It is Time to Stop Talking About More Pipelines

On January 11, 2017 the Boston Globe published an editorial entitled Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, on January 11, 2018, questioning whether a strategy of moving away from "natural" gas is the right strategy.

Please see our response below, written by Mothers Out Front volunteer leaders Eugenia Gibbons and Ellen Nelson van Bever.

Predictably, the gas proponents are leveraging last week’s “bomb cyclone” and the coldest 10 day stretch in 100 years to renew their push for new pipelines. Building permanent pipelines to solve an occasional challenge is a shortsighted fool’s errand benefitting the gas industry, only. The Globe, in its January 11 editorial, has sided with fossil fuel interests, perpetuating the myth that gas is a clean fuel and that more of it is needed to power the renewable energy transition.

We need to remember why we are having this conversation. Climate Change is happening now. The increasing frequency and intensity of hurricanes, fire, mudslides, and extreme cold weather tell us this is true. The choices made by decision makers today are being undertaken on behalf of our children’s tomorrow.

Doubling down on gas by committing consumer dollars to the construction of new pipelines – as was proposed by the utilities – would be the greatest impediment to new renewable energy.

More gas is not in the interest of our kids, our environment, our economy, or our health today. And it certainly isn’t in the interest of our livable climate tomorrow. Natural gas emits Methane, which is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. That’s a frighteningly large load of greenhouse gas emissions and it’s at the heart of why so many of us -- parents, caregivers, and many health professionals -- oppose new gas infrastructure. Our nation’s dependence on carbon and methane emitting fuels is harming our air and water, our health, and our climate.

It’s 2018. We must put talk of gas pipelines behind us and focus on balancing immediate needs with long-term objectives. Instead of having this same tired conversation about more pipelines, all of our efforts should be directed at fully exhausting energy efficiency, expediting the adoption of renewables, and ensuring that Massachusetts is the leader on clean energy we know it can be.

Mothers Out Front is well-versed and deeply engaged in the nuanced policy discussions about climate change and the energy industry. As mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers we have to ensure that all children have a future in which to thrive. We are everywhere, but our work began here in Massachusetts, a state that has historically been an exemplar for bold action on challenging issues. A swift transition to clean energy should be no different.

All children are depending on us and they are depending on you.

Eugenia T. Gibbons

Ellen Nelson van Bever

Mothers Out Front

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  • Jean Cummings
    commented 2018-01-26 10:32:43 -0500
    This is really important, thanks for it. Building new fossil fuel infrastructure (pipelines, compressor stations, plants, etc.) LOCKS us into decades of NEW greenhouse gas emissions.