Yesterday we found out who Gov. Baker really is. He cares more about a foreign gas company’s export profits than state/federal laws. Thanks to his DEP’s regulatory capture, Enbridge is closer than ever to building the compressor.
Looking back at my last blog update, I realize I have left out an important part of this story: the Health Impact Assessment (HIA). That HIA was the reason I stopped sitting in his office. He never did speak to me, by the way, nor did he visit the site. So easy to digress!
The HIA was issued last week, and it was unreal. I mean, the steering committee knew all along that this “study” was bogus, but, my god, seeing it in black and white was gut wrenching. More so was knowing the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Metropolitan Area Planning Council were OK being complicit with producing a substandard and dangerously lax report using only the proponent’s data as source material. Using Enbridge’s data to say the compressor would be no problem. WTAF.
Using the sham HIA, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection justified the issuance of an air permit. I have made notes in the Executive Summary PDF, if you are super bored/want to see to what extent Baker’s Agencies will tie themselves in knots to justify a polluting gas compressor.
Between the HIA release and the air permit decision many things happened. Letters were written. Newspaper stories were written. TV interviews were given. GIS mappers in NY made maps for us! Quick quotes were taken. Physicians reminded Baker about FACTS. Blood pressures were RAISED. Expectations were high, even from local Baker allies, that Baker would understand how wrong it would be to grant the air permit. On the bases of science alone, much less MA laws and DEP policies and regulations.
Yesterday we were crushed. South Shore officials were pissed.
Today we were goddamned salty at our No Compressor rally in the freezing cold at the proposed site and adjacent park. Folks were out on the sidewalks with no compressor signs, eliciting so many honks of support from cars passing by!
Mayors Hedlund, Koch, Sullivan
Reps Ayers, Murphy, Meschino, Hawkins, Cusack
State Senators O’Connor and Timilty
Weymouth Town Councilors DeFazio, Happel, Heffernon, Haugh
Quincy Town Councilors Croall and McCarthy
ALL had the same message: F*CK this compressor. F*CK DEP for doing this. F*CK Baker for enabling this.
Just kidding. But, pretty close. It was wonderful to hear how many of our officials pretty much stopped DEP’s bullsh*t explanations in their tracks during notification phone calls. I have videos of the officials’ speeches that I will link to when uploaded. Strong words, strong feelings, even from Baker allies.
Charles Duane Baker, you’ve gone and done it. You’ll not have a moment’s peace until this project is dead. Enjoy!