Governors of the six New England states have abandoned a plan to create a regional tariff to underwrite the construction of new natural gas pipelines, according to a recent article by RTO Insider.
During a meeting last week in Connecticut, the governors backed away from their 2013 commitment to share the costs of new gas pipelines and electric transmission, announcing a revised regional energy strategy that gives individual states more flexibility, the article states.
In a joint statement released after the meting, the governors reaffirmed their commitment to regional cooperation in expanding natural gas and electric infrastructure." However, the statement recognized the political realities of each state, all but abandoning a controversial effort to have ratepayers in all six states share in the cost of building natural gas pipelines," RTO Insider wrote.
"We recognize that each state may support addressing our regional energy challenge in different ways. These efforts must be done in partnership with state legislatures, and respecting the requirements of laws, regulatory proceedings, and opportunities for public participation that are unique to each individual state," the governors wrote.
The governors also highlighted their state-by-state goals, with Vermont and New Hampshire pointedly not committing to sharing in new infrastructure spending.
In 2013, the governors had united behind a plan to provide a funding mechanism for natural gas pipeline expansions though a regional tax on utility bills. That plan fell apart last year when the Massachusetts legislature balked at a comprehensive package that former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick wanted that would link gas infrastructure with a plan to expand transmission to import Canadian hydropower into the region.
To read the RTO Insider article, click here.