In an all-new, 29-minute episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Democratic State Senator Jamie Eldridge of Acton, and Jim O’Reilly, director of public policy for the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. They talk about the Kinder Morgan natural-gas-pipeline project known as Northeast Energy Direct.
As reported in a December 5th Boston Globe article titled In face of opposition, company to reroute gas pipeline, “Stung by intense local opposition to a proposed natural-gas pipeline winding through western and central Massachusetts, a Houston energy company said … that it will pursue an alternative route that bypasses many Massachusetts communities by veering north and shooting across southern New Hampshire.
“Kinder Morgan … said much of the alternative path would follow existing rights-of-way along utility lines in the two states, meaning it would cross fewer residential properties and undeveloped lands. Kinder Morgan plans to file the new route … with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has final say on gas pipelines in New England.
“Kinder Morgan officials said that 14 Massachusetts towns along the northern tier of the state, from Dracut to Northfield, will no longer be in the pipeline’s path. But the pipeline would cross four new Massachusetts towns - Cheshire, Hancock, Lanesborough, and Shelburne - and a southern stretch of New Hampshire.”
As the Globe article continued, “To meet the region’s growing demand for natural gas, Kinder Morgan previously sought to build a 127-mile pipeline stretching from Richmond near the New York border, across Massachusetts’ northern spine to a transmission hub in Dracut, about 30 miles from Boston. Kinder Morgan’s original multibillion-dollar plan aimed to tap abundant, inexpensive natural gas from Eastern shale fields, to help ease a shortage here blamed on inadequate pipeline capacity.
“That shortage has led to skyrocketing electric rates this winter in Massachusetts since most power plants use natural gas to generate electricity. The company hopes to have the pipeline operating by late 2018.”