To the editor:
I would like to respond to Kinder Morgan spokesman Allen Fore’s comments in the Ledger on Oct. 6 where he says, “Companies should never have to resort to installing their own natural gas pipelines to cut down on energy costs and remain competitive.”
He’s right. Continental Paving realized the price of natural gas was cheaper than the cost of heating oil in the manufacturing of their asphalt. Because they were going to make a sizable financial contribution to get 7.2 miles of pipeline brought to them, Continental Paving proposed using their own company to provide the excavation, sand, gravel, paving, restoration, etc. The contractors that Liberty Utilities would have used were substantially more expensive. Continental only had to hire a crew of pipe fitters out of Maine who were qualified to install and join polyethylene gas pipe.
Mr. Fore neglects this part of the story. This was a unique and likely one-time occurrence.
In the 1990s, Hitchner Manufacturing in Milford realized the same thing Continental Paving did — they needed cheaper fuel. Energy North (now Liberty Utilities) used contractor R. H. White to install approximately 8 miles of 8” plastic pipe to that business. Hitchner made a sizable contribution to the project and, once the pipe reached Milford, many others were able to install gas to homes and businesses.
Finally, my town of Mason has 44 miles of road and 433 residences. When Mr. Fore came to town, he implied the pipeline would bring a local distribution system to town. Even with the ever-resourceful Continental Paving doing the digging, this is a business model that would never pass revenue rules. You don’t install 44 miles of pipe to reach 433 residences, even if you got them all.
Letter first published in the Monadnock Ledger. Reprinted here with permission from the author.
Internet for the rest of us, same argument?