97 House Members Oppose Ratepayers Financing Natural Gas Pipelines

A bi-partisan letter to Speaker Robert DeLeo says energy customers should not have to shoulder the costs of pipeline infrastructure.

Earlier this week, I along with Minority Leader Brad Jones, sent a letter to Speaker Robert DeLeo co-signed by 97 of our House colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, requesting him to omit language in the upcoming omnibus energy bill that pertains to proposed ratepayer financing of gas pipeline infrastructure. The proposals to pay for the $5-8 billion cost for new pipelines by assessing a surcharge, tariff or tax on electricity customers is unprecedented and inherently unfair to our constituents. Further, it shows that the natural gas producers have determined that the risk of financing this pipeline themselves is not worth the reward. The taxpayers across this state should not have to shoulder this risk when a private industry is unwilling to do so.

For those interested, I have attached a full copy of the signed letter, as well as all of the research that went into it, below:

Source 1: Keith Grant, a Senior Vice President and Sam Greenblatt, a Senior Analyst with Compass Lexecon, a subsidiary of FTI Consulting wrote this below article discussing how natural gas utilities recover the costs of financing the pipeline infrastructure by increasing service rates charged to customers while passing the price of gas on consumers.

Source 2: The U.S. Energy Information Administration explains that the Commonwealth has 59% of its electricity derived from natural gas, a largely imported resource, and a particularly price volatile one, at that.

Source 3: A report from the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with Leonardo Technologies, Inc. Oxford Technologies, and the Center for Energy Studies from Rice University determine that exposing U.S. customers to a volatile global gas market could raise domestic prices by more than 7%.

Source 4: Jack Newsham, a Correspondent with the Boston Globe, writes a column reviewing the Commonwealth’s energy sources following the announcement that Pilgrim Nuclear Power plant will close by 2020. In the story, he reviews the number of energy projects set to debut and their associated costs.