No Fracked Gas in Mass

» Constitution Pipeline 401 WQC Denied


Kinder Morgan has recently commenced an eminent domain proceeding and requests immediate access to begin construction (tree felling, blasting, etc.) on this property, circumventing protections put in place by Article 97 of the Massachusetts State Constitution.

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Your donation to our parent organization, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) will be tax deductible and will ensure that we can coordinate with our partners across the state in this fight!


INFORMATION PAGE for the SWPA-EHP Presentation
1/30/16 Frontier High School, Deerfield, MA

» In depth presentation on the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline proposal

An Introduction to Massachusetts Gas Pipeline Issues from CTSB on Vimeo.


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Burden of Proof – Research based in presentations by Jane & Bruce Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Rosemary Wessel of No Fracked Gas in Mass. Research and documentation by Michael Feldstein and Kathy Kessler — DOWNLOAD NOW!

Burden of Proof: the Case Against the Proposed NED Pipeline

Our Current Mission:   Our current Mission: To stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP pipelines (Northeast Energy Direct and Connecticut Expansion) and help other regional communities fight similar pipeline expansion.

Our Broader Mission:   To stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in New England and upstate NY and to promote expanded efficiency and sustainable, renewable sources of energy and local, permanent jobs in a clean energy economy.

Why the pipeline is being proposed:


New Northeast Energy Direct "preferred route", December 2014
New Northeast Energy Direct “preferred route”, December 2014

Concerned about possible shortages of energy grid supply once the region’s coal, oil and nuclear plants are off-line in a few years, all six New England Governors signed a letter, urging regional cooperation between them to make sure the grid stays sufficiently supplied.  They asked ISO New England and NESCOE to investigate what would be necessary.  Studies by these organizations resulted in a plan to upgrade efficiency of the grid and to bring an extra 0.6 Billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/day) of natural gas capacity into New England, along with an unprecedented tariff on all electric ratepayers to cover the costs of the new infrastructure.

According to Kinder Morgan / Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s meetings with affected communities, their pipeline proposal is in direct response to this plan, but they pipeline they’re proposing is 1.3 Bcf/day (though that could increase back up to the originally proposed 2.2 Bcf/day).

Concerns over how the Governor’s letter and NESCOE’s creation of the tariff came about were raised in a report from Conservation Law Foundation, which presented a substantial amount of evidence that closed door meetings with energy companies led to the request for more pipeline capacity.
» Read CLF’s report

Discussion of tariffs to help pipeline companies secure more electric generation contracts are back on the table in the Massachusetts Legislature and will need to be watched in 2016.

Why the pipeline is being opposed:

The proposed pipeline path runs through hundreds of private properties and through some of our region’s most sensitive ecosystems and could be paid for through new tariffs on our electric bills.

We have been researching the need for this pipeline (or lack thereof), environmental and economic impacts and presenting across the state since February and are constantly updating and filling out with new findings.

Studies commissioned by NESCOE showed that if current levels of state energy efficiency programs continue, there is no need for additional natural gas infrastructure even with economic growth taken into account, yet ISO New England and NESCOE are calling for more pipeline capacity.

The need for more capacity has been cited as peak demand during cold weather when gas for heating and gas for electric generation compete for existing pipeline capacity.  These conditions only happen for a few hours a day, about 10-27 days a year, and it has never led to a dip into our electric generation buffer (the extra electric capacity ISO-NE likes to keep on hand), let alone actual electric demand.

One of our pipeline-watchers has also just discovered that ISO New England has been issuing “Minimum Generation Emergency Warnings.”  These are times when consumers were using so little electricity that the gird operator had to ask power plants to NOT generate electricity.  As we understand it, this happens far, far more often than the times ISO-NE comes close to dipping into the buffer of electric generation during the 10-27 peak usage days per year that occur in winter.  A quick look at the ISO-NE calendar shows that this “Minimum Generation Emergency Warning” happens about 10-20 a  MONTH – about 12 times more often than the supposed “capacity constraint” that led to the request for more pipelines.

Even if there were an actual need, there are currently enough leaks in the existing infrastructure to provide another 400 MW of power. The two most dangerous classes of these leaks are now slated to be fixed under new legislation that has passed, but repairing Class 3 leaks (considered non-dangerous) is not mandatory. We think it should be.

There are also existing pipelines that are standing at least partially unused.  Using these to capacity to store gas during non-peak times can keep enough reserve to cover the few days every winter when peak demand drives up prices. This project is not being driven by a shortage of gas supply, just a shortage of cheap gas available to electric generation plants during extremely cold weather when people use more of the gas supply for heat.

» Inefficiencies in the grid are a problem nationwide.

Even if the Low Demand Scenario was not proven, the amount of additional pipeline capacity requested by NESCOE is 0.6 Billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d), but the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project proposed by KM/TGP is being planned for 1.3 Bcf/d.

With nearly four times the capacity called for, where is the other three quarters of that capacity destined? The terminal hub in Dracut is also connection point to the Martimes & Northeast (M&NE) pipeline which has just applied to switch direction, bringing gas from Massachusetts, through Maine to the Maritimes of Canada, where export terminals will soon be coming online. There is also new potential for export from facilities in Maine and Everett, MA.

In selectboard meetings across the state, KM representatives have repeatedly said that they have no control over who their customers are, so exports are on the table. Their own open season bidding memo  called from LNG developers and customers in the Maritimes as well as local distribution and electric utilities.

» Article: Unchecked Exports Could Lead to 3X Increase in Natural Gas Prices

Looking into the CO2 emissions averaged over all sources of electric generation in MA, the average per source is 910 lb. per MWh. The average natural gas generation plant is 1,210 lb. per MWh.  Natural gas has done it’s “bridge” work.  With renewables phasing in at an unprecedented rate, adding more natural gas would now take is in the wrong direction for achieving the state’s greenhouse gas emissions goals – based on CO2 output alone.
Natural gas is also primarily methane, a greenhouse gas over 86 times more powerful than CO2. When a full accounting of methane’s impact is taken into consideration, studies show that it has no benefit over coal or oil in reducing greenhouse gas effects.

Natural gas is often touted as a “bridge fuel” to a clean energy economy.  We are standing at the far end, having crossed that “bridge”.  It’s time to step forward into that future we’ve been building.

» Recent articles making the case against the pipeline

» Excellent explanation of how natural gas is not a long-term solution to climate change from Union of Concerned Scientists

Opposition to the Pipeline


— Making informational presentations across the state, showing what the pipeline components would be, where the areas of concern are, what the possible impacts would be and why it’s not necessary and an unfair economic and ecological burden.

— Organizing the impacted landowners, towns,  concerned citizens, and others to resist the pipeline project

— Creating space for groups and individuals to find and share information, organize,  collaborate, and plan

— Networking with elected officials, regulators and clean energy experts to help form strategy for transitioning to a clean energy economy, creating local, permanent, climate-friendly jobs

Check our tally of progress – and realize that it’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Please explore our website and contact us with any questions or suggestions.

Interactive map of former (purple) and current (green) preferred pipeline route. Click here to link to fully interactive map by FracTracker.
Interactive map of former (purple) and current (green) preferred pipeline route. Click here to link to fully interactive map by FracTracker.



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