Enbridge Withdraws $3B Access Northeast Pipeline Application

Last December Spectra Energy pushed the pause button on their Access Northeast Pipeline project, a roughly $3 billion project in New England to connect four existing pipeline systems (with enhancements): Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast (see Spectra Energy Puts Access Northeast Pipe to New England on Hold). Spectra’s original strategy was to bring natural gas to New England by cutting deals with electric companies who need the gas to produce cheaper electricity at their natgas-fired power generation plants. However, the green environmental Nazis came out in force against the plan, (sadly) aided and abetted by Spectra’s competitors, and those plans are now in ruins with three states blocking any such plans. So Spectra changed strategies, targeting local natural gas distribution companies (LDCs) as potential customers (see Spectra Energy Changes Strategy re New England Pipeline). Spectra needs customers to sign on the dotted line–committing to long-term contracts–before they can raise the funding and build the project, so they pushed the pause button last December. Since that time, Spectra completed selling itself to Enbridge (see Spectra Energy is No More – $28B Merger with Enbridge Complete). So just to confuse things, the Access Northeast project is now an Enbridge project. Yesterday Enbridge sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that oversees such projects, to officially withdraw the application. But the project is NOT dead. Enbridge says they will be back to file again–once the New England states get their energy policy crap together…

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