Jul 24, 2015

Rocklanders to NRCM: Don't support gassing Penobscot Bay!

Natural Resources Council of Maine supports federal plan that could induce lobster larvae-killing water degradation and coastal sprawl.

ROCKLAND. Plans by the Natural Resources Council of Maine to hold a rally here  on Thursday July 30th  on behalf of the Obama Administration's new energy bill, have taken an unexpected twist, after bay environmental groups reviewing the bill found that its primary effect will be a major expansion of natural gas burning in Maine and elsewhere around the United States. 

"There's got to be a better way than this," says Ron Huber, executive director of Friends of Penobscot Bay, one of  several bay conservation groups slugging it out with gas interests. "Let's not destroy our home to save it."

Boston-based Energy Management Incorporated  proposes building a natural gas burning power plant in the city of Rockland.  EMI's project would be fired by natural gas piped to Rockland from the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline. Once operating in Rockland, the company says it would build additional pipelines along the west coast of Penobscot Bay north to Belfast, and possibly down the Saint George peninsula.

Huber and other bay residents say the so-called Clean Energy Plan will help EMI, not Penobscot Bay.  

"Natural gas expansion along the Penobscot Bay coast would be a major sprawl stimulator" he said.  "Utterly disastrous for this bay, the veryheart of Maine's lobster fishery. What is NRCM thinking?"

Bill supporters say that the expanded gas burning is only transitional. "Right!" the veteran bay activist chuckled. We've gotten the "only transitional" assertion  since the early 1990s  from Presidents Clinton, Bush and now Obama. Each time NRCM assured us that gas would be transitional"

"Funny," he added "The only transition that happens was more gas pipelines. More carbon burning. So here we go again."

Huber said he and others will be at NRCM's July 30th  rally to urge the venerable group to reconsider its support of the Clean Power Act.  The event will take place July 30th at Rockland's Sandy Beach Park across the harbor from the ongoing Maine Lobster Festival.

"NRCM is a fine outfit"  says Ron Huber, executive director  of Friends of Penobscot Bay, " But a bill whose main purpose, according to its authors, is to lock ever more communities, like Penobscot Bay's, into long term natural gas consumption, is not  good for Maine.

"We hope they get the message."

Friends of Penobscot Bay. People who care about Maine's biggest bay.

No comments: