A NEW PIPELINE DOESN’T FIT HERE
Developers of luxury accommodations have the means — and the responsibility — to incorporate state-of-the-art energy efficiency and energy use planning into their building designs. Proper planning would take into consideration the City of Boston’s commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. Options for heating already being implemented in Boston include an array of low-energy heat pump technologies, as well as a “combined heat and power” (CH&P) system that utilizes waste heat from power generation. In fact, there is already CH&P infrastructure in the neighborhood.
Even if the new buildings receive some level of gas service, thoughtful planning and design would take a new pipeline off the table.
Kathryn R. Eiseman
President, Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast, Inc.
On National GRID Gas Pipeline
There were a number of problems with National Grid’s public presentation on its new proposed gas pipeline through the South End and Back Bay:
– Its claim that burning gas is clean is not supported by a growing body of evidence of air quality problems of both burned and leaked gas, particularly inside homes and buildings.
– Its claim that the industry has substantially reduced the rate of climate-damaging methane leakage appears to be a “hard-wired” result that is not based on actual measurements, whereas the most recent NASA study from December, 2017 indicates that methane leaks from the fossil fuel industry is increasing, not decreasing.
– Its argument that renewables are too expensive is not credible based on current and projected prices of wind and solar.
– Its suggestion that its long term future is the retrofit of our antiquated pipeline system is to use biogas blended with hydrogen is not credible based on the size and scale of infrastructure that would be needed in the next decade.
This pipeline by National Grid exemplifies the choice Boston faces for its energy future: to commit to building more 20th-century infrastructure that locks us into fossil fuels for the next 50-70 years, or to transition to fully electrified buildings that experts agree is the most practical, economic, and clean solution to preserve indoor air quality, human safety, and our climate.
Nathan Phillips, Professor
Department of Earth and Environment Boston University
Member of Gas Leak Allies
Jacqueline Royce, PhD
Green Committee, Neighborhood Association of Back Bay (NABB)
Boston Clean Energy Coalition (BCEC)
Is LONG ISLAND BRIDGE A PRIORITY?
As I read “Long Island Bridge re-opening announcement a shocker, but well received,” Boston Sun news story, published on Jan. 4, on the commitment made by Mayor Walsh in his recent Inaugural Address, I wondered why the city would prioritize the re-building of the Long Island Bridge rather than moving quickly on more treatment for those suffering from addiction or trying to keep their bad habits which are so self-destructive.
Spending a $100 million to build a new bridge seems so cost-ineffective when we are in the midst of a battle over raging opioid use.
As someone who grew up in the South End and lower Roxbury down by old City Hospital, I can fully understand why South Enders cheered the mayor’s plans to rebuild the Long Island Shelter. For the past near 50 years my old neighborhood ( I lived on East Springfield Street growing up) this community has been negatively impacted by services for drug addicts. I remember when the first methadone clinic opened up on the ground floor of BCH’s old Outpatient Clinic at Worcester Square. It caused all kinds of quality-of-life issues. Eventually under neighborhood action, that clinic moved over to under the expressway. So I understand their angst. However, the whole idea of shipping off the homeless to an island in the harbor is not the answer. These folks will still be back at Melnea Cass and Massachusetts Avenue during daytime hours.
Better treatment in various locations around the city makes far more sense and would provide quality care to those seeking recovery. Shipping them off to an island surrounded by water is not the answer.
Our mayor seems to personalize recovery effort and I understand why but putting folks out of sight and out of mind is hardly an answer. Balancing the needs of the homeless and drug users with communities nearby is not an easy task. We have to do the best we can to help those who can’t help themselves by trying to empower them and not by treating them like unwanted zoo animals.