Aug 132014

Area businesses "Against The Pipeline"

Area businesses “Against The Pipeline” poster created by Stop The Pipeline

Ten Groton businesses have joined the latest show of grass roots support against the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline that would span 45 northern Massachusetts towns. The Groton firms are among 100 area businesses from Ashby to Tyngsboro that were listed by Stop The Pipeline, a local action group, as opposing the creation of the 36″ underground pipeline at a small rally in Pepperell today.

The Groton businesses that have signed Stop The Pipeline’s pledge, organizer Claire Miller said are:

  • Anytime Fitness
  • Filho’s Cucina
  • Groton Cleaners
  • Groton Integrated Therapies
  • Groton Market
  • Kitchen Art of New England
  • Kramer Painting
  • Law Office of William Boyce
  • The Gosselini Group, Inc. Relators
  • The Natural Market

The form signed by each business owner calls on Governor Deval Patrick ” … to withdraw his proposal to publicly finance new gas infrastructure and hold this pipeline to the strictest standards for any permits. He must keep our state moving toward a path of competitive clean energy like appropriately sited wind and solar.”

Kinder Morgan Calls Street Closing Illegal

In a related development, the Groton Board of Selectmen has received a response from Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company to a letter sent to the company after it’s July 14 motion to bar employees of the Houston Texas firm from using public streets to establish survey reference points. Reference points are a preliminary survey step that ensures accuracy for later steps, when tentative pipeline routes and alternates are laid out.

The letter, addressed to BoS Chair Josh Degen, relates the energy company’s position as, “Tenesssee’s position that the Selectmen do not have the legal authority to deny Tennessee permission to survey on public roads. Roads are dedicated for public the use. All of our work will be done in a safe and workman like manner.”

Tennessee Gas and Kinder Morgan’s read on the selectmen’s action matched that of town counsel and police chief Donald Palma — that the board’s attempt to close town roads and streets to employees of a company — or anyone else — was probably not legal.

Read Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s letter to the BoS.

Degen explained that, “It’s pretty simple. What we did, is, apparently a symbolic vote because according to town counsel, we cannot prohibit surveying on public ways. And the bottom line is that what we did was symbolic, to go along with the vote and will of Town Meeting (a special Town Meeting passed a nonbinding resolution on stating the town’s opposition to the preliminary pipeline plan on June 29, 2014), however, it will not stand up.”

He said the motion and the response would be discussed at the next BoS meeting on August 18, and invited the public to attend and make its feelings known to the board.