A Specter Haunts New England

A new fracked gas pipeline offensive is on the horizon. Fossil fuel forces are on the attack, aggressively seeking a legislative opportunity, and counting on our complacency because of the success we’ve had to date.  

Why worry?

  1. As soon as it got cold, Eversource began blaming the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) for rejecting the pipeline tax, and the environmental community for defeating the Access Northeast Pipeline.
  2. Eversource simultaneously sought to silence its critics, threatening to sue the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental organization, for reporting that they manipulated prices during the 2014 polar vortex – resulting in $3.6 billion of consumer overcharges.
  3. Pipeline proponents, with characteristic chutzpah, used market spikes of a few hours in 2018 to claim that New England ratepayers pay “the highest price on the planet” for gas, as if that was a permanent reality.
  4. ISO-New England issued a highly pessimistic report, based on faulty assumptions. that blackouts are likely in 2024, due to lack of pipeline capacity. The facts have been refuted, but the report remains as a talking point.
  5. The Baker Administration is still saying we need more gas to “diversify our energy supply” even though gas already accounts for 60% of our energy supply.
  6. Senator Pacheco’s 134-page omnibus energy bill was attacked editorially for two sentences that would codify the SJC decision prohibiting ratepayers from paying for pipelines.  In fact, the state’s leading newspaper has editorialized in favor of pipelines four times in the last seven weeks, saying that pipeline opponents were to blame for the Russian natural gas extraction’s impact on wildlife.  

The gas pipeline forces are using an old playbook:  seize on a “crisis” for public relations momentum; organize their big business buddies; call in political favors from those whose pockets they’ve lined; and demonize the opposition. 

Make no mistake. This is a huge effort by a big utility that thinks they own the state, or at least its energy policies.  They will strike, suddenly and swiftly, and in the middle of the night. 

There is a way to defeat them. The Omnibus Energy Bill S.2302 contains a prohibition against the pipeline tax and many provisions that would accelerate our transformation to renewable energy.  Click here to contact your State Senator to ask him or her to support this important bill.