This is my 7th day at Governor Baker’s office! I was very happy to have Weymouth resident Wendy C. with me. She is my rock, and a very effective advocate against Spectra Energy’s proposals in Weymouth. Her own house would be in the pipeline incineration zone.
Today I left a note with the ad I was raising money to place in The Globe, and a letter about why I’m doing this (text below). Wendy left a No Compressor sticker and a Weymouth coffee mug for the Gov 🙂
Eventful time in the office: Met with John Tapley, Baker’s Director of Constituent Services (by complete accident), and we 3 had a good talk. Spoke to Joyce, the Gov’s gatekeeper, and she told me that Baker sees the notes (reads, I hope) and she has spoken to him about seeing me. I’ve also made a back-up plan should I be out for the day (or week)—I’m going to let Joyce know.
Dear Governor Baker:
Why am I sitting in your office waiting room, every work day from 1:15-1:30pm?
I’m here because I’m out of ideas. I’m here because your administration didn’t urge the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a rehearing of the conditional certification of the Weymouth, MA compressor station before the February deadline.
That lack of action, combined with a consistent and glaring lack of communication and cooperation from your administration was humiliating and insulting. Your silence and inaction left us all speechless and deeply disappointed—not urging the EFSB do something so simple, so needed, and so grounded in EFSB’s own concerns really ticked me off.
Gov. Baker, you have ignored thousands of calls about Spectra Energy’s proposals, thousands of letters/postcards, thousands of names on petitions, hundreds of people marching to the State House last summer, and dismissed the concerns of callers on Ask The Governor on Boston Public Radio. You have abdicated any responsibility for action on behalf of your constituents, over and over, saying the final decision is a federal issue. It’s NOT only FERC’s decision.
You can urge the denial of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) permit*. A CZM denial of permit would keep FERC from issuing further rulings to Spectra, like a Notice to Proceed (building). Spectra cannot construct this dangerously located compressor if they don’t have a CZM permit. The safety of the public must come before Spectra’s profits. But, you’ve been ignoring the one chance Weymouth has at averting a massive public hazard.
You know who hasn’t ignored all of us, and agrees with our concerns? Pretty much every elected and appointed official representing the 25 towns Spectra Energy wants to build in. From School Committee members to US Senators and Representatives, from Police and Fire Chiefs to Mayors, Town Planners, Town Councilors, Selectpersons, Attorneys General, Town Solicitors… pretty much everyone from top to bottom. These people know know that the gas is going north and overseas to places that will pay better money for it. They know that locking us into fossil fuel infrastructure for many decades is not the right move, especially since Massachusetts doesn’t need the gas.
So, I’ll be in your office every work day, not protesting, but WAITING. Waiting for you to stop supporting a for-profit business over your constituents. Waiting for you to stop ghosting Weymouth when you know that Spectra’s proposals are unprecedentedly poorly sited and extremely dangerous.
Spectra cannot build, and FERC cannot let them if CZM denies permit:15 U.S. Code Chapter 15B – The NATURAL GAS ACT15 U.S.C. § 717b(d)
“Except as specifically provided in this chapter [the Natural Gas Act], nothing in this chapter affects the rights of States under— (1) the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.); (2) the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.); or (3) the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).”