Boston Globe Thrashes Environmentalists for “Pipeline Absolutism”

In a welcome move, the Editorial Board of The Boston Globe has issued a public and much needed thrashing of environmentalists for their ardent opposition to pipelines entitled: Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll. In its opening paragraph, the declaration of the publication states (emphasis included):

To build the new $27 billion gas export plant on the Arctic Ocean that now keeps the lights on in Massachusetts, Russian firms bored wells into fragile permafrost; blasted a new international airport into a pristine landscape of reindeer, polar bears, and walrus; dredged the spawning grounds of the endangered Siberian sturgeon in the Gulf of Ob to accommodate large ships; and commissioned a fleet of 1,000-foot ice-breaking tankers likely to kill seals and disrupt whale habitat as they shuttle cargoes of super-cooled gas bound for Asia, Europe, and Everett.

On the plus side, though, they didn’t offend Pittsfield or Winthrop, Danvers or Groton, with even an inch of pipeline.


Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies. Public officials have leaned heavily on righteous-sounding stands against local fossil fuel projects, with scant consideration of the global impacts of their actions and a tacit expectation that some other country will build the infrastructure that we’re too good for.

As a result, to a greater extent than anywhere else in the United States, the Commonwealth now expects people in places like Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Yemen to shoulder the environmental burdens of providing natural gas that state policy makers have showily rejected here. The old environmentalist slogan — think globally and act locally — has been turned inside out in Massachusetts.

And there’s a trendy, but scientifically unfounded, national fixation on pipelines that state policy makers have chosen to accommodate. Climate advocates have put short-term tactical victories against fossil fuel infrastructure ahead of strategic progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They’ve obsessed over stopping domestic pipelines, no matter where those pipes go, what they carry, what fuels they displace, and how the ripple effects of those decisions may raise overall global greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental movement needs a reset, and so does Massachusetts policy. The real-world result of pipeline absolutism in Massachusetts this winter has been to steer energy customers to dirtier fuels like coal and oil, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. And the state is now in the indefensible position of blocking infrastructure here, while its public policies create demand for overseas fossil fuel infrastructure like the Yamal LNG plant — a project likely to inflict far greater near and long-term harm to the planet.

You can read the editorial in its entirety here.

This is a much needed smackdown of environmentalists and, best of all, it’s coming from a Leftist mainstream media outlet. The environmentalist movement is the sole political hurdle for energy production in this and other countries worldwide. Like has been said before, if pipeline construction is stopped, then fossil fuels are transported by ship, train or truck. All three of the latter methods not only increase the risk of accidents, but result in more carbon emissions.

Ultimately, the environmentalists don’t care because that is even more reason to press on. As far as they are concerned, all human activity, save theirs, needs to be stopped and they will go to great lengths to halt production and distribution of what they consider the root cause of the problem of their climate change dogma: fossil fuels.

The Boston Globe‘s editorial may not have much impact, but this is a welcome chink in the mainstream media’s Leftist armor.