New England families and businesses currently pay the highest prices in the country for natural gas even though an abundant, low-cost source is just 300 miles away. Around 2000, the region made the decision to move away from coal- and oil-fired power plants for environmental and economic reasons, and constructed approximately 12,000 MW of new, highly efficient, combined-cycle natural gas-fired generation capacity. The region did not at the time expand its long-existing natural gas pipelines coming into the region, and that was sufficient for some time. But as homes and businesses began to finally wean off of oil for heating and industrial purposes, existing pipeline capacity has become extremely scarce. As a consequence, we have reverted to coal and oil for electricity during the winter, undermining our environmental and economic goals. At CLEC, we support the addition of two new or expanded pipelines to carry the necessary 2 billion cubic feet of additional capacity we need to end to our reliance on coal and oil and bring clean and affordable energy to all of New England.
Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.’s recent study “Massachusetts Low Gas Demand Analysis: Final Report” has confirmed what countless other studies have found: New England needs additional natural gas pipeline capacity to reliably meet demand for natural gas.
The construction of two billion cubic feet per day (2 Bcf/d) of new natural gas pipeline capacity into New England is the single most impactful action that can be taken now to improve New England’s environment and economy.
+1 - Direct Testimony MA