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June 9th, 2016:

Protest Targets Utility Bill Surcharge Dubbed 'Pipeline Tax'

American Energy Coalition - June 9th, 2016

Protestors recently gathered in Holyoke, Mass., to speak out against a proposed surcharge on ratepayers’ utility bills that would finance a new natural gas pipeline, according to a recent article on MassLive.com.

“Opponents have dubbed the utility bill surcharge a ‘pipeline tax’ because, while not technically a tax, it would be a mandatory fee applied to the bills of Eversource and National Grid customers,” the article states. “Approved by state regulators last fall, it is currently the subject of a legal challenge before the state's highest court.”

The protesters said the proposed pipeline funding plan would cost Massachusetts ratepayers $3 billion and hurt poor people. “This unjust pipeline proposal is going to hurt us all,” said activist Ivette Hernandez of Springfield.

The Conservation Law Foundation has filed an appeal with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, arguing that the “pipeline tax” violates the state’s 1997 Utility Restructuring Act.

Attorney General Maura Healey has expressed concerned the “pipeline tax” would “shift the substantial costs and risks of ... long-term investment in pipeline infrastructure to electricity ratepayers.”

“This pipeline tax marries us to an antiquated energy system that we will never see returns on,” said Holyoke City Councilor Rebecca Lisi.

To read the MassLive.com article, click here.

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