Day #68 (late)

So, have you heard from the energy companies, and Baker (last year) that we need the gas, that MA will get gas and lower prices for us? Heh. As previously posted here, BELD is one gas customer who will not be getting the gas, in fact they may be getting less than they need to function reliably, to all of our detriment. The big hole in the “we’re getting the gas” justification is that we AREN’T.

As explained here, the race is on to build gas infrastructure to drive the gas north, into Canada and overseas, where folks will pay almost double for the gas. The graphic below is from FERC:

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The difference between now and when the Atlantic Bridge/Access Northeast projects were proposed is that it’s getting to be more and more public knowledge that all of this rush to build is a rush to make billions for for-profit companies at US citizens’ expense. Today’s note was all about calling it what it is, for going on three years now: Money grab with no benefit to the US.

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In April 2014, RBN wrote a piece on “Exporting U.S.-Sourced LNG From The Maritimes“:
Additional gas flows through New England from the Marcellus would provide these export schemes with an abundant source of gas to supplement SOEP and Deep Panuke production volumes and ensure competitive export prices. One additional benefit for these schemes is that the Canadian government approval process for LNG exports could be  more streamlined than the complex US process that requires case-by-case approval from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see The Molecule Laws). Exporting Marcellus gas to Canada before liquefying into LNG would by-pass the US regulatory jurisdiction.

In Feb. 2016, Senator Markey went on record saying “gas pipeline firms want to ‘use New England as a throughway’ for international export

Yep. And Governor Baker is all for it, given past support and no current evidence otherwise.

This piece in CommonWealth Magazine hits everything on the head very well:
Several analyses have determined that this high-pressure pipeline is not needed at all. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey concluded that the state’s energy demand, which fell last year by 4%, and is expected to be down until 2030, could be met far more easily and cheaply with energy efficiency and existing resources.

Natural gas pipeline capacity is so sufficient that there is no need for risky investment in pipelines, according to a University of New Hampshire study. The report echoed Healey’s findings, saying “the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy will have at least as much return on investment as expanded pipeline capacity — without exposing ratepayers to higher electricity rates from expensive infrastructure.”

Despite these setbacks, and with Massachusetts on track to use about 30 percent less natural gas by 2030, the project’s backers, Spectra Energy and its parent Enbridge, Eversource, and National Grid, persist in pushing the project.  Why?

ONE LAST NOTE:
This is how much it costs a town (so far!) to take on a multi-billion dollar corporation.

This expenditure is on YOU, Gov. Charlie Baker.

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The Town of Weymouth has consistently put its money where its mouth is… the proposed compressor is the most dangerous thing facing the town, and has been for the past two years. Many thanks to Alice Arena, who first raised the alarm. Many thanks to former Mayor Susan Kay for seeing the need for action and securing outside counsel. If not for these two women, the compressor would be built by now.

Many thanks to the North Weymouth Town Councilor, Becky Haugh, who lives 1400ft from the proposed site, and has taken on the Spectra machine longer than any elected official in town.

Many thanks, last but not least, to Bob Hedlund Mayor, Town Solicitor Joseph Callanan
(whose tweet that was), Town Council, and outside counsel Miyares & Harrington for continuing the fight with every tool Weymouth has.

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