Protesters Call for a Halt to Three Massachusetts Pipeline Projects
July 20, 2016 - storage organizer
Hundreds of environmental activists protested during a Massachusetts Statehouse this week opposite healthy gas tube projects that would significantly boost a volume of fracked gas delivered to a eastern partial of a state. Pipeline opponents pronounced a combined ability isn’t needed, would rest on increases in consumer application rates, and would close a state into destiny coherence on hoary fuels and their associated emissions for decades.
“We strongly trust that it is good past time to stop building hoary fuel infrastructure and to make certain that all of a appetite that comes online is purify appetite that we feel good about being contingent on for a subsequent few decades,” pronounced Craig Altemose, executive executive of Better Future Project and an organizer of a protest.
Altemose addressed some-more than 200 supporters Monday morning after a four-day, 43-mile impetus along 3 contested Spectra Energy tube projects finished in a convene inside a state capital. It was a latest in a array of high-profile protests this summer that enclosed a Jun 29 detain of Al Gore’s daughter, Karenna Gore, and prominent meridian romantic Tim DeChristopher during a tube construction site in Boston.
They come as due hoary fuel infastructure projects national face a brew of grassroots antithesis and antipathetic marketplace forces. This week, a city of Oakland, Calif., confirmed a anathema on a spark trade terminal. Since a Keystone XL tube was deserted by President Obama on meridian drift final November, during slightest dual dozen other due appetite projects have been deserted or delayed.
The Boston protests follow a news published in Nov by state profession ubiquitous Maura Healey that resolved the combined ability is not indispensable to accommodate electricity era needs in a state for a subsequent 15 years.
“The segment can contend electric trustworthiness by 2030, even though additional new healthy gas pipelines,” a news said. “Even underneath a ‘stressed system’ scenario, there are cheaper, rebate CO finish ways to safeguard electric reliability, like appetite potency and direct response, that are rebate unsure for ratepayers.”
Environmental advocates contend a tube projects run opposite to contracting glimmer rebate goals set by Massachusetts. In 2008, a state upheld legislation that mandates an 80 percent rebate in hothouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. The legislation, famous as The Global Warming Solutions Act was upheld by a state’s Supreme Judicial Court this May.
Spectra’s tube projects “really can’t be squared with a emissions form that Massachusetts needs to grasp in a subsequent 30 years,” David Ismay, a comparison profession for environmental advocacy organisation Conservation Law Foundation, said. “There is no approach to get from here to there by stability to bake a same volumes of gas and there is positively no approach to do it by blazing some-more gas than we now bake now.”
Marylee Hanley, executive of stakeholder overdo during Spectra Energy, pronounced a tube projects will yield “a critical source of reliable, affordable energy.”
Peter Lorenz, orator for a Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, pronounced Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration aims to variegate a state’s appetite portfolio to embody hydroelectric appetite from Canada and appetite potency measures. But he pronounced Baker also anticipates that combined healthy gas ability will be partial of that mix.
Spectra skeleton to finish 3 tube projects in a Boston area, dual of that have already been authorized by a state Department of Public Utilities to be saved by a rate boost to healthy gas consumers. The third, a $3 billion Access Northeast project, is a largest of a 3 and is now being reviewed by a DPU to be saved by a rate boost to electricity consumers. (If approved, Access Northeast, that also includes upgrades to a existent Algonquin Gas Transmission tube in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, would yield additional ability for gas-fired appetite plants.)
Collectively, a 3 projects would supplement 1.5 billion cubic feet of healthy gas smoothness ability to a segment per day, a scarcely 40 percent boost over stream capacity.
Funding for a projects in Massachusetts is contingent on capitulation from Angela O’Connor, a boss of DPU. O’Connor is a former lobbyist and boss of a New England Power Generators Association, an attention group. In 2008, she lobbied opposite The Global Warming Solutions Act in Massachusetts on interest of NEPGA. Some environmentalists pronounced O’Connor’s before lobbying efforts have played a purpose in her department’s support for gas pipelines, that Lorenz denied.
“The Department of Public Utilities, underneath a care of Chairwoman Angela O’Connor, stays committed to ensuring that application consumers are supposing with a many arguable use during a lowest probable cost, and that patron rights are protected,” he said.
“I consider she has a mindset that is substantially 20 years out of date,” pronounced Larry Chretien, executive director of the Energy Consumer Alliance of New England, a organisation that advocates for affordable and tolerable energy. “I consider that we can accommodate a appetite needs most some-more flexibly with stronger importance on appetite efficiency, direct response, grid modernization, storage of appetite and renewable appetite and she would have us dedicate ourselves prolonged tenure to augmenting amounts of hoary fuels.”
Ismay pronounced he fears a tube enlargement projects might also be an bid to pull hydraulically fractured gas from Pennsylvania by New England to trade terminals in Canada.
“The volumes of gas that they wish to move in are good above any reasonable projections of incremental nearby tenure need for a region,” Ismay said. “There are a series of applications for new trade comforts that are tentative in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They discuss that their supply will be entrance from a south, from New England, though they do not name their source of where they’re going to get it.”
Spectra mouthpiece Hanley said, “None of a plan have any skeleton to trade healthy gas.”
The Conservation Law Foundation and others appealed an Oct 2015 preference by a Massachusetts DPU to concede electric utilities to lift their rates to compensate for gas tube projects. Healey argued in preference of a appeal. The box was listened on May 5 by a state’s Supreme Court and a preference is still pending.
The Massachusetts Senate upheld an appetite check on Jun 30 that would demarcate a appropriation of tube projects by electricity rate increases. The check is now in a discussion cabinet with a House appetite check that did not find to demarcate such appropriation for new pipelines.