Protesters angry about closed-door pipeline meeting

22News spoke to people on both sides of the closed-door meeting

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts held a meeting in Greenfield Tuesday. Kinder Morgan and other utility companies were there, to discuss energy challenges across our region.

Eric Johnson from ISO New England told 22News despite investments in renewable energy and efficiency, there needs to be a longer term solution to keep the lights on. “We think some pipeline infrastructure is going to be needed but that’s not a decision we can make by ourselves. That’s something New England public officials and folks here from the community all are stakeholders in that conversation,” Johnson said.

However, it’s a conversation not everyone has been invited too just yet. Protesters outside the meeting Tuesday weren’t just voicing their opposition to the pipeline project. They’re upset about these closed door meetings. They say they’re too exclusive and they want a seat at the table as well.

“This meeting is being held by invitation only. The public is not invited, the press is not invited, no one is supposed to know what’s going on in there. If this is such a wonderful project how come it’s not public,” said Delta Carney from Ashfield, who’s involved with ‘No Fracked Gas in Mass’ and Hilltown Community Rights.

The protesters eventually let themselves in, where they read a statement and asked questions. Johnson told 22News no agreements or decisions were made on the project. He said the meeting was more of an educational forum for the chamber and its members.

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