DALTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Kinder Morgan came to western Massachusetts Tuesday night to address concerns from residents about a natural gas pipeline that could run through the region.
Dozens of residents packed the Nessacus Regional Middle School in Dalton for a Q&A with Kinder Morgan. Kinder Morgan wants to lay a natural gas pipeline across the state.
At the meeting, the company said it would do all it could to minimize environmental impacts, but some residents say, it’s unavoidable. Linda Kaye-Moses of Dalton said, “We love our area, we love what the Berkshires have to offer. The wetlands are home to many indigenous species of animals, who would be threatened by that kind of invasion.”
The company wants to convince residents the pipeline’s necessary because of a natural gas shortage in the region, and although it says pipelines are the most cost effective ways to transport gas, construction could boost bills for some customers.
Diana Warriner of Dalton said, “During construction, if our rate goes up, is it worth it? And how much is it going up?” Kinder Morgan said Berkshire Gas Company customers could see a rate increase, but it’s too soon to tell how much, but Kinder Morgan insists that, over time, prices would decrease and the pipeline could create more jobs.
According to Mike McGrath, a Labor Union Employee, “If it’s going to put a whole bunch of people to work and get them off of welfare and food stamps why not have it? There are a lot of guys in the union sitting on a bench right now and it’s the end of the season. Come October nobody’s going to have work.”
Kinder Morgan estimates the pipeline could create 3-thousand labor jobs across the region. Kinder Morgan will start applying for permits in the Fall of 2015, with hopes to be in service by 2018.