Ayotte Staffer Gets a Pipeline Earful

Christopher Connelly, a member of U.S. Senator Ayotte’s staff, visited Mason, NH, on Tuesday November 17, 2015, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (actually 4:30 since Mr. Connelly was held captive a bit longer).

Mr. Connelly’s business card indicates he is “Special Assistant – First Responder, Homeland Security and Justice” to U.S. Senator Ayotte. He himself indicated that he was “not versed in pipeline issues”, but probably got a quick education by around 10 or so residents that attended.

Dennis Gauvin, member of the New Ipswich pipeline task force, indicated that this might be a good time for Senator Ayotte to differentiate herself from her soon to be opponent N.H. Governor Hassan. This sentiment was later echoed by others in the audience who were apparently not impressed by Governor Hassan’s statements during newspaper interviews or when she visited Mason.

Mason Selectman Moser stated that “FERC is not looking at the global picture.” He suggested that existing infrastructure should be utilized at capacity before any new pipelines are built. Mr. Moser also suggested that Kinder Morgan is “segmenting” its project because “the number of compressor stations in the design would not allow it to run at capacity”. He suggested that a compressor station every 17 miles along the pipeline path might be the ultimate result, but achieved incrementally and hence was segmentation.

Mr Gauvin indicated that the Northeast Municipal Pipeline Coalition (Dracut Mass. et al) and the Municipal Coalition Against the Pipeline (Franklin County Mass towns, et al) are considering a larger consortium with the NH Municipal Pipeline Coalition.

Mason citizen Garth Fletcher and his wife Mason Conservation Commission member Liz Fletcher monopolized much of the conversation. Unfortunately due to the way they were facing and the acoustics in the room, this reporter only understood fragments of what was said. Hopefully Mr. Connelly took good notes, but he did put down his pen at times when the arguments got too long.

Welcome to Mason.

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