A plan by governors of the six New England states to reduce the region’s high natural gas prices by adding new pipeline capacity at ratepayers’ expense has stalled, according to an article in the Portland Press Herald.

The governors’ plan was intended to address a pipeline capacity shortage that has created record-high natural gas price spikes, the newspaper reported.

“The plan hit a snag this month when the Massachusetts Legislature rejected a so-called clean energy bill presented by Gov. Deval Patrick,” the article states. “At the same time, growing public opposition to a new pipeline across northern Massachusetts has prompted Patrick and other influential politicians in the state to reconsider their support for the broader plan.”

In Massachusetts, Kinder Morgan Inc.’s plan to build a 180-mile pipeline from New York state has drawn opposition from property owners, two U.S. Senators and environmental groups such as the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF).

Shanna Cleveland, a senior attorney with the CLF in Boston, called the decision by Gov. Patrick’s administration “a welcome move.”

“It’s a step back from a process that has moved too quickly and been conducted with insufficient public involvement,” Cleveland told the New Haven Register.

“We’re urging Governor Patrick to stand firm on this,” Cleveland said. “This really is a plan that will set the course for New England energy system for the next 40 years. And we believe that the cheapest, fastest, most effective way to meet our energy needs is not thorough a natural gas pipeline built on the backs of ratepayers.”

To read the Portland Press Herald article, click here.