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Audible Cafe Radio Show and Podcast

Nov 5, 2019

Welcome to the Audible Café podcast!

Today’s show is a Special Edition tied to an event happening in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on Thursday. Even if you can’t get to the event, I hope you’ll listen, because today we’re talking about the dangers and implications of using fracked gas as an energy source for heating and cooking, and for making electricity. And about one terrible disaster not the first, unfortunately probably not the last  that resulted from piping fracked gas under extremely high pressure into neighborhoods and homes.

In this episode, I speak with Rosemary Wessel of No Fracked Gas in Mass, Logan Malik of BEAT and No Fracked Gas in Mass, and Dr. Curt Nordgaard, a pediatrician who researches and presents on the health impacts of gas. 

On September 13, 2018, excessive pressure in natural gas lines owned by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts caused a series of explosions and fires to occur in as many as 40 homes, with over 80 individual fires, in the Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. One person was killed and 30,000 were forced to evacuate their homes.

The film Under Pressure will be shown this Thursday, November 7th, at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield. The event, which includes a discussion with experts afterwards, is sponsored by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), 350-Berkshire Node, No Fracked Gas in Mass, Indivisible Pittsfield, and the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Under Pressure is a documentary created by the class of 2019 at Four Rivers Charter Public School, which is quite an impressive feat on its own. The film explores the complex truth of fracked gas as an energy source as well as the struggles of local families and small businesses as they attempt to rebuild their lives after this unprecedented gas distribution system disaster.

The discussion following the film will be led by Dr. Curt Nordgaard, a pediatrician from Newton, Mass who for the last several years has been investigating and lecturing on the health impacts of fracked gas infrastructure, and Nathan Phillips, a professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University who has been working with HEET and other organizations to track fracked gas system leaks at Aliso Canyon and in the greater Boston area.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Rosemary Wessel, Logan Malik, and Dr. Curt Nordgaard. Unfortunately, because of short notice, I was unable to connect with Professor Nathan Phillips, but I look forward to meeting him on Thursday.

So please enjoy this Special Edition of Audible Café!

Thank you, Rosemary Wessel, Logan Malik, and Dr. Curt Nordgaard, for being so generous with your time. For those of you in or near the Berkshires, I hope you can make it on Thursday to view this important film and to take part in the discussion.

As always, you can learn more and access archives and show notes with lots of resources at, or visit the FB page - just search for Audible Café, or follow us on Twitter @audiblecafe. If you listen on iTunes, please subscribe, and leave us a review. It’s helps a lot. We appreciate your feedback. So if you’d like to get directly in touch with us, email

Thanks again, and have a great week!



Under Pressure Pittsfield Screening Event Page

Under Deadline: The Making of the 2018-2019 Energy Documentary (YouTube video)

Rosemary Wessel - Director of No Fracked Gas in Mass (a program of Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Logan Malik - Advocacy Coordinator for BEAT and Deputy Director of No Fracked Gas in Mass

Dr. Curtis Nordgaard

Professor Nathan Phillips - Boston University

Proposed Massachusetts Legislation mentioned in this episode:

S.1958 / H.2836 An Act transitioning Massachusetts to 100 per cent renewable energy

H.3983, An Act to create a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth

H.2812, An Act Clarifying Authority and Responsibilities of the Department of Public Utilities

H.2810 An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions

S.453/H.826 and S.464/H.761 - An Act relative to Environmental Justice