February 7, 2017 – The costs of the proposed Access Northeast pipeline to transport fracked gas into Massachusetts and other New England states would be more than double what pipeline sponsors claim — $6.6 billion versus the projected $3.2 billion – according to a dramatic new report by Synapse Energy Economics.
Furthermore, the report projects that the use of natural gas in New England for electric generation will decrease by 27% by 2023, compared to 2015, leaving the pipelines underused and unneeded.
The report was sponsored by a coalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club of Massachusetts, Consumers for Sensible Energy, Pipeline Awareness Network of the Northeast, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Connecticut Fund for the Environment and the Sierra Club of Connecticut.
Rather than reduce consumers’ bills, as claimed by the pipeline sponsors, the pipeline would increase costs for Massachusetts consumers by $141 million over the life of the pipeline, according the Synapse report.
“This report confirms what we’ve been saying all along- these pipelines aren’t needed, would raise costs on consumers, contribute to climate change, and put us in non-compliance with Massachusetts’ energy and environmental laws.” said Emily Norton of the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. “Massachusetts has a proud legacy of being a leader in the fight for our environment, but this would be a giant step backwards, toward increased reliance on fossil fuels. We deserve real solutions that look to the future, not more fracked gas pipelines that contribute to global warming, harm our environment and pick our pockets.”
“This study provides a reality check on the costs of Access Northeast to consumers and demonstrates that forging ahead with massive gas infrastructure expansion is incompatible with legal mandates throughout the region, said Kathryn R. Eiseman, President, Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast, Inc. “We know that to comply with the law and sound climate policy, we must reject this gas infrastructure overbuild and double down on renewables, energy storage, and demand-side solutions — and this study shows that.”
The use of gas-fired electricity will decline dramatically, according to the Synapse report, because electricity demand is expected to be flat for the foreseeable future and state laws require the use of more renewable resources which will force gas out of the system.