Made Whole – Lisa Derby Oden

Lisa Derby Oden

New Ipswich, NH 03071


August 3, 2015

Dear Senator Shaheen, Senator Ayotte, Representative Kuster, and Governor Hassan,

I am contacting you regarding the NED Pipeline. I live in New Ipswich and have contacted you before about this. I was going to send you another well-reasoned letter. But I know that I’ll get another form letter that outlines how you have asked for the process to be transparent and for more time. If you have looked into this at all, you understand that the process is broken, and everyone passes the buck to the next person saying, “I don’t make the decision, it is up to so and so, I only do XYZ.” Presidential candidates say that this is local issue. If that’s true, why is FERC involved at all – why do they get the say of public need and convenience? More buck passing. I am disappointed with your ineffectual and hollow attempts to placate us and your unwillingness to step up and oppose the NED Pipeline, so I decided to share my feelings with you instead.

Under the Dome in New Ipswich

I go to bed, fall asleep, and the dream begins. But it’s more of a nightmare really. A recurring nightmare that I’ve been having for several months now. I dream that my home and my town is under attack, that I must get out. But how can I possibly leave? My heart is torn as tears run down my face and I sob uncontrollably. I don’t understand – how can my town be under attack? How did this happen – where did it come from? I would understand it better if it were an attack from enemies from outside our country’s borders. But this is far worse. It is an attack from within our own country, our own system. From “a good corporate neighbor.” They call it “for the greater good.” I call it domestic terrorism of the purist kind.

As I stand shoulder to shoulder with many good neighbors, a few turn their backs. They say it isn’t happening. They say it’s no concern to them. They say the monster isn’t directly next door to them. They turn their backs, won’t listen, walk away. I fear for them more than I fear for myself. I know for them it will be too late that they come awake, come out of their trance of denial. Once they are poisoned and imprisoned they will ask “How did this happen?” “Why didn’t I know?” How come someone didn’t stop them?” And it will still be too late. Their health, their property and their town will already have suffered damage that can’t be undone, damage that holds them prisoner into the future.

I turn and look over my property – this place that I have spent blood, sweat and tears to build. This place that I have scraped and saved and staved off bankruptcy had I chosen that road. This place that I have poured my heart and soul into. This place that is the resting place for Steve, Gennee, Siuler, Blessing, JJ, and little cat. This place that is my HOME… But my decision is simple enough though it rocks me to my core. I must leave or be poisoned. For the profit of the “good corporate neighbor,” for “the greater good”.

My good neighbors and I work together tirelessly, in the trenches, battling the monster and cry for help from our town and state leaders. But the monster has tentacles that have grasped them and dosed them with thealmightybuckandpower drug that makes them believe that the poison is benign, that in fact it is good. They say they are “neutral.” I can see that they have been neutered and are cowards. They tell me and my good neighbors that we are wrong, that this won’t hurt. That we need this poison for the good of the state and neighboring states. That we should absorb the poison for the good of all, for “the greater good.” That we should sacrifice what we have worked so hard for our entire lives – our health and our homes – because the monster is really a good neighbor too.

They cavalierly say that they would live near the monster if it were in their town. Really? They would consciously choose to live near a poison emitting monster, knowing that it will impact their health? Really? They would willingly give up 50% or more of the value of their home if they chose to move away from the monster? Really? I ask them to prove it. I ask them to walk their talk. I ask them to come to my town and buy a home and live here. There is never a response when I ask them this, only more turned backs, deaf ears and the sound of them walking quickly away. Live Free or Die….they will live free at our expense and just watch while we get sick…..while our animals and pets get sick….while our land withers…while we die. But, yes they say, they would willingly choose this. Really? I can see that the emperor’s still got no clothes.

As my angst, pain, anger and disbelief grow, I wake up. Only then is it that I realize that I am not sleeping and I am not having a nightmare. I am living one. And what I have just come to understand is that mitigation is simply not enough. I must be made whole. For all the sleepless nights I’ve had since January. For the lost spring and summer spent working hard to keep the monster away while I see others having a nice spring and summer, unaffected by these horrors. I want another place that equals this one, no matter what the cost. I should not lose or suffer because of the monster. The monster should go away, or the monster should be the one to pay, instead of me, instead of my neighbors, shoulder to shoulder who are also in living in this agony, this hell. I want the years of happiness and, yes, heartache, back to reinvest somewhere else. I want the hours upon bug-bitten hours of planting, nurturing and tending lilies, iris, Echinacea, peonies, rhododendron, hosta, clematis, bee balm, hollyhock, bleeding hearts, rudbeckia and other plants back so I can plant gardens anew in a home that won’t be invaded by this uncontrolled monster that spews poison with no conscience, no substantive and effective regulation, and no one leader willing to rear up and take a stand against it. I want the energy, excitement and deep satisfaction back – of having cleared the land, picked rocks, planted pasture, put up fencing, built my house and barn and created my personal sanctuary, my dream-come-true – so that I might rise like a phoenix one more time to start over. I want responsible leaders and representatives, who have not been emasculated, lost sight of their origins, their morals, and of equity and fairness, who haven’t been bought out by big business monsters and aren’t drugged with the promise of power.

I want to know why anything I do makes a difference – why does earning a living, paying my taxes, voting, saving for retirement, being a responsible contributing citizen – why does any of it matter if I can be poisoned in the name of greed, power and the permeating corruption of our system, “for the greater good”? Why shouldn’t I lie, cheat, steal, turn a deaf ear to those in need, following the role model that my leaders and the monster show me is the key to success and that has become the American way. I want to get up happy with the day again and have my positive and forgiving self restored – rather than turning into someone that hopes that the monster and leaders will one day also be subject to someone else’s unseen hand rolling the dice so that they face losing all that they have ever worked for and that is precious to them, and that they find themselves helpless, with no meaningful recourse, and no one who will stand up for their rescue.


In closing I have a question: If you are unwilling to oppose NED, why aren’t you DEMANDING that Kinder Morgan make ALL IMPACTED citizens whole? I know that this letter will be responded to with yet another form letter from your staff, but I hope that they will at least pass this along to you so you can have a deeper understanding of how you are ruining people’s lives.

Most sincerely,

Lisa Derby Oden