With all permits in hand, construction on Enbridge’s Weymouth gas compressor is set to begin tomorrow. This is the result of a rigged, heads-we-win-tails-you-lose process that has ignored near-unanimous community opposition, and the opposition of several members of Congress including both Senators. Instead, construction will begin on more climate-killing fossil fuel infrastructure that we absolutely cannot afford to use for a liveable climate; and which provides capacity that has been deemed unnecessary in Massachusetts by the very companies that would buy it.
As we’ve said at great length: This decision is a critical part of Governor Baker’s legacy – and indeed for our climate future, which is looking ever more precarious with every passing week and new report. We have very recent experience with the dangers of gas infrastructure, don’t we? And indeed, this year an Enbridge facility in Kentucky exploded, killing a woman and burning several more.
The early morning blast on Aug. 1 leveled numerous mobile homes near the Moreland community, killing 58-year-old Lisa Derringer.
Six people were hospitalized for burns and 75 were evacuated from their homes following the explosion, which ejected 30 feet of piping from the earth and left a 26,000-cubic-foot crater in the rural area about six miles south of Danville.
The Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) are gathering pledges for non-violent action against the construction. BU Professor Nathan Phillips has been warning of the dangers of gas dependence for years. resisted the project from the beginning. He’s tested dangerously elevated gas levels in the region during a “blowdown”, a timed release of extra gas from a pipeline. He’s been arrested at the MassDEP offices, protesting the decision to permit the Weymouth compressor. And now he’s vowing a hunger strike and ongoing non-violent resistance. Everyone keep an eye on this story.
As we’ve said at great length: This decision is a critical part of Governor Baker’s legacy – and indeed for our climate future, which is looking ever more precarious with every passing week and new report:
Today in the journal Nature, a group of researchers argues that we’re closer to tipping nine climate demons than previously believed, and that we’re already starting to see some associated effects. “We argue that the intervention time left to prevent tipping could already have shrunk towards zero, whereas the reaction time to achieve net zero emissions is 30 years at best,” they write. “Hence we might already have lost control of whether tipping happens.”
We can still, however, act to lessen the damage. The bet we have to make is clearer than ever, but time is running out. “How are we going to look back in half a century’s time and regret the fact that we’ve built a more sustainable, flourishing future for many more generations to come?” asks lead author Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter. “Instead of just hanging in there with finite reserves of fossil fuels, and sort of embracing the apocalypse.”
I always have said, the bill for bad judgment comes due eventually. May it not be our children that have to pay.