New England Lawsuit Claims Utilities “Constrained” NatGas Pipeline

A class action lawsuit was filed last week by 12 New England power customers who claim that two New England utility companies–Eversource and Avangrid–intentionally manipulated the flow of gas along the Algonquin natural gas pipeline by placing and later withdrawing orders, in order to spike the cost of gas which then spiked the cost of electricity generated by the resulting higher cost gas. It is a convoluted, cockamamie charge first brought by the radical antis at the Environmental Defense Fund (see EDF Accuses New England Gas Utilities of $3.6B Market Manipulation). EDF published a “report” that makes the preposterous claim that New England customers have overpaid utility bills by $3.6 billion due to collusion between the natural gas and electricity industries. EDF spins the outlandish theory that Avangrid and Eversource brilliantly conspired to create Enron-style fake gas shortages involving a whopping 3.5% of the capacity of the Algonquin pipeline–all in order to drive up electric clearing prices for a wind farm Avangrid didn’t yet own, a rarely dispatched Avangrid oil peaker, and three crappy, rarely operated oil and coal plants in New Hampshire (plus nine little hydro dams that Eversource was trying to unload for years, sold recently). EDF’s tall tale is so bizarre (and hard to follow) it’s laughable. Yet now a class action lawsuit has launched based on EDF’s fictional report…

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