MA Bill Prevents Pipeline Costs from Passing to Electric Customers

Part of the opposition to pipelines in states like Massachusetts centers on the issue of whether or not the gas flowing through the pipeline will get exported. For sure the majority of the gas will be used in places like Massachusetts–and some of that will go to consumers–but a great deal of it will go to electric generating plants, to lower the incredibly high cost of electricity in New England. Because the customers for the gas are electric utilities, and because the utilities don’t have piles of cash laying around, the utilities (in some cases, not all cases) want to pass along some of the cost of the proposed pipelines to electric rate payers. That is, electric customers. You and me. The response from anti-drillers is, “Hey–since a lot of this gas will get exported anyway, not benefiting the state, why should electric rate payers bear the cost of building the pipeline?” And so some anti-drilling state legislators have introduced a bill that would prevent any pipeline cost from being passed on to Massachusetts rate payers if ANY of the gas in that pipeline eventually gets exported. Do anti-drillers, in this case, have a point?…

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