Massachusetts Backdoor Pipeline Ban Sailing Thru Legislature

One of the way pipeline companies afford to invest billions of dollars to build pipelines is via long-term contracts from would-be users of that pipeline. In Massachusetts, Spectra Energy (now a part of Enbridge) brokered deals with utility companies to provide them with cheap, clean-burning Marcellus/Utica natural gas. In order for those utilities to afford it, they would need to pass along some of the cost of building the pipeline to reach them. Wait, what? Electric customers would have to pay for a natural gas pipeline? Well, yes! Because the new, cheaper gas would produce electricity at a lower cost, thereby lowering their monthly electric bills. They benefit, directly, from such a pipeline. However, radical leftists took that arrangement to court and in August 2016 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled utilities could not pass along costs for pipelines to electric customers (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). For a variety of reasons, with that decision being one of the biggest, Spectra/Enbridge later decided to mothball plans for their pipeline project, in June of this year (see Enbridge Withdraws $3B Access Northeast Pipeline Application). The Massachusetts legislature is full of lefties, and they don’t want to leave anything to chance–that maybe in the future such a deal will come around again. So a pair of bills are now sailing through the legislature will make it permanently illegal for utilities to pass along the cost of pipelines to electricity customers. In essence, it’s a backdoor move to ban any more pipelines from getting built in the Bay State…

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