Representative John Hunt supported the pipeline, Pat Martin supported her community
Representative John Hunt supported the NED pipeline until the town of Rindge became so opposed he had to change his position.
Pat Martin opposed the pipeline from the beginning, outlining the reasons why energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy were the right options, and outdated fossil fuels were not.
FITZWILLIAM - Pat Martin opposed the pipeline from the beginning and does everything possible to protect the air, water, health, safety and well being of our region.
During the past two years, Pat has worked as hard as any state representative and then some. She was at the State House following and speaking at meetings, at rallies, marches and outreach events about the pipeline, up late night after night evaluating and deciphering complicated data from the utility companies like no one else. She wrote letters to the editor and worked to ensure pipeline opponents and legislators understood what the utility company proposals really meant in terms of costs to consumers as well as the environment.
Pat worked closely with other state representatives, prepping them for meetings and helping to write documents. She let the credit go to others, with only the end goal in mind, not ego.
While all of this was going on, Pat continued to volunteer for the Rindge newsletter, distributing it to various locations, attended community meetings, was the Chair of the Rindge Energy Commission, on the Board of the River Center, assisted with a dance class at Crotched Mountain and testified at FERC hearings. There is no other person more qualified to be state representative and no one with more dedication to doing the right thing for our communities.
Pat supports energy efficiency and volunteers each year to work with ConVal students as they learn about it at the Harris Center. She supports clean renewable energy and making sure that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) supports communities as much as it does for business.
Our community members need to take a long hard look at their choices. Are they going to choose against their own best interest, a man who stood by and told residents it was just so sad that they'd lose their homes and land, and put their water and health at risk, but he was going to support the pipeline anyway?
We didn't see John Hunt around or hear his voice above others. Our needs, our fears, our concerns for the health and welfare of our community and children was not his concern. It was Richmond's Representative Jim McConnell whom we saw at the events we held. We received far more support from Jim, than our own representative.
Pat, worked tirelessly as our unofficial representative, and was a crucial voice of reason in a sea of doubters, working to protect us all from the NED pipeline threat. She represented all of our Southwestern towns - Rindge, Fitzwilliam, Troy, Richmond and Winchester. Those who were not involved cannot imagine the massive community and regional effort it took to stop that pipeline. Those who stood in front of the cameras and spoke with the press were buoyed by her work, her voice and her knowledge. Pat is truly our unsung hero.
Representative Hunt's position on the NED pipeline only changed when he was forced by pipeline advocates to change position due to overwhelming community opposition to the pipeline. The true worth of a person is demonstrated in our weakest, most vulnerable moments. "Hunt, who lives in Rindge, is sympathetic but adamantly favors the pipeline. He says it is necessary to generate electricity in the state, to meet demand to prevent rising costs. The pipeline would also cut through his property, which is about 2 miles away from Seppala’s. “I certainly respect that it’s a little scary and problematic for Tyler, especially the issue of eminent domain,” said Hunt. “I would hope the utility would work out a deal with him. But, this is a necessity. This pipeline has to be built somewhere. We must have more electricity generation. It’s the basic law of supply and demand. We’re not going to solve it with windmills.” (Keene Sentinel, "In a moment, from resident to activist".)
As a Fitzwilliam resident, I welcome and support Pat as a progressive with our future in mind. I look forward to continuing my work with her and learning from her ever-mindful voice of reason, support & compassion, with the data and dedication to get things done and to stand up to those who would leave us in the path of harm. She gives up hope that we can and will do better for ourselves and each other.
* Photos from Keene Sentinel article. Pat Martin was testifying at a FERC hearing.