Happy New Year! We’re excited about the opportunities in 2017 for Energy Citizens to support job creation, strengthen our nation’s security, and keep energy affordable.
All eyes are now on Washington, but the fact is that we must prepare for challenges across the states. As part of a larger effort to shut down American oil and natural gas, anti-energy activist plan to battle critical pipeline projects and pro-energy policies at the local level.
“The opposition is going to be much more local, much more focused.” — Anti-Energy Leader Jane Kleeb
But communicating to government alone will not win the day. We also need to reach out to members of our communities… to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and our social networks. It’s important that we talk about why energy is important to us and why we need policies and leadership that support American energy development.
Protestors are out to block another liquefied natural gas project – this time two new storage tanks in Somerset, MA – but the Fall River Herald News is not backing their plan. In the op-ed piece, Our View: A new LNG proposal floated in Somerset, they encourage the anti-LNG crowd to wake up and smell the coffee:
The reality is that the region’s energy supply is insufficient for its needs and natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania is inexpensive and plentiful. Meanwhile, Somerset’s Brayton Point Power Station — the town’s largest taxpayer and New England’s largest electricity producer — is expected to close in 2017.
The Herald News editors go on to point out that Somerset officials – reasonably so – see this proposal as “a golden opportunity to revive the energy industry, which has long been the key part of the town’s tax base, and recoup some of its revenue losses coming from the closure of the town’s power plants.”
Things are no different in other New England communities. The entire region needs the natural gas that pipelines can provide and the economic boost they can generate in local towns. Energy Citizens in all New England states should join with the Herald News in speaking out for infrastructure projects.
WJAR TV recently reported on a group of protesters in New Bedford who expressed their opposition to an expansion of natural gas capacity in their community, in spite of potential energy costs savings that Access Northeast estimates could amount to as much as $1 billion a year.
Expanding New England’s energy infrastructure will NOT harm the environment! In fact, it will help lower emissions by replacing dirtier fuels now used for power generation with clean-burning natural gas. As this report from the Northeast Gas Association says:
The comparative advantages of natural gas power generation include higher efficiency, lower heat rate, shorter construction lead times, and reduced air pollutant emissions compared to other fossil fuels.
New Englanders who want to see cleaner air should spend their time applauding new pipelines, not protesting them.