We'll keep you posted.

» Read news about the recent pass in the Senate

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Defeating the Pipelines!
Thanks to Your Help!

We'll still be here, fighting the CT Expansion pipeline and aiding other communities fighting AIM, Access Northeast, Constitution and others, and keeping an eye out for possible resurrection of NED or another restructured project. We'll also still be working with PLAN-NE, Mass Power Forward and other organizations to help ensure bold steps away from fossil fuel dependency continue and grow!

No Fracked Gas in Mass is a program of Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Donations made through our direct online Donation button or mailed in check are tax deductible!