Note: the following information was provided by Barbara L’Italien for
When local farm owners were trying to engage elected officials to support them in their campaign, many of them treated it as a photo opportunity. Barbara L’Italien instead did a full tour to hear her constituents’ concerns and discuss how she could support them.
“When someone comes out there to the farm like Senator L’Italien, and dons the work boots, and actually goes to visit every farm in this area and in this district to find out why we’re here, what we do, and understanding that agriculture, even though we’re local, we’re the backbone of America… that’s pretty impressive,” said Zuk.
The pipeline, in addition to expanding fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when L’Italien was working to speed up our transition to a 100% renewable energy economy, would have created a public health hazard and devastated farmlands and small businesses across the region without benefiting the communities. It would have been a burden on property values and posed public safety challenges for cities and towns throughout the area.
L’Italien worked closely with grassroots organizers like Zuk to resist the pipeline. She faithfully testified at every single Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hearing on the issue, sharing the stories of her constituents to amplify their voices. She used everything in her legislative toolchest to block Kinder Morgan’s agenda, including ensuring ratepayers would not have to subsidize the fossil fuel expansion, ultimately forcing the company to back down.
“I’ve always stood up for working families against the wealthy and powerful, and I’ll never let corporate bottom lines be more important than our communities or our children’s futures,” L’Italien said. “We need to stop letting the fossil fuel industry call the shots. I was proud to fight alongside Caroline and activists like her to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and I am honored to have her support. I look forward to putting my experience to work for the climate action we need in Washington.”
The pipeline would have rolled through cities and towns including Andover, Ashburnham, Ashby, Dracut, Dunstable, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Lunenberg, Methuen, Pepperell, Townsend, Tyngsborough and Winchendon.
Barbara has made stopping further development of fossil fuel infrastructure a central part of her approach on climate change. Her comprehensive environment and energy platform can be read here
The full series of “Mom on a Mission” videos from Barbara’s supporters can be found here
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