Senators Markey and Warren Introduce Legislation to Block Infrastructure Used to Export America’s Natural Gas
Weymouth, Massachusetts is a proposed site for a compressor station that is part of a project by Canadian oil company Enbridge intended to send natural gas through Massachusetts to export out to Canada
Washington (October 8, 2019) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren plan to introduce legislation that would block construction of any compressor station that would be built as part of a pipeline project mean to export natural gas overseas. A subsidiary of Enbridge, Canada’s largest pipeline operator, is proposing to build and operate a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts as part of its Atlantic Bridge gas project, which is intended to send natural gas through Massachusetts and export it out to Canada. The Community Outreach, Maintenance, and Preservation by Restricting Export Stations from Subverting Our Regulations (COMPRESSOR) Act would prohibit construction of any natural gas compressor station, such as the proposed facility in Weymouth, if it is part of a project that would lead to the export of natural gas or facilitate the export of natural gas, as determined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“We should not move forward with a project that asks our residents to sacrifice health and safety just to be a throughway for American natural gas to get to foreign markets,” said Senator Markey. “Residents in Weymouth, Quincy, and Braintree have nothing to gain and everything to lose if this compressor station gets built. Residents’ concerns on safety and the public welfare have gone unheard, and it’s time we put their voices above gas companies’ bottom line. The COMPRESSOR Act would block construction of any compressor station that would be built as part of an export project. No compressor station should be built in our communities, threaten the safety of our residents, and harm our environment just to support our natural gas being sent overseas to the highest bidder. Instead of continuing our fossil fuel addiction, we need a Green New Deal that transforms our economy to create millions of jobs and protects our communities that have been historically most harmed by fossil fuels.”
“Major gas projects like the proposed compressor station in Weymouth increase our reliance on fossil fuels while ignoring the concerns of households and consumers who would be affected the most,” said Senator Warren.“Our bill helps ensure the health and safety of residents in Weymouth and across the Commonwealth are not jeopardized just so that gas companies like Enbridge can line their pockets by exporting natural gas overseas.”
A copy of the draft COMPRESSOR Act can be found HERE.
Weymouth, Massachusetts is densely populated, with 3,100 people per square mile. The proposed site for the new gas compressor, which FERC approved in 2017, is within a half-mile of more than 960 homes and 38 educational facilities, and approximately 3,100 children live within one mile, and 13,200 go to school within three miles of the proposed site. Other key concerns with the proposed site include air quality – residents have higher-than-average rates of cancer, asthma, respiratory diseases – and environmental justice, as Weymouth includes two state-designated environmental justice communities. A report from Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility found that “no regulatory framework can make this facility safe for the surrounding community or for residents of the Commonwealth.”