Editor, The Spotlight;
I appeal to the citizens of Bethlehem to write to our state representatives to oppose the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) gas pipeline that would transit New York State from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. My objections include the following:
1. You have instituted a statewide moratorium on fracking activities, yet this pipeline has as its only purpose to transport fracked gas. If construction is approved, your moratorium will be attacked by fracking proponents across the political spectrum. They will ask how you deny New York property owners the right to use their land to drill for gas while requiring others to cede their rights to a pipeline that will transport gas produced by non-state residents to non-state customers.
2. The pipeline’s stated purpose is to provide gas for customers outside New York State, yet it provides no economic benefit to state residents beyond the temporary benefit of some construction jobs and (presumably) a lasting benefit to a very small number of maintenance employees.
3. As an investment adviser, I have looked at the financial condition of the pipeline’s parent corporation, Kinder Morgan, and find serious concerns regarding its cash flow, its capitalization and its stock price. Its dividend has recently been cut by 75 percent, its debt/equity ratio is high and its stock has recently lost two-thirds of its value. These raise concerns about the company’s ability to properly build the pipeline and maintain it over its useful life.