Following a decision by Massachusetts’ highest court that forbade utilities from charging customers for the cost of building natural gas pipelines, four Massachusetts utilities have withdrawn petitions to buy gas from the Access Northeast pipeline, according to a MassLive.com article.
The four utilities—NSTAR, Western Massachusetts Electric, Massachusetts Electric and Nantucket Electric—had petitioned the state Department of Public Utilities last year for 20-year contracts with Access Northeast, according to MassLive.com. The withdrawals come days after Attorney General Maura Healey asked the department to withdraw the petitions.
“The high court ruling that vacated the so-called ‘pipeline tax’ now raises questions about the future of Access Northeast,” the article states. “In New England, pipeline advocates face a conundrum. Pipeline developers won’t move forward without committed customers lined up.”
“Fossil-fuel foes had dubbed the scheme the ‘pipeline tax,’ and said that corporations, not consumers, should shoulder the risks associated with infrastructure development,” MassLive.com reported. “Similar pipeline funding mechanisms are on the table in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. It remains to be seen if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will approve Access Northeast without support from Massachusetts electric utilities.”
To read the MassLive.com article, click here.
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