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All Eyes on Weymouth as FERC Signals Interest in Environmental Justice

All Eyes on Weymouth as FERC Signals Interest in Environmental Justice

Local activists and legislators have been fighting the Enbridge natural gas compressor in Weymouth for years. It’s too close to residents and businesses, and poses too many health risks to a community that’s already borne the burden of too much pollution, they say. The project was approved by FERC in 2019, built and became operational in 2020. Then it had an emergency shutdown. And another. Now FERC is considering the unprecedented move of re-thinking its permit, a decision that could have broad ramifications.

Check out Miriam Wasser’s ongoing reporting on this at WBUR: https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2021/03/19/weymouth-compressor-ferc-precedent-enbridge-natural-gas

Transcript

Amy Westervelt: Early last year, I started hearing from some activists in Massachusetts about a natural gas project proposed in their town. One woman in particular really thought this was something I should look into.

Her name is Andrea Honoré.

Andrea Honoré: But it took me a good year to understand what was going on. I’d never heard of a compressor. I’d never heard of FERC. I didn’t understand the process.

Amy: Andrea lives in the town of Weymouth, Massachusetts, a coastal town of around 50000 people in the South Shaw region, about half an hour south of Boston. And in 2015, Spectra Energy, a gas company from Texas, wanted to put what’s called a natural gas compressor right on the water at the north end of town. Natural gas needs a little help to travel the whole length of a pipeline and compressor stations help to sort of goose the gas along the way. If you’ve never heard of these things, it’s probably because they usually don’t put them in the middle of cities or even heavily populated areas, period. They’re generally placed on the middle of nowhere because they explode sometimes.

Local news montage: Also breaking overnight in Greene County, an explosion at …

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Frackalachia and the great fracking jobs myth

Frackalachia and the great fracking jobs myth

When a report makes oil and gas companies—and the politicians they help elect—this mad, you know the author is on to something. Researcher Sean O’Leary, with the Ohio River Valley Institute, joins us to talk about his new report, which found that the local economic benefit of fracking to communities in the Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia gas corridor was slim to none.

Transcript

Sean O’Leary: If you live in the region, you only have to walk through the downtowns to see what I’m saying, whether it’s, you know, Steubenville, Ohio, Boléro, Ohio, Wheeling, West Virginia, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, all of those downtowns are hollowed out shells of what they once were.  

Amy Westervelt: Hey there, this is Drilled, I’m Amy Westervelt, and that was Shaun OLeary from the Ohio River Valley Institute.  

O’Leary is a native West Virginian who’s watched firsthand what first coal and then gas did to his community. He doesn’t live in West Virginia anymore. And that has become a topic of criticism from people who did not appreciate some of his recent work. Last month, O’Leary and the organization he works for released a report that really made the oil and gas guys mad. It takes on a simple question did the fracking boom actually deliver all those economic benefits? We’ve heard the industry talk so much about. The report specifically looks at the region O’Leary has dubbed “Frackalachia”, encompassing parts of the Ohio River Valley in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As you might recall, from every election cycle in the last decade, whenever people start talking about the environmental impacts of fracking or the potential of a fracking ban, the industry has the same response.  

Fox News: The amount of jobs that are created by this technology cannot be overstated. …

read more
All Eyes on Weymouth as FERC Signals Interest in Environmental Justice

All Eyes on Weymouth as FERC Signals Interest in Environmental Justice

Local activists and legislators have been fighting the Enbridge natural gas compressor in Weymouth for years. It’s too close to residents and businesses, and poses too many health risks to a community that’s already borne the burden of too much pollution, they say. The project was approved by FERC in 2019, built and became operational in 2020. Then it had an emergency shutdown. And another. Now FERC is considering the unprecedented move of re-thinking its permit, a decision that could have broad ramifications.

Check out Miriam Wasser’s ongoing reporting on this at WBUR: https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2021/03/19/weymouth-compressor-ferc-precedent-enbridge-natural-gas

Transcript

Amy Westervelt: Early last year, I started hearing from some activists in Massachusetts about a natural gas project proposed in their town. One woman in particular really thought this was something I should look into.

Her name is Andrea Honoré.

Andrea Honoré: But it took me a good year to understand what was going on. I’d never heard of a compressor. I’d never heard of FERC. I didn’t understand the process.

Amy: Andrea lives in the town of Weymouth, Massachusetts, a coastal town of around 50000 people in the South Shaw region, about half an hour south of Boston. And in 2015, Spectra Energy, a gas company from Texas, wanted to put what’s called a natural gas compressor right on the water at the north end of town. Natural gas needs a little help to travel the whole length of a pipeline and compressor stations help to sort of goose the gas along the way. If you’ve never heard of these things, it’s probably because they usually don’t put them in the middle of cities or even heavily populated areas, period. They’re generally placed on the middle of nowhere because they explode sometimes.

Local news montage: Also breaking overnight in Greene County, an explosion at …

read more
Frackalachia and the great fracking jobs myth

Frackalachia and the great fracking jobs myth

When a report makes oil and gas companies—and the politicians they help elect—this mad, you know the author is on to something. Researcher Sean O’Leary, with the Ohio River Valley Institute, joins us to talk about his new report, which found that the local economic benefit of fracking to communities in the Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia gas corridor was slim to none.

Transcript

Sean O’Leary: If you live in the region, you only have to walk through the downtowns to see what I’m saying, whether it’s, you know, Steubenville, Ohio, Boléro, Ohio, Wheeling, West Virginia, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, all of those downtowns are hollowed out shells of what they once were.  

Amy Westervelt: Hey there, this is Drilled, I’m Amy Westervelt, and that was Shaun OLeary from the Ohio River Valley Institute.  

O’Leary is a native West Virginian who’s watched firsthand what first coal and then gas did to his community. He doesn’t live in West Virginia anymore. And that has become a topic of criticism from people who did not appreciate some of his recent work. Last month, O’Leary and the organization he works for released a report that really made the oil and gas guys mad. It takes on a simple question did the fracking boom actually deliver all those economic benefits? We’ve heard the industry talk so much about. The report specifically looks at the region O’Leary has dubbed “Frackalachia”, encompassing parts of the Ohio River Valley in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As you might recall, from every election cycle in the last decade, whenever people start talking about the environmental impacts of fracking or the potential of a fracking ban, the industry has the same response.  

Fox News: The amount of jobs that are created by this technology cannot be overstated. …

read more