Climate Action Business Association is dedicated to helping the local business community understand and evaluate the political landscape of Massachusetts. With impending threats of climate change on our local economy, we have many options as a region to transform our energy sector.
In the next week or so, the House of Representatives is likely to release a major energy bill that will determine whether we harness our abundant renewable energy resources or lock in reliance on fossil fuels.
In a major hearing on Tuesday, the Senate Global Warming Climate Change Committee, led by Senator Marc Pacheco, convened to discuss whether gas pipelines are a viable option for our state’s energy needs. The Baker Administration was the lone voice in favor of increased fossil fuel access. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton revealed that the Administration remains committed to adding new pipeline capacity, which would be paid for by Massachusetts ratepayers by a proposed pipeline tax.
The pipeline tax comes as National Grid and Eversource seek permission to charge its electricity ratepayers for their pipeline projects via a tariff. The proposed pipeline tax would force businesses and consumers to pay for newly constructed gas pipelines. Once the pipeline is constructed, the Massachusetts community will be committed to paying for it for decades to come, regardless of market conditions, on our monthly energy bills. It is not fair for businesses to bear the significant risks associated with long-term contracts for new gas capacity.
Notwithstanding the importance of consumer protection, additional pipeline capacity is not needed. Even with coal and nuclear plants coming offline in coming years, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s 2015 study found that New England can maintain electricity needs through 2030 without investment in new natural gas pipeline capacity. Download CABA’s Comprehensive Energy Legislation Primer to learn more about New England’s current energy portfolio and our policy priorities.