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Study: New Natural Gas Pipelines Not Needed in New England

A liquefied natural gas storage tank in Massachusetts.
"This study demonstrates that a much more cost-effective solution is to embrace energy efficiency."
Maura Healey

New England doesn’t need more natural gas pipelines to maintain reliable energy supply levels in the coming years, according to a study by an economic and financial consulting company.

Analysis Group, Inc. conducted the three-month study, which was released Wednesday. It was commissioned by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

The report said the New England region will be able to meet its electricity needs through 2030 even during extreme cold-weather conditions, whether it invests in more natural gas pipelines or not.

In a released statement, Healey said that rate payers should not bear the cost for new pipelines, which supporters insist are necessary to increase the region’s ability to generate more electricity. Healy believes that a focus on conservation and the impact on New England's environment is more sensible.

From the statement:

As we make long-term decisions about our energy future, it’s imperative we have the facts. ... This study demonstrates that a much more cost-effective solution is to embrace energy efficiency and demand response programs that protect ratepayers and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Healey also said in her statement that Analysis Group "used extremely conservative assumptions, including applying winter conditions from 2004 (one of the coldest years in two decades)."

The authors of the report said Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station'srecent announcement of its closure by 2019 was taken into account.

Healey's office said the independent study was funded by the Barr Foundation and the John Merck Fund.

Leyda Quast is an intern at WNPR. This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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