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Physician fleeing Pennsylvania gas wells fights Berkshire pipeline

By Karen Andrews Sunday, Aug 3

Editor’s Note: Karen Andrews has transcribed parts of a Pittsfield Community Television interview of Dr. Mehernosh Kahn on Pittsfield Community Television (see below). He was interviewed by Rachel Branch and Jane Winn of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team. He talked about his assessment of the health and environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the process by which natural gas is extracted from deep within the earth. Because of his experiences as a physician in Pennsylvania, he has become a staunch opponent of the proposed Kinder-Morgan natural gas pipeline network that would transect the Berkshires and Massachusetts in order to bring natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to the East Coast for export.

If for no other reason than to stop and see exactly where we are headed, I think we need to put a halt to all fracking activities going on in this country for at least a year. We need to take a little break. We are not well. We cannot think straight anymore. We are in a panic. We are on a path of not just self-destruction, but extinction. Fracking is just a bad, bad idea. Transporting its offspring is only enabling this insanity.

The silly thing is that if we did even half of what countries like Germany are doing to conserve and increase the efficiency of our energy infrastructure we wouldn’t even have to consider these nightmarish options. Our European counterpart created almost 2 million new jobs in alternative energy the last seven years while we were busy poisoning ourselves.

Destroying a pristine and healthy environment like the Berkshires to build unnecessary, oversized, pressurized pipelines to transport natural gas laced with lethal (and possibly radioactive) chemicals for home heating or to power our ridiculous excesses in electrical usage is just plain mental illness. We need a time-out.

Dr. Mehernosh Khan is a board certified family physician and holds a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. He had been in practice in Pittsburgh, Pa., for the last 30 years but he recently moved, along with his wife, Karen, who is an artist and an evironmentalist, to Berkshire County. They decided to move after a lengthy and unsuccessful battle in Pennsylvania to enact a moratorium on gas fracking until all the health effects of this process could be evaluated. He and his wife have  purchased a residence in Richmond where they live with their two cats. If we need testimony about the health risks of fracking, listen to what Dr. Mehernosh Kahn, a family practice physician with Lenox Commons, part of Berkshire Health Systems, has to say. He fled his practice in Pennsylvania with his family because the state of Pennsylvania is allowing unimpeded drilling of the Marcellus Shale, resulting in thousands of fracking wells that are poisoning water supplies and endangering people’s health.

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