Friday, April 17, 2015

No Gas For You!

East Street School: future home to Leisure Services Supplemental Education (aka Rec Dept)

The natural gas moratorium on new hook ups called by Berkshire Gas is not only hurting local businesses, but town government as well.  And that means all of us local taxpayers.

Last month the Joint Capital Planning Committee approved $3 million in building and equipment needs for the fiscal year starting July 1st.  Part of that proposal (which still needs Town Meeting approval) included $20,000 to convert aging expensive oil heating units at the East Street School to natural gas.

But now that Berkshire Gas is playing hardball in support of the new Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas pipeline, Finance Director Sandy Pooler said the $20,000 request is being put off. 

33 comments:

Kevin said...

Please do not blame Berkshire Gas. The gas-fired power plant at UMass, which opened in 2009, uses all the capacity of our local gas lines. Even then, 20% of UMass' energy from home heating oil. Blame, instead, the anti-pipeline folks for creating this uncertainty and sending the proposed pipeline to Vermont, bypassing us.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Kevin, we're not going to be intimidated by these people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Larry. I'm sure some folk really don't grasp the real effect of their anti pipeline efforts...

Anonymous said...

Put solar panels on the roof.

Anonymous said...

Well, Anon 7:59 p.m., feel free to lecture us on this.

There are European countries way ahead of us on wind and solar energy.

Oh, I know, I know: that couldn't be possible in "the greatest country in the world."

Anonymous said...

Well, Anon 8:03 am, Anon 7:59 pm here.

This has absolutely nothing to do with alternative energy. Since you bring them up though, the fickle amount of enetgy wind and solar currently bring to the table aren't going to heat and power all the appliances in a typical New England home. Besides, many of the big proponents of solar and wind are the biggest "not in my backyarders" out there.

The issue at hand is the impact on businesses (and development), and subsequent effect on tax revenue. Not being able to connect and use natural gas will certainly discourage otherwise solid businesses from starting up, and the town will simply have to come up with other ways to pay the bills. Easiest solution to bring in cash is to raise the rates... Mark my anonymous words; It's coming.

Lastly, I do agree with you that this is the greatest country in the world. USA! USA! USA!


Anonymous said...

Solar and wind on the roof of the East St. School.

Anonymous said...

The self-proclaimed greatest country in the world is now a place of overwhelming complacency about its quality of life.

Anonymous said...

You can't base your judgments about our country only on what you have experienced in the Amherst area.

Larry Kelley said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

I understand that our climate change problem will not be fully acknowledged until the beachfront properties of wealthy Republicans is fully underwater.

Anonymous said...

If climate change was real then we wouldn't shut down nuclear power plants.

Anonymous said...

Amen, again!

Anonymous said...

Tell my grandma after this winter that its getting warmer. She'll slap you. And not even say a word.

Anonymous said...

I just love the deep thinking that's featured here.

Anonymous said...

Then I would show your grandma average temperature statistics from all around the globe since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and then she'd finally speak, "Hey, grandchild, you complete idiot, you got some 'splaining to do!"

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 5:50 pm:

Your grandma, who is probably too polite to tell you to get your head out of your ass, was part of a generation that solved problems, instead of sitting there and hoping that they would just go away.

Anonymous said...

Bring on the pipeline!

Anonymous said...

Do we really aspire to be like these European countries?

Anonymous said...

You should have seen the brainwashing going on at the MS This past week in favor of solar. "FREAKIN' SOLAR!" flashed onscreen every 5 seconds. It was like A Clickwork Orange. Godalmighty. Solar highways to replace concrete. Nobody asked who gets to pay for this "super cool" future.

Anonymous said...

Truer words have never been spoken.

Anonymous said...

You need to watch "An Inconsistent Truth." And incidentally, what about wealthy Democrats? You want them to suffer too, right. Because we celebrate diversity.

Anonymous said...

Climate change has existed as long as the planet has been around. Long live climate change. Carbon is needed for life to exist. The poles float. Even if the north pole ice were to melt completely, sea level would not rise. Does your Coke overflow its glass when the ice melts in it? Incidentally, ice is forming at the south pole. Despite what the followers of Pope Albert would have you believe, scientists do NOT all agree. So get your head out of your own ass before you worry about mine.

Anonymous said...

Once again the denizens of our fair town claim to celebrate diversity. Except diversity of thought. For that, you're demonized.

Anonymous said...

Yours is much deeper I realize…

Dr. Ed said...

Folks, reality is that granite is actually elastic -- the weight of glaciers throughout New York State pushed up the New England coastline and now (in Geological time) that the glaciers are gone, the NE coast is starting to sink back to where it was pre-glacier.

Yes, there is a ledge in Maine that was above the high tide line when I was a boy but now often isn't -- it's because the ledges sank, not because the ocean rose. A more dramatic example are the pins my grandfather drove into the ledge more than a century ago -- then well above the breaking waves of a storm, now they aren't.

And remember that (a) volcanoes are rather hot and that (b) heat tends to melt ice. Yep, intellectually honest scientists are noticing some incredibly hot spots in the vicinity of melting polar glaciers, and that's not explained by global warming theory. No, that's explained by molten rock coming to the surface...

Dr. Ed said...

In North Dakota, they are burning off Natural Gas because they have no way to get it to market. Big yellow flames, yellow because of unburned carbon which (unlike CO2) *is* a pollutant, as is the Carbon Monoxide (one Oxygen) that inevitably is also produced by incomplete combustion.

This gas will be burned -- it must be burned *somewhere* or it's going to cause a really big explosion which is more than slightly double-plus-un-good....

If it's piped to where it is needed -- where burning it can benefit humanity -- not only will humanity be benefited but there will be LESS pollution -- burning it in a controlled fashion with the proper mixture of air inherently pollutes less than the flare.

So what possible objection could the tree-huggers possibly have? And if it is because they have to cut some trees down to put the pipeline in, fine -- get them to pay for a bunch of trees planted somewhere else. Say in any number of the downtowns that were deforested a half century ago by the Dutch Elm Disease and, lacking the tax base of Amherst, are now blighted asphalt jungles.

Greenfield, Ware, etc.

What possible objection can anyone have?

Anonymous said...

Perfect opportunity to point out the other side of the NIMBY coin: "well, the benefit isn't in my backyard (planted trees) so I'm going to oppose it" me me me take take take never give. Nooooooo.

And Dr. Ed, use of the term "tree-huggers" just biased an otherwise valid argument. I agree, though. Let's at least make use of the stuff.

Dr. Ed said...

Besides, do you really want LNG trucked through downtown?

That's the other option and LNG is scary stuff --the LNG tankers going into Everett are scary and I remember being told of an incident in Spain some years back now where a LNG tanker "took out" an entire campground, as in "everyone died, everything destroyed."

I remember seeing LNG tankers on Route 128 back in the 1990's -- I don't know if LNG still is transported over the roads or not, but if the pipeline shortage becomes dire enough, it will be by necessity.

It will be transported through Amherst by necessity -- and you don't want that.

And as to solar, the reason why we have "winter" and that stuff called "snow" is because of a shortage of solar energy due to the Earth being tilted on its axis. So Solar is the solution to a shortage of Solar????

Anonymous said...

Don't be scared. Don't u see that's what they want? You scare too easily...

Dr. Ed said...

Perhaps someone who has an understanding of what a mishap involving a LNG tanker could involve might want to confirm that I am not being unreasonably concerned here?

Remember that it isn't just total BTUs of energy that you need to consider -- where Gasoline boils at somewhere between 100-400 degrees (depending on the mixture), Methane (Natural Gas) boils at -258 degrees -- when not under pressure. (Remember that it is the vapor that burns.)

Another factor is how long it takes to burn -- the same amount of heat released in a shorter period of time can do a hell of a lot more damage.

If you rupture the tank, ALL the LNG inside is going to boil off as flammable/explosive gas. While a Gasoline fire is impressive, the thick, black smoke is evidence of how the fire is being limited by the availability of air and hence of oxygen. Natural Gas burns cleaner...

Anonymous said...

Amherst shall stagnate through at least 2018... Good luck Amherst BID. Hope the new hire will figure this out for ya. LOL. Thank the anti-pipeline folks in a couple years.

Anonymous said...

I see so few signs that say bring on the pipeline. Well bring it in right through my backyard if you like. If it means a stronger America, i'm all for it.