Gloucester Daily Times, Opinion, Letter, 3/11/13

To the editor:

I read your recent coverage of environmental concerns about the proposed Kinder Morgan gas pipeline (“Baker pressured to block pipeline surveys.” March 8), and walked away disappointed that a crucial summary of the benefits offered by clean energy sources was relegated to a few sentences.

As a business leader and lifelong three-season resident of Gloucester, I know how important access to reliable and affordable energy is to our economy. Embracing an expensive and risky pipeline presents economic concerns for all ratepayers. A key point to mention is the attorney general’s report you referenced clearly says energy efficiency and additional renewables are the most cost-effective way to meet consumers’ needs.

The Massachusetts clean energy industry is growing at an incredible rate — creating more than 98,000 good-paying local jobs and keeping countless millions of dollars in the state. It should be our top approach to meet our energy needs. According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, last year statewide renewable energy capacity surpassed 1 gigawatt, thanks to an industry that has grown by 64 percent in the past five years and is poised for even greater growth.

At the Alliance for Business Leadership, where I am a member, we see the proposed pipeline as an opportunity to spread the word about clean energy’s benefits. We know driving investment in the direction of this important local sector is good for the sake of our economy, our environment, and most importantly Massachusetts consumers.

Tedd Saunders