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Audible Cafe Radio Show and Podcast

Feb 6, 2020

Hi and welcome to Audible Café.

Today, I bring you my interview with Alice Arena, Executive Director of the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, or FRRACS. Their website is

The Weymouth Compressor Station is part of the proposal for Atlantic Bridge, a SPECTRA Energy pipeline project that pumps fracked gas from fracking fields in the midwest through New England to…where? to whom? Well, that’s a good question. The story has continued to change as the company strives to build this monster. Initially, it was supposed to be for residents in New England. Now, the gas will go to Canada, and then for export. No local benefit at all.

Construction of the 7,700 hp compressor station is now underway, and it is being protested and opposed, both at the site and in the courts. It’s been a long, long fight, and the opposition is NOT going away!

SPECTRA Energy is a Houston-based energy conglomerate with a market capitalization of approximately $17 Billion dollars. They have since merged with Enbridge, one of the largest oil and gas companies in North America.

This is our money building these projects, friends. Without federal and state subsidies, these companies would not exist. According to “Since FY2000 to the present, Enbridge, parent company now of Spectra Energy, received are $152,103,978.  Note: Dollar totals do not include awards for which no subsidy value is disclosed.” What the heck does THAT mean?

I dug one page deeper into the above subsidy report to look at one of the awards, just randomly, from the State of Louisiana “Quality Jobs Program” administered by the Commerce and Industry Board. The value of the subsidy was  $3,211,615 and it created 10 jobs. That’s right, 10 jobs.   Seems unbelievable, but check it out:

Enbridge/Spectra was working in conjunction with Eversource Energy and National Grid on an ambitious expansion of the Natural Gas infrastructure in the Northeast. Both Eversource and National Grid stated that the compressor station is now unnecessary to meet customer demand. So why are they still building it?

The history of the application, permitting process, and opposition to the project is long, since it all started in 2015. You can read all about it at the site — there are excellent resources there, including a detailed timeline of all that has transpired on this project, leading up to today.

Here are just a few of the THREATS that this project poses:

  • This compressor would be built in the most densely populated location ever for a compressor station built in the US.
  • Operations run counter to the state’s emissions reduction goals.
  • The project will further devastate the coastal environment of the Fore River Basin.
  • The herring run, already under siege, will be further compromised. Each year, thousands of herring swim from Boston Harbor to Whitman's Pond through the Weymouth Back River.
  • The Fore River hosts the largest Smelt Run in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Is there no end to the destruction of natural systems we will undertake for money?
  • This project is only one part of the immeasurable damage to the environment from the fracked gas industry. The project serves to prop up the fracked gas industry.
  • Residents in the area — who have faced pollution from industrial sites for decades — have legitimate fears about potential health impacts.
  • There is asbestos in the soil at this project site, and it’s been documented by the state as a threat if soil is disturbed - there are signs posted on the property that state this fact. It’s hard to build something without disturbing the soil! So how is that contamination going to be contained. They may be trying, but it can’t be done.

Thank you, Alice, for being so generous with your time, and for your dedication in working tirelessly to protect the environment and the people of the Fore River Basin.

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!


Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station

No Fracked Gas in Mass

Good Jobs First / Subsidy Tracker