Day #122 (late)

March 27:
I have been sitting on this segment from one week—and not responding—because of feelings I don’t understand, but I know the major feeling is disappointment. Here is the transcript, put together by 2 great folks who are similarly flabbergasted. As I learned from that time I got on the radio with Baker, these recordings disappear offline so it’s best to document them. Especially since Baker never talks about the compressor in public unless forced to.

Boston Public Radio’s Ask The Governor: comments on Weymouth Compressor Station March 21, 2019 (starts 1:00:50 ends 1:06:00)

Margery: Oh! Heather in Weymouth.

Jim: Hello Heather.

Heather: Hey thanks for taking my call. (Sure) So I have a question about the compressor station—proposed compressor station—in Weymouth. It’s my understanding that there are Mass laws on the books to stop the compressor station and if there are why aren’t they being used to protect well over a hundred and fifty thousand citizens of Massachusetts?

Jim: Thank you, Heather.

Baker: Thanks for the question Heather. The compressor station is really fundamentally… its regulated under federal law it’s under FERC and FERC has a series of standards that have to be met. Some of which involved things like air quality and coastal zone issues and wetlands issues and safety issues and a whole host of others.

NOTE: FERC takes applicant data, copies/pastes it into a report & calls it done. NO analysis is done on proponent’s data, no independent testing to check veracity of data. The proponent’s design/pollution output data is always changing, & Enbridge never has to resubmit!

ANOTHER NOTE: Coastal Zone Management issues are under MA control.
Louder for those in the back:

And we have, under federal law, the authority to implement, or to do the work that’s associated with a couple of those, one of which is the air quality issue and we wrote up an extremely broad and comprehensive air quality test—so broad and comprehensive that we and the attorney general needed to settle with the folks who were building the compressor station on the terms of how broad and comprehensive it could be.

I must interject here that the HIA & air testing is insufficient. Read @gb_psr‘s HIA rebuttal. Just read the HIA itself, p109 /The review was conducted in an expedited fashion so cannot be considered a systematic or comprehensive review/

We issued the results of that air quality test several months ago. There’s an appeal mechanism that’s available to people who want to appeal this in federal court and they can do so, and if based on that appeal it’s determined that there’s something that we did wrong or we didn’t do right with respect to that people can pursue that too. But in the end here our role is fundamentally to operate under federal law and the federal rules associated with this.

Weymouth’s spent over $1m over 4 years fighting this compressor. Untold thousands have been spent by citizens fighting this. WHY do we have to do the lifting/bear the burden when the state has laws that can protect us?

If you haven’t noticed, the Federal Gov. is 💥 & right now’d be a GREAT time to assert state’s rights & follow MA laws. No one’ll slap you down for that, @CharlieBakerMA, & it will hold in court

And I get the fact that this is a concern to people in Weymouth. I get that.

REALLY? Surely you understand it’s more than Weymouth?

And I’ve talked to a lot of the electeds and to locals down there who I know and we are committed to doing everything that we are supposed to do under federal law to deal with this issue and if we get something wrong, you know, I hope people point that out to us, but we are trying to do here is ensure that the work we do can meet the test that it’s required to meet under those federal statute.

Under Fed law these days doesn’t mean much @MassGovernor. Time for you to get DEP in hand, use MA laws and protect us! Federal “statutes” are garbage, & getting worse. You’re OK w/garbage for MA, especially when MA/the world is grappling with climate issues and methane is a major contributor?

Marjorie: Governor, here is what I don’t understand about this. I know that there’s federal law that rules a lot of this but every time we have you on for months —  the email lights up, the phone calls with people that are beside themselves over this compressor. You have 14 legislators, you got Bob Hedlund down there and Quincy’s and mayors of Weymouth and Braintree.


Baker: Yep

Margery: People are beside themselves and they are the people that live there and they’re afraid of it and I get it. So I don’t understand why the state can’t somehow stall or something because it’s clear that the people that are going to be most impacted are beside themselves.

Baker: Well the reason we developed a really comprehensive and broad approach to the air quality test that we were supposed to put in place was specifically to make sure that we went to every length we possibly could to address that issue and we went to such a great length that we got taken into court by the folks who are interested in putting the compressor station there and had to settle with them on how broad and comprehensive it could be under the federal law which is something we did in conjunction with the attorney general.



@CharlieBakerMA, you called for an HIA 7/14/17. HIA didn’t start until 6/2018. It was underfunded, used Enbridge’s data, & wasn’t given enough time.


And I get what people are concerned about which is why we went so far as we could on that particular issue.

No. You don’t get it. Not. Even. Close, bud.

But in the end this is, you know, regulatory policy and a lot of infrastructure gets driven by federal rules and federal law.

The thing I don’t understand about this one, I’ve never understood about this one: is why when this whole process was playing out way back when before the decision was made, there really wasn’t much conversation, as far as I can tell, between the commonwealth and the federal government over this decision. The only time this conversation started was after the feds picked the place. 

Good question, if you haven’t been following anything at all. Deep breath…
Spectra/Enbridge TOLD us and FERC where they wanted to build. Feds did NOT pick this site. 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!

Jim: If you weren’t the Governor, but were a citizen living in this catchment area, would you be on the same side as Heather? Based on what you know—not the law—but based on what you know?


Baker: I can’t…I can’t.

I have a job to do here. My job is to uphold the laws. Okay? And to implement them to the best of my ability. I have…

What I will say is that the whole reason we have appellate processes around these types of decisions is so if people are violating the rules there’s a vehicle and a mechanism they can pursue, and I met with personally have met with the local officials down there and I know people who live down there who talk to me about this whole time.

-deep deep breaths-
The courts shouldn’t be the answer. @CharlieBakerMA your DEP must do protect the environment & not Enbridge. So far DEP has protected/enabled Spectra/Enbridge & ignored the environment & laws. Latest example of choosing Enbridge over legitimate issues:

Margery: That is the voice of Governor Charlie Baker he’s with us until the top of the hour taking our questions and you are listening to 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio.

SIGH.Have I mentioned lately that it’s exhausting for all of us to keep trying to convince Baker of the bloody obvious?

Honestly, Gov. Baker is so ill-informed about this project and the whole process, it hurts. HE has all the tools to enforce Massachusetts’ environmental laws and he’s NOT doing it. Why put MORE of a burden on citizens fighting this by saying “Well, you can sue.”?

WEYMOUTH & CITIZENS HAVE BEEN IN COURT FOR YEARS NOW. And we aren’t fricking made of money, you know.

Gov. Baker, your DEP is busy handing this compressor to Enbridge as I type. Do you even know that? Every ounce of their decision making is skewed towards Enbridge and not actual environmental protection. I must remind everyone:


COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT (CZM) cannot make a determination until DEP has. And whatever DEP does in terms of granting permits, CZM will take into consideration. The likelihood of CZM “going rogue” and not falling in line DEP decisions is tiny. I hope I’m wrong because CZM is the final answer on all of this. If CZM says no, FERC, Enbridge, Spectra can say nothing about it.

5 Replies to “Day #122 (late)”

  1. I am just so sorry you have to be sitting in this day in and day out in his office. It seems like a scene out of the HUNGER GAMES movie. I sit with this information daily but you face it head on. I read this and I want to cry and scream. Governor Baker is single handedly handing us all over to this monster. And he has somehow convinced himself otherwise. He didn’t answer Jim’s question, because we know what his answer would be. He will have to live with this legacy, and none of us will let him forget it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s