And Now, Comes the Giant

I don’t usually rant, but here comes one.

I live in a small border town with a population of about 1300, a wonderful community filled with good, tough, honest people. We choose to live here even though we frequently lose power, even though the roads are treacherous in the winter, even though we have to commute hours to our jobs, because we love this land.

Kinder Morgan is about to stomp all over us.

This commercial natural gas pipeline will hurt me personally, but it won’t kill me. We have savings, we can walk away, and we probably will. Others aren’t so lucky. They’re seeing their financial security ripped from beneath them.

We stand to lose between $50,000 and $80,000 in property value – maybe more, maybe less, but substantial. Kinder Morgan likes to show us property value studies done in Texas, where the fossil fuel industry is much more accepted, because hey – it puts food on the table.

Here, not so much. Most people prefer not to live on a pipeline unless they can get the property at a substantial discount. Most people move to New Hampshire because we love nature and peace and quiet and an improved quality of life. Cleaner air. An ecology less ruined by industry.

So, this is for all of you in New Hampshire who think this pipeline is a good thing. You aren’t the ones having your community torn up. You aren’t the ones losing your open spaces to a 100-acre (or larger) parcel, taken by eminent domain at a price far below fair market value, housing an 80,000 HP compressor station. You aren’t the ones who will have to live with the pollution this creates – 24/7 light, noise, and chemical. You aren’t the ones who will have to deal with the health issues this causes. You aren’t the ones who will see your lifetime investment and hope for retirement devalued.

If you think this is such a good thing, then how ’bout you set up a fund to compensate us for our losses? How ’bout you do your share? Or do you think it is just and fair that we bear the entire burden so you can have access to what you believe will be cheaper electricity?

You do realize that most of this natural gas is for export, and your electric company will be paying world market prices, right? You do realize that exporting our limited fossil fuels will result in a future shortfall, weakening our nation by increasing its reliance on foreign sources? You do realize that there are two other proposals on the table that would meet New England’s energy needs, using existing right-of-ways and upgrading existing pipelines?

You do realize that the purpose of this pipeline is to line Kinder Morgan’s pockets?

This is the picture of the compressor station Kinder Morgan brings to its public meet & greets, where they pat our heads and sell us their version of what to expect. This station is located on 11.6 acres in Pelham and houses one 6,130 HP compressor. It’s not much bigger than cousin Billy Bob’s luxury outhouse.

compressor station

So, I’m supposed to look at this station and feel all warm and fuzzy? Even though ours will be 80,000 HP and require 100 acres? Even though it will be one of the largest in the nation?

Here’s a link to audio and video of a 16,000 HP compressor station located in Eastern Ohio. It’s still nowhere near the 80,000 HP we’ll be lucky enough to have forced upon us. I think anyone of average intelligence can appreciate the difference.

Apple, meet orange. If Kinder Morgan is so convinced that our way of life will remain unchanged, (You’ll hardly know we’re here!) then why the obfuscation? Why do they refuse to hold an informational meeting in my town?

The answer is simple: because we are the town most adversely affected, and they know that no amount of sugar coating will make their lies easier to swallow.


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