CLF to Kinder Morgan: No Thanks. We Don’t Need Your Oversized Polluting Pipeline

In October, CLF submitted comments at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the appropriate scope of environmental review to assess Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project. The company’s proposed pipeline will traverse much of southern New Hampshire to deliver 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas capacity into Massachusetts.

Such a massive new pipeline project would profoundly affect New England’s transition to clean energy sources, while also hampering regional efforts to ramp up other climate-saving resources such as demand management and energy efficiency.

Worse, the project is just one of many pipelines being planned or proposed in New England. Combined, these unnecessary new pipelines promise to scar the region and steal money away from smarter investments that would not only provide permanent, low-cost energy solutions for consumers but also relieve the region of its over-reliance on a single, fossil fuel–based energy source – natural gas.

That’s why CLF is urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pause and take stock before considering the Kinder Morgan project as proposed. Instead, we’re asking the Commission to conduct a broad, programmatic environmental impact statement that considers the region’s current and future energy needs and weighs the full suite of natural gas expansion projects already being planned or proposed. We’re confident that if decision makers like FERC step back and take a hard look at where we are putting our money – and whether it gets us where we need to be in 10, 20, or 30 years in reducing climate-warming emissions – the answer will be no to projects like Northeast Energy Direct.

New England Doesn’t Need New Pipelines 

power plant emissions_shutterstockCriss-crossing New England’s landscapes with pipelines that make the region even more reliant on natural gas is not a win for New England’s communities or the climate. To this end, CLF recently commissioned a report to look at the winter-time gas delivery problem facing New England. The report proposes common-sense solutions to maximize the use of existing delivery and storage facilities. Changing the way we use existing facilities would be far less costly and more timely than laying new pipeline in the ground. Most importantly, these solutions would avoid undermining our collective efforts to meet the mounting challenge of climate change. You can read about CLF’s white paper on making smarter use of existing natural gas infrastructure here.

We know that natural gas’s low prices make it alluring in the short term. But there’s nothing inexpensive about natural gas or the massive investments proposed for the northeast. Sinking consumer funds – dollars coming out of your wallet and mine – into infrastructure that will further entrench our reliance on this climate-polluting fossil fuel is simply a bad investment all around. On the contrary, it’s the kind of investment for which our children and grandchildren will be paying for decades to come, unless we speak up now.

The real solution is energy efficiency and clean renewables. wind-turbine_shutterstock

New England needs real, lasting solutions to price volatility, including energy conservation and a strong clean technology sector. That’s why CLF is advocating before the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to craft New Hampshire’s first Energy Efficiency Resource Standard. And why CLF is working to eliminate barriers to the wider adoption of renewables, such as the restrictive net metering cap that may soon keep solar from going live on rooftops in New Hampshire. Because we can’t afford to continue to sink money into massive dirty fuel investments to solve our energy needs.

This is a critical fight for New England and our region’s ability to achieve its urgent climate change goals. We’re glad to be a part of it.

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Climate Change

8 Responses to “CLF to Kinder Morgan: No Thanks. We Don’t Need Your Oversized Polluting Pipeline”

  1. Mary Pendergast

    We need to be working on real solutions for a fossil free future. There is no way to avoid run away climate change with continued use of fracked gas, coal, tar sands and all the old “business as usual” solutions to our need for energy.

  2. pamela brocious

    We need to be working on real solutions for a fossil free future. There is no way to avoid run away climate change with continued use of fracked gas, coal, tar sands and all the old “business as usual” solutions to our need for energy.

  3. Jen Markens

    These are export pipelines and a case for “public necessity” is being ginned up in order to facilitate export for private profit. The public will be forced to subsidize this atrocity to the tune of billions because these companies cannot pay for, or justify this expense, and they are all in debt to a significant degree: meanwhile the astronomical fortunes of everyone involved in the electricity-gas cartel are obscene. The latest maneuver by electricity owning investment companies like National Grid is to change their price structure to de-incentivize energy savings. They are attempting to knee cap any real progress for the state, or the whole planet: just to line their amoral pockets.

  4. April Warwick

    Climate Change is the most important problem for our world; we suffer if we don’t face this reality. We have to get off oil ASAP and move to clean and renewable energy. Forwards is our only way out of this problem; the days of Big Oil are over.

  5. Thank you! As the only group with intervenor status in Maine, your statement is clear and concise. Ratepayers could be on the hook for $1.5 billion and not serve Maine’s interests. We can take control of our energy future by making smarter investments. Thank you for showing leadership

  6. Ross Greenlin

    The last line of the article hits the nail on the head: it is CRITICAL and it is URGENT that we stop making it worse as fast as we can. Most of us in our civilization (if we have one) do not understand the climate science behind the calls for no more fossil fuel inftrastructure, but we will have about 20% of the CO2 we spew still in the global atmosphere (there is no “local” with a well-mixed gas like this) for 100,000 years. The world ocean will be releasing stored CO2 and heat to the atmosphere for centuries-to-millennia even after we stop. What we release can be just the trigger for feedbacks like polar loss of ice albedo, methane from melting permafrost, etc. etc. leading to accelerating climate disruption. We are obviously feeling and noticing the changes now, at the very beginning of the long-term process. Every new weather record is, by definition, evidence of the climate changing.

    So although the industries will argue that THEIR pipeline or drilling will not produce enough greenhouse gas to appreciably increase the global average temperature, it is a CUMULATIVE impact that makes new infrastructure critical and urgent to curb. Now.

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