Green-Rainbow Party, Massachusetts
October 14, 2014
STATE MUST HALT GAS PIPELINE EXPANSION AND TURN TO RENEWABLE ENERGY SAY CANDIDATES
BOSTON, MA- A team of three candidates for statewide office are calling upon Governor Patrick to end state support for billion-dollar expenditures on gas pipeline expansion in Massachusetts and instead develop a plan to phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy.
According to Danny Factor, candidate for Secretary of State, "the pipeline schemes that the Patrick Administration has been supporting amount to a multi-decade expenditure for dirty fuels that will sabotage our attempts to reduce climate-destroying emissions. We don't need a pipeline plan - we need a renewable energy plan that will make fossil fuel pipelines obsolete."
Joining Factor were Ian Jackson, candidate for State Treasurer, and M K Merelice, candidate for State Auditor. All three candidates represent the Green-Rainbow Party which is the only state party that has taken a stand against pipeline expansion.
Jackson noted that "the Governor's current plan to saddle electricity ratepayers with a new pipeline tariff should be rejected publicly once and for all. Statements such as 'I oppose the pipeline as formulated' just allow the preparations for the pipeline to continue without developing the alternatives. They're trying to paint us into a corner and offer us fossil fuels as the only solution."
According to State Auditor candidate M K Merelice, "when ordinary people ask for more funding for public transportation or schools, we're told that money just isn't available and our requests are bottled up by legislative hearings. It doesn't seem right that when some CEO from Houston comes in with a multi-billion dollar pipeline scheme, their request is put on a fast track that moves ahead in secret and bypasses the Legislature. We need an honest public analysis of all our options for investing our energy dollar."
The candidates pointed to a recent study conducted for New York by Stanford University that laid out a pathway for the elimination of natural gas and other fossil fuels statewide by 2030. "By failing to pursue such a study, while laying the groundwork for the pipelines, the Patrick Administration is setting us up for a decision in which the pipeline is our only option" noted Merelice. "That is irresponsible public policy. We should instead launch a plan to cut our use of fracked gas by 50% over the next two decades. Even this partial success at substituting renewables for fossil fuels would make it unnecessary to spend billions on a new pipeline."
The Green-Rainbow candidates also challenged the mantra of pipeline proponents that a bigger pipeline would lower gas prices. They noted that the primary motivation behind building such a huge pipeline was not to serve New England, but to move gas to coastal ports where it could be shipped to Europe. "The pipeline proponents are trying to give the impression that new pipelines will lower gas prices. But when the New England consumer is forced to bid against Europeans who are paying three times the U.S. price, our gas prices will rise," said Jackson.
Noting that the pipeline gas comes largely come from hydrofracking wells in Pennsylvania and nearby states, Factor added "we don't allow fracking in Massachusetts because we want to protect ourselves from the massive groundwater pollution it produces. So how in good conscience can we make a multi-billion dollar pipeline expenditure that will fund fracking in other states? We need to say 'no' to fracked gas and 'no' to pipelines. That's the only way we can say 'yes' to a clean, green, sustainable energy policy."
Links to GRP candidate websites can be found at http://www.green-rainbow.org/candidates