You are on page 1of 3

Good morning everyone.

Its my privilege to set the stage for todays events, to talk a

little about where weve been and where we are going.
But before we get to that, Id like to know have you all had a chance to look at the
pipeline route map out in the hallway, and all the photos from the areas affected?
Theyre beautiful, right? The meadows, forests and streams, the farmland, the
wildflowers, the wildlife
These are the kinds of places that, if you saw them for the first time, might make you
stop in your tracks and go wow this is really special. This place is worth protecting.
Thats what we at Nashoba Conservation Trust experienced too when, a few years ago,
we learned about a beautiful wooded area that opened up into farmland one of the
few remaining working farms in Pepperell- and the owner wanted to see the land
preserved. With the help of our community and the property owners generousity, NCT
acquired that property and put a conservation restriction on it.
The restrictions are onerousline after line of do nots, cannots and will nots. And
that suited us just fine because the goal was to preserve the land, not to disturb it.
We thought we had done all the right things to protect it, and then in January of this
year we got the letter from Kinder Morgan. The proposed pipeline would cut a 100
foot path for over a mile in length thru the woods, thru the farm and exit to go under
the Nashua River into Groton.
Well, you all know the story. This is just one amongst hundreds across the region.
Homes, farms, conservation land, aquifers - all in the direct path of this pipeline.
In fact, this project is so large is that just along the proposed 128 mile route from Wright
NY to Dracut Mass, Kinder Morgan has identified
- Over 1500 acres of forested, agricultural and open meadow land would be taken
during construction;
- 230 wetlands and 118 waterbodies would be crossed; and
- 144 property owners reside within 50 feet of the construction zone
Mind you, these figures are just for the mainline pipe itself. Add the six laterals and the
numbers just go up and up.
And therein lies the problem. To the proponents of additional gas this not about people,
its all about numbers, things like megawatts of generating capacity and cost per million
BTUs. Kinder Morgan and others would like you to believe that the numbers are all
headed in the wrong direction, and that if we dont bring in additional gas on the order
of 2.2 bcf we will have a significant energy crisis.

Whats more our own administration and the five other New England governors seemed
to be supporting this assessment with their own plans to secure over a half billion cubic
feet of gas for power generation and pay for it with a tariff on electricity ratepayers.
Its a compelling story, a scary one in fact. And because it carries the authoritative
weight of experts, it must be true. Right? Well, if it were true we wouldn't be sitting
here today, would we?
No, the experts werent counting on us to look at those same numbers and challenge
the conventional wisdom that more gas is the answer. Building on the ground-breaking
work by many of the organisations represented here today we arrived at a very different
conclusion. that the real issue here is our oversized dependency on gas to power our
electric grid, and that bringing in a massive pipeline, as Kinder Morgan is proposing is
only going to make the situation worse. The longer this addiction to gas goes on the
more exposed we are to price volatility, and the more we are going to suffer the
So, we decided to fight. Fight for our homes, our land and the environment. And fight
for a clean energy future that benefits the people of New England, and not a multi
billion-dollar pipeline company from Texas.
Our mission is two-fold: not only to stop the pipeline but also to promote clean,
sustainable energy. For me, personally, it is about making New England energy
independent, drawing on our vast renewable resources and investing even more in
energy efficiency.
When we all started this campaign 11 months ago a lot of people were saying You cant
win. You cant stop the proposed tariff. And you cant make the administration take a
step back and re-ask the question whether we even need this gas at all.
So let me ask you:

Did we stop the tariff? Yes we did.

Did we get the administration to study the low demand scenario and determine
whether we need addl gas at all? Yes we did and that study is ongoing as we

And just how did we do that?

Through the support and action by you and by thousands of others across the region
who stood up to the conventional wisdom. We marched the length of the pipeline from
Richmond to Dracut and held a rally at the Statehouse. We held yard sales and nature
walks. We wrote letters thousand of letters; and signed petitions. And we passed

resolutions in towns across the state opposing the pipeline. It's our collective action
that has brought us this far and it will be our collective action that carries us forward.
Now we are taking the fight to FERC, and once again the same people are saying you
cant win this. Well, ladies and gentlemen, if we listened to everyone who said you
cant would we be sitting here today? Exactly.
We can win this. We can keep this greenfield pipeline out of New England and we can
build a clean energy future. And today we have terrific line up of speakers who are
going to share their knowledge and their insight to help us along the way.
And we have workshops following the summit as well as representatives here from
environmental action groups who can talk to you about what they are doing and how
you can get involved.
So lets begin, and allow me to introduce Beverly Woods Executive Director of the
Northern Middlesex Council of Governments who will moderate the panel discussion.
Thank you