September 23, 2020

Our Legislators Must Not Turn Their Backs on the People in the No Compressor Movement.

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Recently it was revealed that Steven Howitt, Representative for the 4th Bristol district was being advised secretly during a constituent e-mail discussion by a key Enbridge (Spectra) lobbyist, William Ryan. In the email Howitt forwarded, Ryan is clearly advising him on how to respond to the constituent’s concerns that natural gas could be considered a “clean energy resource” in a vaguely worded section of Governor Baker’s recent Climate Change bill.
The citizens and municipal officials of all the communities surrounding the proposed Rehoboth compressor station have spoken loud and clear through their overwhelming votes against unsafe and environmentally harmful new gas infrastructure in our area. Several studies, including a study conducted by the Attorney General’s office have confirmed that new natural gas infrastructure is not a necessary component to a comprehensive plan designed to meet the future energy needs of the Commonwealth. Now is the time for all our state legislators to stand up against our governor’s end run around the positions of a great majority of elected officials in this state that natural gas is not a clean energy resource! H4318, as submitted by Governor Baker to the Massachusetts legislature in March, must not be allowed to be a devious way to leave the door open for more gas pipeline projects and provide energy behemoth Enbridge a mechanism for instituting a pipeline ratepayer “tax”. A renewed Algonquin pipeline project that would include a compressor station, threatens to make Massachusetts the next victim in their dangerous and pollution riddled profit grab.
Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) is extremely disappointed that the hard-earned Rehoboth town mandate against a compressor station, along with the promise of support from our local representatives (April, 2017) has been compromised by a legislator who is allowing himself to be influenced by paid energy lobbyists who directly contradict the will of his constituents. In the March 30th Sun Chronicle article, Rep Howitt qualified his blind copying of a constituent’s email about Baker’s recent legislation to lobbyist Bill Ryan, as business as usual, stating it is a part of his job to be in regular communication with the likes of Ryan. This may indeed be true but alerting and/or seeking advice from an Enbridge lobbyist about an email whose context was specific to proposed legislation by the Baker administration is both unwarranted and indefensible. As citizens we must prevent this kind of back room dealing with big energy companies that not only stabs constituents in the back but does so in a highly unethical way.
Members of the Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station:
Brian Hatch, 34 Silver Birch Road, Attleboro, MA
Tracy Manzella, 214 Chestnut St., Rehoboth, MA
Doug Pyron, 40 Cross St., Rehoboth, MA
Chris Gauthier, Rehoboth MA
Leslie Gouveia, 5 Victoria Lane, Rehoboth, MA
Kathleen Boivin, 162 Homestead Ave, Rehoboth, MA
Dave Downs - 632 Oak Hill Ave, Attleboro
Henry Pires - 432 Tremont Street, Rehoboth
Nancy Scott- 37 Martin Street Rehoboth
Gina Woodrum- 43 Cross Street, Rehoboth
Melanie Quaranta Bo-171 Burnside Ave.,Seekonk

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