Oh, what a day for head shaking, head scratching, and mind blowing.
Gov. Baker was on Boston Public Radio yesterday afternoon, and by the grace of Jim and Margery a compressor question was allowed on! Heather, whoever you are, THANK YOU!
I wasn’t listening live, but holy moly, did I hear about it. I was able glean a little bit about what Baker said, and I tailored my document submission to one of his points. I will cover my response to the rest of Baker’s answers from the Ask The Governor show on Day #121 (today, LOL)
Baker: what I never got was while this whole process was playing out (way back when, before the decision was made) there really wasn’t much conversation (as far as I could tell) between MA & Feds over this decision, after the feds picked the place.
Is this a good question? Only if you’re not paying attention, and your people aren’t paying attention.
#1, Spectra/Enbridge TOLD us and FERC where they wanted to build. Feds did NOT pick this site. The proponent gets what they want, always, that’s how FERC (doesn’t) work. THIS IS WHY assuming Feds are right is so dangerous for all of us. States have rights! Use the laws.
#2, Enbridge chose the site in January of 2015, the same month Baker was inaugurated. Baker’s Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) held a community meeting in Weymouth on May 27, 2015 to discuss community concerns about the project. The transcripts are here:
EFSB has been the one state agency that understood clearly and urgently the troubling problems with this project at this site, as well as wider-ranging impacts on the state. In short EFSB is the polar opposite of DEP. The following files are letters EFSB sent to FERC, starting June 11, 2015
As you can see, EFSB was exemplary in their assessment of this project. And it all went nowhere. Why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
My action at the Gov’s office was triggered by lack of action by the Baker administration… when taking action would have been the easiest thing to do. What kind of action? It’s laid out in North Weymouth Town Councilor Becky Haugh’s letter to EFSB.
From Becky’s letter:
I am writing to respectfully ask the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to consider officially requesting a rehearing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on its January 25, 2017 decision to approve the Atlantic Bridge project (Docket CP16-9). The deadline for filing is this Friday, February 24, 2017.
The EFSB hosted a public hearing on the Atlantic Bridge project at the Abigail Adams Middle School in Weymouth, MA on May 27, 2015 where hundreds of Massachusetts residents came to voice their concerns of the Atlantic Bridge project.
On November 13, 2015, the EFSB filed a motion to intervene on the Atlantic Bridge project. I’m respectfully asking for your consideration to file a rehearing request based on the fact that your agency submitted comments to FERC on June 11, 2015, June 18, 2015, June 22, 2015, July 24, 2015, December 21, 2015 and June 1, 2016 in regards to the Atlantic Bridge project and FERC did not properly address all of the concerns and questions that your agency diligently brought up.
Furthermore, the FERC decision to conditionally approve the Atlantic Bridge project violates conditions set forth by your agency for the proposed site in the February 11, 2000 EFSB decision (EFSB 98-7) to allow a gas-fired power plant be sited on the same parcel located in Weymouth, MA and believe this issue needs to be addressed between FERC, the EFSB and the Town of Weymouth.
All it would have taken was a phone call from Gov Baker to have EFSB keep doing what it had already started: advocate for the protection on MA citizens.
There was even a citizen advocacy action complete with emails, phone calls, letters to Gov. Baker asking him to have EFSB intervene with FERC so there’s NO WAY he didn’t know about his options for action. Right?