NextEra Energy Says New England Doesn’t Need New NatGas Pipelines

Joe Kelliher, executive vice president of NextEra Energy, is also the former Republican chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under George W. Bush. Testifying before a Senate committee last week, Kelliher said New England doesn’t need new interstate natural gas pipelines to be built. Kelliher parrots language we’ve heard antis use–that New England’s pipeline system is adequate for “all but 12 days of the year.” For years pipeline companies (and grid operators) have been warning that without new pipelines to the region, New England is heading for rolling blackouts when temps get severe. So why would Kelliher take the opposite view at the hearing? Because his company, NextEra Energy, profits from lack of pipelines in the region! Kelliher is not a disinterested party in these matters. In 2016 we told you about NextEra and two other companies that were actively lobbying against new pipelines (see Spectra Energy Pushes Back Against New England Pipeline Naysayers). In the case of NextEra, they own regulated electric generating plants in the region–namely the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire, and the Bellingham Energy Center (natgas-fired) in Massachusetts. New pipelines to New England would feed unregulated electric generating plants that would compete with NextEra’s plants. NextEra’s position is unfair suppression of competition by attempting to get the government to collude in and endorse that suppression by blocking pipelines. Shame on Kelliher and NextEra for their continued campaign to lock in place electric rates in New England that are on average 4X higher than the rest of the country–for their own selfish gain…

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