Pipelines are obsolete technology

We need to move to post-fossil fuel age

I STRENUOUSLY DISAGREE with the recent opinion piece by Ian Bowles in which he argues that, “with rapid departure of all of the remaining coal and nuclear power plants in Massachusetts, we need to bring more natural gas to our state.” Isn’t that a multibillion-dollar investment in obsolete technology?

Building new pipeline infrastructure only takes us further down the fossil fuel road when we need to move to the post-fossil fuel age. With finite economic and environmental resources, we must practice triage and build infrastructure that will support a healthy economy and environment for our children.  Resources saved by not building pipelines can go towards the other items listed in the opinion piece: maximizing energy efficiency; increasing solar and wind power; and searching for ways, old and new, to reduce Massachusetts’ carbon footprint.

CommonWealth has published several articles making the case against new gas pipelines. One article, written by officials from the Acadia Center in March, argued that building new pipelines would break the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative caps and also called for change in the way we incentivize energy production and dissemination.

Meet the Author
Finally, let’s improve efficiency by fixing the leaks from our existing pipes! This would cut waste that consumers pay for and improve the air quality of our cities and towns. (Often neighborhoods with the most gas leaks are also the poorest).  Fixing leaks, which account for as much as 10 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions, would put us on our way to reaching our emissions cap.

Let’s fix the pipes we have!  It is a WIN (for efficiency), WIN (for health), WIN (for environmental justice), WIN (for climate)!

Elizabeth Dowey is a resident of Medford.