Boston LNG Pipeline Protest: Little Noise Generated

May 4, 2016

From our What the Frack? desk

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, a tree-hugging consortium called Consumers for Sensible Energy has been insensibly spending tens of thousands of dollars on ads in the Boston Globe to little or no effect.

Here’s the group’s ad opposing a new pipeline and Liquified Natural Gas facility for Eastern Massachusetts.

 

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Yesterday, they took their message to the State House steps in Boston, also to little or no effect. The  protest got some coverage in the Salem News and the Berkshire Eagle,   but a long MassLive story about the Senate’s climate committee hearing yesterday made no mention of the protest. The Boston Globe and Boston Herald had nothing about any of it.

Even worse was the deafening silence on social media: The protest generated exactly one tweet at #StopThePipelineTax, the hashtag the group has spent all that ad money publicizing.

 

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Plug “Consumers for Sensible Energy” into the Twitter search box and you get exactly zero tweets about the protest.

Memo to Consumers for (All Those Dollars and No) Sensible Energy: Next time, just set your money on fire.


So Far #StopThePipelineTax Is Totally Out of Gas

May 3, 2016

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, a cabal of tree-huggers called Consumers for Sensible Energy has been running this ad in the Boston Globe.

 

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The objective is to derail Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast project, “which would expand and add new pipeline from West Boylston to Weymouth and down to Acushnet. It calls for the construction of a massive liquefied natural gas facility and new compressor station on the South Coast and South Shore.”

But #StopThePipelineTax has so far been a bust, drawing “No Results” a day after the group’s first ad ran, and only this a day (and another ad) later.

 

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So, to recap: One-half of the responses to this six-figure ad campaign have come from . . . us.

Consumers for (All Those Dollars and No) Sensible Energy has scheduled a State House rally at 11:30 today.

We’ll let you know how it goes.


Is #StopThePipelineTax Already Out of Gas?

May 2, 2016

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

An outfit called Consumers for Sensible Energy ran this ad in the Boston Sunday Globe yesterday (but not the Boston Herald).

 

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The body copy:

 

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CFSE appears to be a consortium of every local non-profit that’s ever hugged a tree. From their Allies page:

 

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Here’s the issue, according to the group’s website:

Last Week, Kinder Morgan announced that it has suspended its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project to import fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New England and to connect to export terminals in Canada for shipment overseas.

That was great news, but it is only half the story. There is a second pipeline company proposing to import more fracked gas. And, once again consumers would pay for the $3 billion cost, with a monthly pipeline tax on their bills.

Spectra Energy has proposed its Access Northeast project, which would expand and add new pipeline from West Boylston to Weymouth and down to Acushnet. It calls for the construction of a massive liquefied natural gas facility and new compressor station on the South Coast and South Shore.

 

Among the Bad News Bearers about the other half of the story was this Globe piece last week.

Weymouth mayor continues talks with Spectra Energy despite local objection

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Mayor Robert Hedlund says he’s talking to Spectra Energy about a mitigation package involving millions of dollars for the town if the company builds a natural-gas compressor station near the Fore River Bridge — despite his opposition to the project and calls from local residents to stop the talks.

“It would be irresponsible not to talk with them,” Hedlund said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re backed into a corner.”

The offer calls for a $12 million payment in the fall of 2016, followed by another $1 million annually for the next 14 years, and potentially more in property tax adjustments, according to Hedlund’s office.

Hedlund said attorneys for the town advised him that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not appear to be swayed by Weymouth’s concerns that the compressor station posed a safety threat — and would probably approve Spectra’s plans soon. The federal agency has ultimate authority over the project.

 

Understandably, Consumers for Sensible Energy wants to mobilize the opposition quickly, so its website billboarded this.

 

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Ever diligent, the hardtweeting staff checked #StopThePipelineTax on Twitter and here’s what we found at 12 o’clock this morning.

 

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Just to be clear: 18 hours after their five-figure Boston Globe ad hit the front doors of 220,000 Greater Bostonians, Consumers for (Dollars But No) Sensible Energy had generated up to zero responses on social media.

All due respect, but what the frack?


EXTRA! Thirsty Local Tabloid Gets Ad Love!

June 25, 2015

From our Local Dailies DisADvantage desk

As the hardreading staff noted yesterday, the Boston Herald continues to be the wallflower at the local advertising dance.

Except today.

Lo and behold, occupying the entirety of page 9 was this ad, paid for by some outfit called the Coalition to Lower Energy Costs.

 

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Curious as always, we hied ourselves to the group’s website, which says this about the coalition:

The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs is a non-profit Massachusetts association of individual consumers, labor unions, larger energy consumers and institutions concerned about the threat to New England’s families and economy from skyrocketing natural gas and electric prices. The coalition advocates for the new infrastructure we need to give all of us access to an adequate natural gas supply and lower our energy cost. This will require substantial new pipeline capacity, including one new pipeline from western Massachusetts to Dracut.

 

Huh. We kind of assumed some natural gas companies might be involved. They could, of course, be those “institutions concerned about the threat to New England’s families and economy from skyrocketing natural gas and electric prices” the website mentions. The About Us page doesn’t say.

But WMUR’s redoubtable John DiStaso does in this piece.

Pro-gas pipeline group makes regional push with new TV ad

Coalition to Lower Energy cost has ties to Kinder Morgan energy firm

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MANCHESTER, N.H. —A group with ties to the proponents of the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, proposed by the Kinder Morgan energy company, has begun advertising on WMUR and other television stations in New England.

The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs has purchased time to air an ad 30 times over two weeks on the New Hampshire’s largest television station at a cost of more than $70,000.

Anthony Buxton, a Maine-based attorney who is a leader of the coalition and also represents Kinder Morgan in a Maine Public Utilities Commission proceeding, said plans call for the ad to air for a total of about three weeks on WMUR. He said it will also air on another New Hampshire television station, as well as two Maine stations and “several stations in Boston,” at a total cost of “several hundred thousand dollars.”

 

Here’s the spot:

 

 

So, mystery solved, yes? Well, no. Why run the print ad in the Herald but not the Boston Globe? Intrepid as ever, we’re sending an email to the coalition to ask.

Wanna know something else that’s strange? A different energy group – Nuclear Matters (you can read about them here) –  ran this full-page ad 0n A11 in today’s Globe.

 

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But that’s not the strange part. The strange part is the same ad ran on A13.

 

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Huh? We’re sending them an email too.

P.S. The Nuclear Matters ad also ran in the Herald. Good day for the firsty local tabloid, eh?