Showing posts with label pipeline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pipeline. Show all posts

Friday, October 28, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "What’s behind the pipeline debate in governor’s race?"

Q: Why are the two candidates running for governor, Democrat Maura Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl, arguing about natural gas pipelines that never got built? 

A: It’s actually a very interesting issue, and one that goes to the heart of an ongoing and important debate about the best way to keep the lights on in Massachusetts and across New England while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Q: What’s the debate about?

A: In broad terms, the debate is about the best way to wean the state and region off of fossil fuels. One side says we must move as quickly as possible given the pace of climate change. Those who hold this view don’t want new fossil fuel infrastructure built and want to phase out the existing infrastructure as fast as they can. A good example of this philosophy was the Legislature’s vote earlier this year to launch a pilot program allowing 10 communities to ban fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction.
Continue reading the article at CommonWealth Magazine ->
Maura Healey and Geoff Diehl at the final gubernatorial debate held at WCVB Channel 5 in Needham.
Maura Healey and Geoff Diehl at the final gubernatorial debate held at WCVB Channel 5 in Needham.CARLIN STIEHL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

DPW reminders on avoiding frozen pipes

From Franklin's DPW - Important information as the temperatures start to drop.

DPW reminders on avoiding frozen pipes
DPW reminders on avoiding frozen pipes

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Franklin DPW - 2021 Construction Project Updates

Construction Project Update

The Mackintosh Neighborhood Waterline project will be starting next week.  The Town contractor, CJP & Sons, will be starting on Pine Ridge Drive at the end of Sherman Ave and will then continue into the neighborhood from there.  This project will continue into the summer.  A list of project contacts can be found here (

You can also find an interactive map on the DPW website outlining current construction projects. (

Franklin DPW - 2021  Construction Project Updates
Franklin DPW - 2021  Construction Project Updates



Monday, March 15, 2021

What gets funded is a question of priorities, but who sets them? “Let’s face it, we don’t have ribbon cuttings when we replace a pipe"

A good interactive article at Washington Post on how we miss the boat in funding the basics.
"In the shadow of its exceptionalism, America fails to invest in the basics. 
Stunning advances in medicine and technology have come
alongside systemic breakdowns in infrastructure and health.


America can put a rover on Mars, but it can’t keep the lights on and water running in the city that birthed the modern space program. It can develop vaccines, in record time, to combat a world-altering illness, but suffers one of the developed world’s highest death rates due to lack of prevention and care. It spins out endless entertainment to keep millions preoccupied during lockdown — and keep tech shares riding high on Wall Street — but leaves kids disconnected from the access they need to do their schoolwork. "

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

In the News: Eversource plan unnecessary; Polar Park construction resumes

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Citing a lack of evidence and need, an independent consultant hired by the Select Board has concluded that Eversource’s plan to replace a 3.7-mile natural gas line that runs through Hopkinton and Ashland is severely flawed.

Eversource is looking to decommission about 4 miles of underground piping that runs through Ashland and Hopkinton and place new 12-inch pipes alongside them.

In Ashland, the gas pipeline runs for 2.5 miles and intersects through more than 80 residential parcels, the Chestnut Tree Apartments and a number of environmentally sensitive areas, including portions of the wetlands and the conservation-restricted Great Bend Farm Trust. The company says the project is needed to address pressure drop problems and provide a more reliable and consistent flow of natural gas to customers in Greater Framingham.

In June 2018, Eversource filed an application with the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board, an agency that reviews large scale energy projects. In its application, the company also included preliminary information about an alternative under-street route should the Siting Board deny its request to place the new pipes on the existing easement."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has given the OK for work to resume this week on some construction projects here, Polar Park being one of them. What happens next, what does the resumption of work mean for the immediate and longer range future?

That’s a different story.

In a prepared statement, Worcester Red Sox chairman Larry Lucchino said this:

“While we look forward to resuming the construction of Worcester’s new ballpark, we recognize that precautions, health, and safety remain paramount. We will support our local construction workers, and we will abide by the conditions set forth by our leaders to ensure an environment that complies with their public policy and expert medical recommendations."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

In the News: MA DPU lifts moratorium on NationalGrid; relief for locked-out workers sought

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"State regulators on Wednesday lifted their moratorium on National Grid gas work, infuriating locked-out gas workers, but ordered the utility to adhere to what officials called “an unprecedentedly high standard,” including a new requirement to have work plans approved by a certified professional engineer. 
The order from the Department of Public Utilities would essentially apply the parameters of Gov. Charlie Baker’s gas safety bill and other new safety protocols to National Grid while also easing the moratorium on all non-emergency and non-compliance work across the utility’s service territory, an administration official said. 
Commercial real estate industry officials have said the moratorium was having a “huge impact” by preventing properties from obtaining needed gas hookups."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Unable since Nov. 1 to shake his popular bill out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Mark Montigny on Tuesday has taken his case directly to Senate President Karen Spilka, urging her to help advance legislation ensuring benefits to workers locked out by their employers. 
A New Bedford Democrat, Montigny asked Spilka in a letter Tuesday to force action on a bill providing extended unemployment benefits to locked-out workers, such as the more than 1,200 gas workers who have been engaged in a labor dispute with National Grid since June. Gas workers lost their health insurance and paychecks and have turned to public insurance programs and unemployment benefits to get by during the lockout. 
Montigny said the Senate should pass a bill expanding the scope of a House bill approved Dec. 6 and correcting a portion of the House bill."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday lifted a moratorium on gas work by National Grid, but a series of new regulations means it’s unlikely development projects that have been stalled for months will be able to resume any time soon. 
Quincy is one of a handful of cities and towns that imposed its own local moratorium on all non-emergency gas work by National Grid after the company locked out 1,200 workers in June when contract negotiations broke down. It’s also a city in the midst of a massive development boom that is suffering as developers wait to finish projects that require gas connections. 
The state followed suit with its own moratorium on Oct. 8 after state regulators were spooked by an incident in Woburn in which gas lines were over-pressurized. A series of explosions in the Merrimack Valley a month earlier were also blamed on excessive pressure."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Franklin Almanac - Episode 5 (video)

Franklin Almanac, the compendium of life in Franklin. If you missed the broadcast via cable, you can catch up to Episode 5 via the YouTube link. Polikseni Manxhari hosts segments on

  1. Intro- 0:00-0:31
  2. Spectra Access Northeast Pipeline- 0:31-8:35
  3. Madalene Village interview 8:36- 21:48
  4. Madalene Village resident feedback-21:48-23:43
  5. Distracted Driver Simulation- 23:51- 28:34
  6. Earth Day-28:35-29:14
  7. Final thoughts-29:15-31:06

Franklin Public Access Studio, 23 Hutchinson Street
Franklin Public Access Studio, 23 Hutchinson Street

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reminder: Public Information Session on Potential Impact of Spectra Pipeline - March 26

Public Presentation on the potential impact of an additional gas pipeline on the Franklin and Norfolk communities as well as surrounding towns.

Learn about:
  • Proposed route through Franklin, Norfolk and other towns
  • Possible safety, health and environmental impacts
  • What other towns are doing nearby
  • Question and answer period following the presentation

Sunday, March 26, 2017 
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM 
First Universalist Society  
262 Chestnut Street, Franklin


For more information, contact Jim Hill, 508-528-4888
For more information, contact Jim Hill, 508-528-4888

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Public Presentation on Spectra Pipeline Potential Impact - March 26

Public Presentation on the potential impact of an additional gas pipeline on the Franklin and Norfolk communities as well as surrounding towns.

Learn about:

  • Proposed route through Franklin, Norfolk and other towns
  • Possible safety, health and environmental impacts
  • What other towns are doing nearby
  • Question and answer period following the presentation

Sunday, March 26, 2017 
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM 
First Universalist Society  
262 Chestnut Street, Franklin


For more information, contact Jim Hill, 508-528-4888
For more information, contact Jim Hill, 508-528-4888

Thursday, January 5, 2017

REMINDER: 350 Mass Greater Franklin Node meeting - Thursday, Jan 5, 2017

Hey, climate fighters,

I hope everyone had wonderful holidays that suited your needs!  I knew I wanted a break and I got exactly what I needed.

Now that we've had our respite, it's time to ramp up and wake up our climate spirits by participating in some exciting and fun actions coming up.  If you received Katherine Anderson's Climate Movement Weekly Update yesterday, you have an idea of what they are.  Links to sign-ups are in the newsletter (you should be receiving it--let me know if you aren't), so let's have a good showing at these events!  It's always a blast when 350 Mass activists get together! 

  • Mon, Jan 9   Day Against Denial rally, Park St. T, Boston Common
  • Sat, Jan 14   Bill McKibben and Tim DeChristopher forum, First Parish Church, Harvard Square, Cambridge
  • Sat, Jan 14   #NoDAPL Solidarity Fundraiser Sing-Along, Arlington
  • Wed, Jan 25  Mass Power Forward Lobby Day, State House
  • Sat, Jan 28   350 Mass day-long Organizing and Advocacy Training, Boston (TBD)

We shouldn't be lulled into thinking there's nothing to do since Spectra has hit the Pause Button (for now!); we have the gift of time to make our numbers even stronger!  More grassroots outreach and publicity, Con Comms, Mass Power Forward business outreach, legislative work--we'll talk about details at the meeting.

Part of the Spectra fight will likely be in the legislature, convincing our legislators to say NO to the pipeline tax and YES to other non-carbon solutions. 

New Volunteer Opportunities: If you'd like to work on 350 Mass' legislative goals, you could be part of the 350 Mass Legislative Team either as a State Legislative Team member for the node OR a Point Person for your own legislator (see the link for more details).  And since this node covers 17 towns, that's a fair number of legislators to work with!  We'd like to have people fill these roles for each of the nodes.  I'll be happy to answer questions how that would work, or if I can't, put you in touch with Andy Gordon, the 350 Mass Legislative Coordinator.

I've also done some outreach to the Nipmuck Nation to see if they'd like to work with us to pressure the Dakota Access banks, so we'll see what comes of that.

So bring your calendars to the meeting THURSDAY and we can put our heads together and get things rolling! 

Same time, same place: 7:00-9:00 pm, First Universalist Society, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin.

See you then!

Carolyn Barthel, Coordinator
350 Mass Greater Franklin Node

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Spectra Energy will be conducting a survey of the gas pipeline
Spectra Energy will be conducting a survey of the gas pipeline that runs through Franklin and neighboring communities beginning Monday, Nov 28. 

The details of the survey team are contained in the letter copied here that was provided to Franklin. The survey should be completed by Dec 15 if weather permits.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pipeline Talk in Millis - Sep 13

Tuesday September 13th  = 7:00 PM

961 Main St.
Millis, MA

Sponsored by Millis Public Forum

As part of its Access Northeast project, Spectra Energy is proposing to build a 30-inch high pressure gas pipeline that would be 21.2 miles through nine towns: Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Franklin, Norfolk, Walpole, Sharon, Canton and Stoughton. A presentation on the proposed pipeline, sponsored by the Millis Public Forum, will be held Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at 7:00 PM at the Millis Library and will offer information about what it is, how it would impact Millis and its residents, and what people can do about it. 
Interested residents and town officials are invited to attend to learn more. A question and answer period will follow. 
Presenters: Carolyn and Rand Barthel of 350 Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Carol Coakley at 508-376-8495.

lawn sign found on several Franklin homes
lawn sign found on several Franklin homes

For more information on the No Spectra effort, visit their webpage

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You can make TWO CALLS about Energy Omnibus Bill

Dear intrepid, hardworking pipeline fighters!

We are so close to something truly historic!  Over a week ago, the Senate passed S2400, its version of the energy omnibus bill, setting the stage for conference committee negotiations with the House to send a final bill to the governor.  Though the House Bill, H4385, was a solid starting point, the Senate bill significantly improves the House's version in a few key ways:

1. It increases the amount of offshore wind energy that utility companies must purchase from 1200 megawatts to 2000 megawatts.

2.  It doubles the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the rate at which utility companies MUST increasingly buy from renewable energy sources.

3.  It outright BANS the pipeline tax from being used against ratepayers by the Department of Public Utilities in the future.

4.  It provides for the decommissioning of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant.

We need these provisions.  They are absolutely essential to securing the clean energy future for which we have been fighting for so long.  We can't stop now!

The House and Senate have named Senator Ben Downing, Senator Marc Pacheco, Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Brian Dempsey, Representative Tom Golden and Representative Brad Jones to a conference committee which will negotiate the two bills.

Call your representative and ask them to speak to Speaker DeLeo and the conferees about standing up for these priorities, especially if your representative signed the Kulik letter (see the highlighted column in the attached document below).  This was the letter in which nearly 100 state reps said they were against the pipeline and pipeline tax. This is their last chance to push their leadership and stand up for what they believe in.

While our House delegation needs pushing, our Senate leaders also need support to remain strong in negotiations. Call your senator and ask them to speak with Senator Downing about standing firm on the Senate's hard-won priorities.

Please contact legislative leadership to ask them to include these policies in the final bill.  If speaking to a House rep, ask them to speak to Speaker Deleo in particular.  If talking to a Senator, ask them to speak with Senator Downing.

House Switchboard: (617) 722-2000
Senate Switchboard: (617) 722-1276

Look up your state representative or senator here.
Additional phone extension information can be found here.

As I said, we are so close to something truly historic! But we need every last bit of effort we can muster to win. Now is the time to stand up and make your voice heard. PLEASE MAKE THE TWO CALLS! 

I know so many of us are deeply focused on the People over Pipelines March, but please find a few moments to call--the timing is truly critical--and please let me know when you have! 

This where the rubber meets the road, folks--the last PUSH WHICH COULD KILL THE PIPELINE!! 



Dear Representative/Senator:

Thank you for working to advance comprehensive energy legislation, H4377 and S2400.  I am calling to ask you to push for a strong final clean energy bill.  Here are my priorities regarding the legislation:

1.  I oppose the "pipeline tax," and urge you to protect ratepayers and our environment by prohibiting subsidies for new gas pipelines, as the Senate has done.

2. I support procurement of 2000 megawatts of offshore wind. I am pleased both chambers have chosen to support offshore wind, and urge you to go big so we can have economies of scale!

3. I support doubling the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 2%, which will increase the amount of electricity utility companies have to purchase from renewable sources.

4. I support provisions within the House energy bill which would require the repair of all gas leaks during road projects (including "grade 3" or non-hazardous leaks), and support provisions within the Senate energy bill related to collective bargaining for these repairs.

5. I support decommissioning planning and financing for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.

Monday, July 11, 2016

In the News: March against the pipeline; most state candidates unopposed

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The effort is dubbed the “People over Pipelines” (POP) march, Anderson said, and is led by the Cambridge-based BFP, which works to advocate for renewable energy policies at the state level. 
“This is one of our top priorities,” Anderson said, “this pipeline.” 
The march kicks off in Medway at the middle school on Holliston Street on Thursday and continues until July 18 as protesters walk through and stop in several other towns on their way to the Statehouse in Boston, where they hope to catch the attention of Gov. Charlie Baker, Anderson said. 
As of Friday, there were 350 registered marchers for the entire route, Anderson said, including 100 registered in Medway."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

lawn sign in Franklin against the Spectra Pipeline
lawn sign in Franklin against the Spectra Pipeline

"Nearly two-thirds of candidates running for a seat in the state Legislature will face no competition this fall. 
The number of unopposed candidates, which is fairly typical in the state, points to the challenges political newcomers often face trying to break into the House or Senate, some political analysts say. 
“It’s very difficult to mount a challenge to an incumbent legislator,” said Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Joseph Martin Institute at Stonehill College. “They’re rarely defeated. It takes a lot of planning and time and recruitment. I also don’t think the two parties in the state are very good at all at recruiting candidates.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Comment Concerning the Danger of adding the Proposed Spectra Energy Natural Gas Pipeline

Comment Concerning the Danger of adding the Proposed Spectra Energy Natural Gas Pipeline, Delivered at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Scoping Meeting, May 18, 2016, Milford, MA. 
If this meeting were happening in 1963 when the current old bare steel pipeline was installed who would be here? Perhaps a few farmers looking for compensation or expressing concerns about the impact on their livelihood. That was then and now is now. Today these areas are heavily populated and we know much more about the effects of gas leaks. And now Spectra Energy is proposing to build a second high pressure line as close as 20’ from the old one. I contend that this idea is irresponsible given what we know. 
I’m not here tonight to talk about the environmental damage caused by fracking and gas leaks. I’m not here to talk about exporting natural gas and having us pay a tariff to do it. And I’m not here to restate that the Attorney General’s and the Conservation Law Foundation’s reports indicate that there’s no need for another pipeline that would interfere with the goals of the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act. 
I’m here to share the concerns of many residents who worry about the safety of gas pipelines. At a Spectra Energy open house in February I observed aerial pictures of the existing and proposed pipelines. I’ve been to many affected neighborhoods and observed that the current pipeline is roughly within 25’ of some homes and within 50’ of many others. 
Most of these homes were built after the pipeline was installed in 1963, and before people knew the potential dangers caused by leaks. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the HCAs (High Consequence Areas) are at least a 660’ radius. Hundreds of homes lie within this zone. According to a Spectra employee, the old 24-inch bare steel pipe contains about 700lbs per square inch of pressure and the proposed 30” line can handle up to 1200 lbs. So what could happen? 
Given that a similar old bare steel transmission line exploded on April 29th in Pennsylvania after being inspected two years earlier is very concerning and calls into question Spectra’s ability to assess pipeline safety. Houses were destroyed and a man was badly burned. The preliminary finding was that the leak was caused by corrosion. The inspection didn’t prevent this. 
On January 5th Medway had a serious gas leak where a lateral pipeline crosses Rt. 109. According to the Milford Daily News, six homes were evacuated while the leak was repaired. In addition to the Medway Fire Department, three other fire departments were on hand. Luckily, it didn’t explode. 
According to, Massachusetts has more than 20,000 natural gas leaks, so why pump more gas into a leaky system? It just doesn’t make sense.
In my opinion, the fact that the proposed pipeline could be as close as 20 feet from the existed line would increase the incineration zone exponentially. If one pipeline explodes, the other probably could too. A leak and a spark would be devastating. This could happen anywhere in Massachusetts given the enormous number of ignored leaks.
According to the US Department of Transportation’s Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration from 1994 through 2013, there were 110 serious incidents with interstate gas transmission pipelines. This resulted in $448,900,333 in property damages, 195 injuries and 41 deaths. 
From 2002 to 2015 there were 589 resolved civil penalty cases totaling $47, 447,675. At this time there are another 637 open cases with proposed penalties of $64,856,000 Given that Massachusetts has over 20,000 natural gas leaks, why would we pump more natural gas into a leaking system? It just doesn’t make sense. 
On November 30, 2015 Steve Aklquist of RI wrote an article based on an interview with two former safety inspectors who worked for Spectra in nearby Burrillville, Rhode Island. The two safety inspectors were working on a section of Spectra Energy’s AIM pipeline system and stated that the company cut corners when it came to project, worker and environmental safety. 
One inspector was quoted as saying, “Right now, what they’re hoping to do, is they’re hoping to slam all this through, and then at the end ask for forgiveness,” They’ll say, “Oops, sorry about that, I didn’t know, let me write you a check. Because once this thing’s turning meter, they’re going to be making millions of dollars a day. It doesn’t matter what your problems are.” 
According to the article the other inspector added , “These pipes have to last underground for at least 50 years….If there’s the smallest mistake in their cathodic protection, that’s what’s going to corrode. All of a sudden you’ve got, even at 800-900 pounds of pressure, doesn’t sound like much, but when you’ve got a 42-inch pipe, traveling that distance and it goes ka-bang, you’re not talking about taking out a block, you’re talking about taking out a large area. You’re talking about a humongous ecological impact, you’re talking about displacing hundreds of families, you’re talking about leveling homes, killing people instantly, I mean, if one of those places were to go up, it’s going to be a bad day.” End of quote. 
As I said, I’m not here tonight to talk about the environmental damage caused by gas leaks and fracking. Or the fact that both the Attorney General’s and the Conservation Law Foundation’s research indicates that there are better ways to address peak winter days than adding another pipeline. 
I’m here to say that given the track record of pipelines and the extreme pressure and location of the proposed pipeline, we ask that FERC consider the safety of our citizens by rejecting this proposal. Thanks for your time. 
Respectfully submitted by, 
James F. Hill
Franklin, MA 02038

No Spectra sign found on a Franklin lawn
No Spectra sign found on a Franklin lawn

Thursday, June 9, 2016

In the News: Holocaust survivor speaks, Tri-County graduation, pipeline talk at Milford Library

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Horace Mann School eighth-graders have been reading the names of Holocaust victims as part of the school's "Days of Remembrance" week. 
When Janet Applefield appeared in front of them Wednesday morning, she told them she nearly became one of them. 
"You could've been reading my name," the Holocaust survivor said at the school while recounting her experiences during World War II."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School handed out 218 diplomas to the Class of 2016 during the school’s 37th graduation ceremony, held June 5. 
Joining Superintendent-Director Stephen Dockray at the stage were school committee Chair Steven Trask; school committee Vice Chair Donna Cabibbo; Principal Michael Procaccini; Vocational Director Jean George; Director of Guidance Scott O’Brien; class valedictorian Jennifer Bowness, of North Attleborough; class salutatorian Thomas Vagnini, of Medfield; and class president Stephanie Brousseau, of North Attleborough."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"A local group opposed to Spectra Energy’s proposed pipeline is holding an informational meeting at the Milford Town Library Thursday night. 
Carolyn and Rand Barthel from 350 Massachusetts, a network of volunteer activists from around the state, will give a fact-based PowerPoint presentation about the pipeline, which is proposed to run through Milford and several other Milford-area towns. 
The presentation is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the library, 80 Spruce St."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Voices of Franklin: Jim Hill - "Pipe Dreams"

Pipe Dreams

When I was a child in the 1950s my parents and grandparents bought new homes with gas heat. Since then I’ve lived in several other homes with gas. Like most of my generation natural gas has been part of our lives for a long time. So what’s wrong with that? 

Well the more I learn the more it concerns me. The very word “natural” implies that it must be good for us, but arsenic is natural too. Even the commercials look beautiful and squeaky clean, so it must be good. Right? 

But, if we dig deeper, the truth is revealed. The commercials are so effective that I sometimes forget that natural gas (NG) is a fossil fuel and that it’s really methane and that when leaked increases global warming. Or that most domestic gas is extracted by fracking, a method that uses high pressure chemical infused water to fracture shale polluting air, water, and linked to earthquakes. 

The natural gas industry tells us that fracking is safe and that it’s producing all the gas we could possibly need. They’re excited. This could produce immense profits especially when it’s exported. But what will it cost us and is there really a NG shortage due to a lack of more pipelines? Why did we have a shortage in 2014 but not in 2015. After all 2015 was colder. 

Carol Churchill at Distrigas, the company that ships liquefied natural gas into Boston, told me that her company can supply all the gas New England needs during peak demand winter days without adding pipelines. She also says the problem in 2014 was that electric utilities didn’t have enough contracts for LNG to cover peak times and in 2015 they did. 

Electric companies now imply that that the sky will fall without a pipeline. Another obscure issue is that the new pipelines will be used to export fracked gas from Nova Scotia. Spectra Energy of Houston, the pipeline builder, denies this, but here’s the evidence. Fracking is really big in Pennsylvania, home of the Marcellus shale fields. To get the fracked gas to Nova Scotia it would travel through an 889 mile pipeline that runs from Dracut through Maine. 

The proposed pipeline through Franklin and eight other towns would dramatically increase NG that would travel under Boston Harbor to Beverly on to Dracut. Spectra has already received permission to reverse the direction from Dracut to reach the Maritime Provinces. 

The following excerpt was posted by Sutherland LNG on Feb 9, 2016. 
“Bear Head LNG and Pieridae Energy each announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted them separate authority to export as LNG gas imported from the United States to each company’s proposed liquefaction and LNG export terminal in Nova Scotia, Canada. DOE’s orders authorize Bear Head LNG and Pieridae Energy to export the LNG produced from gas imported into Canada from the United States via pipeline to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.” 

Once the pipeline gas hits the world market where prices are much higher our costs will rise negating any implied savings. In addition, Eversource and National Grid expect electric rate payers to pay a $3 billion tariff on their electric bills to pay for the project. 

Eversouce has a 40% interest in the project and National Grid has a 20% interest. Basically they want to sell their gas to themselves and have us pay for it. Sweet deal for them and their shareholders. They get the profit, we assume the risk. 

According to Representative Roy, if 17% of the worst of the 20,000+ Massachusetts leaks were repaired we could save 40% of escaped gas reducing our bills and decreasing global warming. Isn’t this a better idea? 

But these companies have no motivation to fix leaks because consumers pay for the escaped gas. Yes, demand for electricity will increase, but fortunately offshore wind, solar and Quebec hydroelectricity are renewable options that will easily satisfy our future needs. 

According to the Attorney General’s independent study there’s no need for additional pipelines if we increase conservation efforts and improve demand response. Yes, we can save money and the planet without more NG. So why would we want to pay for the pipeline and more for fracked gas? This gas may be natural but so is arsenic.

James F Hill, Franklin

No Spectra gas pipeline sign on a Franklin lawn
No Spectra gas pipeline sign on a Franklin lawn

Thursday, May 19, 2016

In the News: cadet gets wings, SJC ruling added to Exelon file, vacation bible school, substance abuse talk scheduled, Upton schedules pipeline forum

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

Cadet Matthew Williams, 18, of Franklin, received his Silver Pilot Wings recently from squadron commander Maj. Theodore Johnson at a meeting of the Lt. Col. Frank Pocher Minuteman Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Marlborough.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"A state Supreme Judicial Court ruling that the state Department of Environmental Protection regulations do not fulfill requirements of a 2009 global warming law have been added to Exelon’s project file with a state board. 
The ruling, which affirms the Global Warming Solutions Act, was sent to the Energy Facilities Siting Board, which is currently reviewing Exelon’s proposal to build a 200-megawatt expansion of their existing Summer Street facility in Medway. 
The Conservation Law Foundation, one of the parties involved in the SJC case, called the ruling “binding authority that is directly relevant to the Board’s decision” on Exelon’s proposal."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Vacation Bible School will take place from 9 a.m. to noon July 18-22 at Anglican Church of the Redeemer, 31 Hayward St. 
Children ages 3 to fifth grade are welcome."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, and SAFE Coalition President James Derick will speak at the Franklin Odd Fellows Speaker's Forum Series Public Talk event "Substance Abuse in 'Our Community'" at 7 p.m. June 20 at the Dean College Campus Center's Atrium, 99 Main St. 
The event will include a discussion on opioid addiction, substance abuse, addiction, government response and healing."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Officials are holding a forum next week to hear comments about a proposed gas pipeline, which, if built, would pass through Upton. 
Members of the Board of Selectmen, Board of Health, Planning Board, Green Community Committee and Conservation Commission will attend the discussion on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Main Hall at the Town Hall to discuss the proposed Access Northeast project."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"This pipeline will cost us $4 billion with a tariff on our electric utility bills"

Dear Franklin residents,

Here are a few reasons why the Franklin Town Council should join Sharon and Walpole in passing resolutions against the proposed Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline that would run dangerously close to homes and the existing old pipeline.

1. The Marcellus shale fracked gas contains radon and benzene.
2. Shale fields pollute water and release greenhouse gases causing climate change.
3. Fracking has increased earthquakes exponentially.
4. There have been numerous gas explosions throughout the country.
5. A Spectra pipeline exploded on 4/29/16 in Pennsylvania destroying homes and badly burning a man.
6. Old and new gas pipes leak methane into the atmosphere causing climate change.
7. According to there are 41 leaks in Franklin and over 20,000 in Massachusetts.
8. According to Representative Roy, if they repair 17% of the worst leaks we could save 40% of the gas.
9. There's no motivation to repair leaks as consumers pay for all the escaped gas on their utility bills.
10. According to numerous publications and recent permits most of this gas will travel to Nova Scotia for export.
11. This pipeline will cost us $4 billion with a tariff on our electric utility bills.
12. The Attorney General's independent study indicated we don't need more pipelines.
13. According to Distrigas, LNG by ship can make up the difference until we have more renewable energy.
14. There are an average of only 30 days a year when electric companies might need imported LNG.
15. There are plans for two hydroelectric lines from Quebec and for three large offshore wind farms.
16. Spectra is allowed to take as much as 150' on each side of the pipeline corridor decreasing property values and damaging the environment and possibly aquifers.
17.The future of our children and grandchildren depend on decreasing the use of fossil fuels.
18. Both Sharon and Walpole have passed resolutions against the proposed Spectra Energy pipeline.
For more information, please visit

Jim Hill

No Spectra sign on Franklin lawn
No Spectra sign on Franklin lawn

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"oppose this misguided, unnecessary, dangerous and costly project"

"Residents from Walpole, Sharon, Canton and other surrounding towns filled the front end of the Walpole High School auditorium Monday night to speak out against the proposed Spectra pipeline. 
"I urge you to take every step possible as a member of MEFS (Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board) and the human race to oppose this misguided, unnecessary, dangerous and costly project," said Bri McAlevey of Sharon. 
On Monday night, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board held one in a series of public hearings on the proposed 10.1-mile Atlantic Bridge Project, known colloquially as the Spectra Energy pipeline project. Four miles of the project would run through Walpole, with other sections running through Milford, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Franklin, Norfolk, Sharon, Stoughton and Canton."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

No Spectra sign on Franklin lawn
No Spectra sign on Franklin lawn