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Letter to the Editor: Pipeline Assertions are Wrong

Written By Cicero on 12/14/14 | 12/14/14

In a recent letter to the Schoharie News, an anonymous author, using a fictitious name coyly referring to the nation’s largest drilling contractor, blamed pipeline opposition on “retired trust fund babies.” As the son of a factory worker and homemaker who works full time while being active in the fight to stop the Constitution Pipeline, I can’t help but wonder why I haven’t run into any trust fund babies among the hundreds of farmers, clerks, plumbers, dentists, mechanics, warehouse workers and other assorted “ordinary” folks fighting the Constitution pipeline.
The unknown author also speculated that “outsiders” participated in the recent Schoharie News poll. The proposed pipeline will run 124 miles from Pennsylvania to the Town of Wright and then connect to other pipelines running east to Boston and beyond, impacting thousands of people in multiple states. You have to wonder who the author considers “outsiders” in this case, - people in Ohio? I don’t think Ohioans skewed the poll results. I think the poll results reflect the regional nature of, and deep concern about, the proposed pipeline.
The author says that pipelines are the safest mode of “hydrocarbon transfer” but seems unaware of the dismal safety records, and long list of fines levied on, those behind the proposed Constitution Pipeline for everything from leaks, to fires and explosions. He is apparently unaware of the more than 40 people who have died and the thousands injured in pipeline explosions over the last ten years.
The author talks about heating costs and infers that this pipeline would help reduce those costs. Unfortunately, Constitution Pipeline will not provide gas to Schoharie County, a fact confirmed by a Williams Company spokesman this week on the Capital Connection radio program.  The gas is going eastward and north to Canada to eventually be exported. It may reduce heating costs for some but those people are likely to be in China and Eastern Europe.  That being said, there is someone “local” who will get the gas - $750,000 in taxpayer money has been earmarked by governor Cuomo to build a special distribution line to Delaware County’s Amphenol Corporation, a company that CNN News has included in their list of corporations who have moved American jobs overseas.
The author suggests that those opposing the pipeline are taking money from the poor, a contention that is both absurd and ironic. It is absurd to suggest that lower local heating costs will somehow result when the terminus for the proposed pipeline is ultimately an export terminal in Canada. It is ironic because the pipeline will run through Schoharie and Delaware counties which have 12% and 15% of their populations, respectively, living below the poverty level and for whom the pipeline will: devalue their properties, impact how they use their land, increase insurance costs, raise liability and exposure to litigation, make first and second mortgages more expensive and harder to get and increase anxiety, fear and risk. All of that, for people already stressed by living in a region with a seriously depressed economy.
Finally, the author suggests that opposing the pipeline somehow puts money into the pockets of rich CEOs, I suggest reading the Wall Street Journal which has reported on the precipitous drop in stock prices for Williams Company, a partner in the proposed pipeline which is more than a year behind schedule, because of an effective and well-organized opposition.

Bob Nied
Center for Sustainable Rural Communities
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Mrsh2o said...

Silly details.

Norie61 said...

Greed.....This is the problem with Corporations in America. Take our land, destroy our environment so they can make a dollar else where. If this is going to Canada so they can export it, then take Canadian land and do your fracking their. Us poor slobs get screwed all the time, and nothing is ever cheap for us. High energy prices are here to stay. Electric rates tripled last winter, all blamed on not enough pipelines to deliver the fuel needed to generate electricity. In the meantime I have a dam that generates power for NYPA a mile away and can't get electric from them.Look how the airlines still keep their prices up when oil is half the cost it used to be. Yes folks Greed is the root to all evil.

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