To the editor:
In the Nov. 15 Salem News, state Rep. John Keenan was quoted as saying he needed to block legal appeals for the proposed gas-fired power plant in Salem because of “frivolous appeals likely to halt the plant’s timely development.” (“Keenan, CLF spar over Salem power plant”) As one of the 10-person group seeking to intervene through the Conservation Law Foundation appeal, I find this dismissal of the community’s concerns and the move to short-circuit the legal process undemocratic and short-sighted.
The appeal is based on Footprint’s inability to show that it will comply with the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act passed in 2008 to address the growing climate crisis. Building more fossil-fuel infrastructure goes against reason when scientists are telling us we are running out of time to stop a climate catastrophe threatening our own extinction. The Cape Wind project appeals slowed down the installation of a renewable energy source for 12 years. But a fossil-fuel plant needs to be fast-tracked?
The need for the Global Warming Solutions Act and the suffering due to the unprecedented rise in temperature we are experiencing now cannot be more graphic than the images coming from the Philippines, as humanity faces its own inability to respond to such devastation. I don’t for a moment believe that having a gas-fired power plant replace Dominion’s coal plant is the only way to halt the specter of a shuttered power plant on the Salem Harbor, nor do I believe that requiring Footprint to go through the process designed to regulate our energy producers will subject us to “rolling brownouts” as Rep. Keenan states.
North Shore coordinator