Forum to Discuss Gas Fracking, State Energy Policy at Library

A Halliburton gas fracking Operation. (Photograph by Joshua Doubek, Creative Commons.)

A Halliburton gas fracking Operation. (Photograph by Joshua Doubek, Creative Commons.)

A panel will gather next week at the Haverhill Public Library to try to answer the questions, “Do we need new fracked gas pipelines? What Is Our Alternative?”

Speakers include Massachusetts Sierra Club Chair Cathy Buckley; Nathan Phillips, executive committee, Massachusetts Sierra Club and professor of Earth and Environment, Boston University; and Joel Wool, Environmental Advocate, Clean Water Action. Also invited is Christophe Courchesne, chief, Environmental Protection Division, Office of the Attorney General. The moderator is Richard Smythe, of Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, which is co-sponsoring the discussion with Clean Water Action and the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

“As Massachusetts retires its remaining coal plant and prepares to retire its nuclear one, we face an unprecedented opportunity to power our state with clean, renewable, locally-produced electricity,” a statement says. “The price of offshore wind and solar continue to drop, while the costs of fossil fuels like natural gas remain volatile and subject to global market fluctuations. Innovative methods to improve energy efficiency and energy conservation can decrease our energy needs and bills, plus create local jobs.”

The panel meets Thursday, May 26, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main St. the public is asked to reserve seats at

The discussion will highlight climate justice issues and the challenges facing Massachusetts as legislators consider energy policy that will influence our economy and environment.