Dana Connors’ recent op-ed regarding “resistance to good clean-energy projects” (May 7) certainly contains a core of truth: We are in trouble if the public continues to reject greenhouse gas-reducing energy infrastructure projects.

However, for some reason, the president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, an educated and informed opinion leader, chose to lament the termination of a project (Summit Natural Gas’ midcoast pipeline plan) that is decidedly not an example of renewable or green energy.

Natural gas is mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas that has been looking more problematic with every new study. Leaking at points throughout its distribution, causing groundwater contamination throughout the fracking landscape and even creating radioactive waste from its sludge, natural gas is a polluter on numerous levels.

Most importantly, it is just a plain old fossil fuel, and it doesn’t help even if it is comparatively shorter lasting than CO2 — we don’t have room for any more new sources of greenhouse-gas emissions if we have a prayer of staying below 1.5 degrees C of warming.

But yes, we definitely should be lamenting the NIMBY syndrome when it comes to offshore wind, onshore wind, solar farms, hydropower and electric grid enhancement. All these carry enormous potential for jobs and other economic benefit as well.

If everyone’s backyard is off limits to the infrastructure needed to replace fossil fuels, the sky — that is, the atmosphere — is the ultimate limit, and we’ve very nearly reached it.


Cynthia Stancioff

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