MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines

Gavel-falling.jpgIn September 2015, MDN told you that the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) approved long-term contracts for three utilities–Berkshire Gas, National Grid and Columbia Gas–to buy natural gas supplies from Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, IF it gets built (see Mass. Approves Plan for Utilities to Buy Gas from New Pipeline). At the time we warned you that the global warming-mongers were not happy and threatening to sue the state. They did. The left-leaning Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed an appeal of the DPU’s decision with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in hopes that they can stop the project from being built if they can dry up demand from utility companies–i.e., prevent the utilities from buying NED gas (see Anti Group Sues to Stop Mass. Utilities from Buying Natural Gas). In the meantime, Kinder Morgan abandoned the NED project (see NED is Dead – Kinder Morgan Suspends $3.3B New England Pipeline). However, the lawsuit lives on. There are more pipelines that may be affected by such a decision, including Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast pipeline project–still very much alive. The worst has now happened. The MA Supreme Court has just ruled that utility companies, which are heavily regulated and the prices they can charge controlled, cannot pass along the cost of a pipeline to electric ratepayers…

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