Anthony Fyden: Say no to green power grab, don’t let go of local control

Four towns lie beneath the waters of the Quabbin Reservoir, sacrificed to create a water supply for eastern Massachusetts.

Four towns lie beneath the waters of the Quabbin Reservoir, sacrificed to create a water supply for eastern Massachusetts. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap

Published: 06-20-2024 3:40 PM

In 1939, the flooding of the Quabbin Reservoir began, drowning four western Massachusetts towns to quench Boston’s thirst for growth. In a way, history is about to repeat itself, this time in pursuit of green energy dollars.

Boston politicians and corporations are kicking local control (democracy) to the curb for favored energy development. A faceless committee will make siting decisions that alter our communities. Locals will have little say when farmland and forests are flooded with ugly solar panels, toxic lithium batteries, and bird-dissecting turbines.

Make no mistake, the only thing green about this revolution is the cash that’s up for grabs. The destruction of our environment (in the name of protecting our environment, if you’re a fan of irony) is underway.

It’s a money grab that requires a land grab, and western Mass. has something the East lacks: open land. Are we really going to let this happen? Perhaps it’s time to wake up. They’re coming for our farms. They’re coming for our forests. Gov. Maura Healey and her friends do not care what we think.

Perhaps one day, people will vaguely recall the “lost towns of the Pioneer Valley,” now buried under acres of mercury-oozing panels or smoldering battery hulls. “There used to be farms here,” they’ll marvel, or, “you can still see the outlines of streets as you fly over.” 

In 1927, the state passed the Swift River Act, ceding local control. Four towns disappeared under the Quabbin. Are we going to let them do it again?

Anthony Fyden

Hadley

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