KM Board Approves Scaled-Back New England Pipeline for $3.3B

Yesterday the board of directors for Kinder Morgan approved a $3.3 billion investment in the company’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project–a huge project that includes a new supply pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY, and a new market delivery pipeline from Schoharie County, NY to Dracut, MA. It is the market delivery pipeline as it passes through both Massachusetts, into New Hampshire and then back into Massachusetts that seems to be stirring up the most controversy that the board approved yesterday with a price tag of $3.3B. But beneath the headline news that the board has given the OK to spend big money is the “real” story–which is that KM has chosen to build a smaller 30-inch pipeline rather than the pre-filed 36-inch pipeline they had hoped to build. Why? Because they haven’t gotten any major new customers to sign on for capacity in the pipeline since the initial open season (see Kinder Morgan Fails to Sign Up New NED Customers in Last 8 Mos). The smaller pipeline means smaller compressor stations. It also means a little less disruption when it’s built as KM will need less space to store pipes. But the more modest environmental impacts don’t assuage anti-fossil fuelers who want to eliminate all fossil fuels and, we suppose, go back to the stone ages with camp fires and animal skins for clothes…

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