Unanswered questions after Kinder Morgan open house

Pipeline project could cut through a rail yard, unused aquifer and Native American burial grounds

Kinder Morgan pipeline long a Southwick fixture
Kinder Morgan pipeline long a Southwick fixture (Photo credit: The Westfield News)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many Franklin county residents were unhappy with Thursday night’s natural gas pipeline open house in Greenfield. People left the event about the pipelines proposal with more questions than they came in with.

400 Franklin county residents met at Greenfield Community College Thursday night to asked Kinder Morgan representatives about the natural gas pipeline they want to build through Franklin county. But some weren’t happy with the information they received.

“No, the answers were not any more detailed than we had already gotten for some of our questions,” says Carolyn Ness, chair of the Deerfield selectman’s office and board of health.

Questions concerning the pipeline’s path, impact studies on the project found the pipeline’s proposed path cuts through a rail yard, an unused aquifer, and native american burial grounds.

22News was at Thursday’s open house meeting here at Greenfield Community College. We spoke with Kinder Morgan public affairs vice president Allen Fore, who told 22News there is a shortage of natural gas here in the region, which is why natural gas prices are so high in New England. But Kinder Morgan said only about 23% of the pipeline’s gas would be sold in New England.

Opponents speculate the rest would be exported.

“You can’t take people’s land and disrupt their lives for private profit,” Ness told 22News, “and just because there’s more money to be made by shipping it overseas, you can’t use this eminent domain.”

Karen Shulda of Shelburne Falls told 22News, “I think it will benefit the oil and gas companies far more than it’ll benefit the rate payers.”

Deerfield filed a negligence claim earlier in the week to stop Kinder Morgan from placing any of the pipeline in their town. Kinder Morgan agreed to honor Deerfield’s ban until a court ruling.

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