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.

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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?


Boston Herald Gets Its Irish Up

March 17, 2015

The faulty (but still fáilte) local tabloid is giving the umbrage-industrial complex a bad name. For the second day in a row, the Boston Herald is mewling about the so-called jokes at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

Start with yesterday’s Herald:

Baker teams with T chief to yuk it up over rail fail

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Gov. Charlie Baker’s appearance alongside embattled MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott in a skit goofing on the transit system’s winter woes got a chilly reception from some who say it runs counter to Baker’s image as a reformer of the troubled authority.

“I think it would be prudent to try to avoid making a joke out of it,” said David Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute, who noted that the commuter rail is still operating on a reduced schedule.

“This was a mistake for him. It’s in bad taste. It’s not amusing to people who are still putting up with the inconvenience of a situation that’s gone on for weeks now, well beyond the period when we had a lot of snow.”

 

The piece included a different critique from one local solon: “[A]ll of these highly produced skits seem to be supplanting the genuineness of the event as it had been in years past,” state Sen. Robert Hedlund said. “It’s become more of an over-the-top production.”

As has the Herald’s rail fail crusade. Today’s front page, lower left:

 

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Story inside:

Baker defends jokes

‘If you can’t poke fun at yourself, you’re not getting it’

Gov. Charlie Baker is standing by his MBTA skit at South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast — and doubled down last night at another holiday dinner in Lowell, where he mocked the transit agency’s dysfunctional commuter rail line.

“It was an opportunity for all of us to sort of poke fun at ourselves, and let’s face it, we all know it’s been a long winter. The MBTA had some issues we worked pretty hard with them to fix,” Baker told the Herald last night. “If you can’t poke fun at yourself, you’re 031615bakerjb01not getting it.”

Baker drew some chuckles at the St. Patrick’s Day fete in Lowell, when he joked that during the height of the storms he would be told a number of commuter rail engines were ready to go the next day — only to see that number shrink the following morning.

“I was like, what are these things, teenagers? ‘I got up this morning, Dad looked at me kind of funny. I was out drinking last night. I’m sorry.’ … I wish I was kidding, but the simple truth is the main reason we had so much trouble with the commuter rail is because inside those big, brawny locomotives beats the heart of a 16-year-old,” Baker said.

 

Now that’s not funny.

The frosty local tabloid also got chilly about some gag props.

Newly minted Attorney General Maura Healey also drew some heat for holding up several fake subpoenas at the Sunday breakfast, and jokingly telling lawmakers in the crowd, “Some of you might be familiar with these. So laugh.”

Santa Clara University Law School professor Margalynne Armstrong found the joke inappropriate for the state’s top lawwoman.

“She needs to make sure she gives the office the respect it deserves. It’s important to not treat her power lightly,” Armstrong said. “The decent thing to do would be to apologize. And it should be a real apology.”

 

Really, where are they finding these folks?

Regardless, new motto for the Herald: Erin Go Blah!