What are Gas Pipelines?
Natural gas pipelines are an ever increasing problem in Massachusetts. By expanding pipelines we are increasing our dependency on dirty energy. Pipelines create an enormous environmental impact while being constructed and continue to pollute our planet during operation by releasing toxic chemicals, such as methane, on a daily basis. In recent years we have seen an increase in leaks and explosions due to faulty pipelines on oil rigs. These incidents can be extremely dangerous, not only to the people on or around the rigs, but also to the wildlife and ecosystems in the area. Natural gas pipelines harm our climate from the moment they are built and continuing through the years as they disturb natural habitats and increase the public's demand for gas.
One of the biggest issues with natural gas pipelines are the processes they use to retrieve the gas, known as fracking. Hydraulic fracking drills into the ground and then injects water and chemicals at a high pressure, resulting in the break-up of shale and the release of natural gas. These 600 different chemicals, almost 40,000 gallons per fracturing, can be toxic and often include known carcinogens, such as lead and mercury. With 500,000 active wells in the U.S. that can be fracked nearly 18 times, the natural gas industry uses 360 billion gallons of chemicals. These chemicals and toxins can then infiltrate nearby drinking water. A majority of the fluid used in fracking is unable to be recovered and is left in the ground, unable to biodegrade. The wasted fluid contaminates air and causes acid rain and ground level ozone, a harmful air pollutant. These practices hurt our environment and our health.
What MCAN is doing:
Kinder Morgan Inc., a Houston energy company, proposed expanding a gas pipeline through Massachusetts, including vulnerable areas such as conservation lands and wildlife reserves. Concerned citizens spoke up, and Kinder Morgan is currently reworking their proposal. MCAN and the citizens of Massachusetts will continue to fight the expansion of dirty energy.
Massachusetts is a leader in renewable energy and should continue to encourage the growth of clean energy markets. We cannot allow big oil companies to pollute our environment and endanger our health by expanding their pipelines. We must prevent further expansion of existing pipelines and halt construction on new pipelines. By increasing the supply of natural gas, we are forever increasing our demand. In order to create a cleaner and healthier energy future it is vital that we make renewable energy sources more available.