Drinking water contamination not only downside of proposed gas pipeline [Letter]

January 07, 2014

Thank you for Tim Wheeler's article on opposition to the construction of a new natural gas pipeline because of the effects it may have on local water supplies ("Pipeline may affect drinking water, activists fear," Jan. 1).

There are other reasons to oppose the building of this pipeline. Natural gas is popular because it is inexpensive and promoted as burning cleaner than coal. However, when one factors in the greenhouse gas effects of methane leaks during drilling and transportation, it may not be cleaner than coal. In addition, natural gas may not remain at such low prices because shale wells have higher decline rates than anticipated.

Since we must transition away from fossil fuels and to renewable energies, why would we want to waste huge amounts of capital building new pipelines to carry more fossil fuels? It makes more sense to build renewable energy projects.

Congress can help by enacting a revenue-neutral carbon tax (with border adjustments). A carbon tax will charge fossil fuel producers for the damage their products cause, making renewable energy projects financially competitive with natural gas.

Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.

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