Some energy experts believe that new natural gas pipelines are not needed in New England because the region already has an infrastructure in place to meet peak natural gas demand, according to a recent Boston Globe article.

Greg Cunningham, director of the clean energy program at the Conservation Law Foundation, a Boston environmental group, said imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) can meet the region's peak demand for natural gas. He has questioned the need for most new pipelines, noting that the price of LNG has plunged by about 50 percent in recent months, according to the Globe. "LNG is way underutilized," Cunningham told the Globe. "The fact that there is an existing infrastructure already in place is a big plus."

Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC imports LNG at a facility in Everett, Mass., which the company says is more than capable of meeting the rising demand for natural gas. "We already have the infrastructure in place," Frank Katulak, chief executive of Distrigas, told the Globe. "We absolutely are an alternative to new pipelines. There's no need for major changes or new fees to pay for new pipelines."

Distrigas's Everett terminal, company officials said, is running at about 50 percent capacity, despite a 60 percent increase in LNG shipments this year, the Globe wrote.

Distrigas's credibility as an additional source of energy grew this winter when increased LNG imports were credited with helping avert natural gas shortages during this winter's extreme cold and record-breaking snow.

"Heading into this winter, generators jacked up electricity prices by as much as 40 percent in anticipation of natural gas shortages, which were passed on to consumers by utilities. But those natural gas shortages and electricity price spikes did not happen this winter, partly due to increased LNG shipments," the Globe wrote.

To read the Boston Globe article, click here.