CLF Takes Next Step in Fight against Massive New Kinder Morgan Pipeline

In our drive to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline’s march through New England, today Conservation Law Foundation officially intervened to oppose the oversized and unnecessary project at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). We are confident that Kinder Morgan will not be able to justify this project economically if FERC carefully assesses the regional need for new pipelines.

The project, known as the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline (or NED project), is a massive new pipeline proposed by Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of oil giant Kinder Morgan. Once complete, the pipeline would carry billions of cubic feet of fracked natural gas every day from the Pennsylvania shale fields to Eastern Massachusetts (through the backyards of many Massachusetts and New Hampshire communities).

An oversized reaction to a minimal problem
Tennessee Gas – which acknowledges that the project’s size dwarfs that of others in recent memory – has argued that New England needs all that gas to keep our lights on and our homes heated. But that simply doesn’t fit with the facts.

A recent report by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office concluded that the project is not needed to ensure electricity reliability at any time of year. At the same time, CLF’s own white paper debunked Tennessee Gas’s most recent scare tactic of claiming that electricity shortages are inevitable if we don’t solve our winter natural gas deliverability issues. But those deliverability issues occur just a few hours a day on the very coldest days of the year. A massive new pipeline is nowhere near the cheapest or quickest way to relieve those limited constraints.

On the contrary, building a pipeline the size of the Kinder Morgan project would be like swatting a fly with a wrecking ball. It makes no sense.

A bad deal for customers, our economy, and our climate
This isn’t the only reason we oppose the project. At a time when New England is already moving beyond its reliance on dirty, outdated fuels such as coal and oil, major costly investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure are simply the wrong direction to take for our economy and our climate. Indeed, as the region moves to stem more damage to our climate, this pipeline can only become an albatross. Either it will quickly fall into disuse as energy efficiency and home-grown clean energy overtake demand for dirty fuels – or its continued use will block progress toward reaching state and regional climate goals.

At its base, the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal is opportunistic, taking advantage of the fear caused by natural gas price fluctuations during the 2013–2014 polar vortex. It fails the test for economic need and would impose the costs of speculative natural gas expansion (including export abroad) onto the backs of current electric and gas customers.

We need local clean energy, not more dirty fuels
Our energy landscape holds no happy ending if the Kinder Morgan pipeline moves forward as proposed. New Englanders would not only lose money on the bet Tennessee Gas is asking FERC to approve – we would also lose much-needed resources and momentum toward shifting our energy future to one built on clean, local sources.

CLF’s intervention can be read here.

Focus Areas

Climate Change

4 Responses to “CLF Takes Next Step in Fight against Massive New Kinder Morgan Pipeline”

  1. Thank you very much for being involved in the proposed KM/TGP pipeline and filing to officially intervene in the FERC process. Will you please confirm, ( I just read the FERC e-comment of your filing), did you request FERC to issue or reject the project? MOTION TO INTERVENE, INITIAL COMMENTS, AND REQUEST FOR
    Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (“Tennessee Gas”) has filed an
    Application under Sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) requesting,
    among other things, that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issue a certificate of
    public convenience and necessity authorizing the construction and operation of the
    proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline to transport up to 1.3 billion cubic feet per

  2. Grace Adams

    Connecticut managed to block a similar effort through Connecticut. Wind is already cost-competitive with coal, making coal’s days numbered. Solar is already cost-competitive with gas most places south of Mason-Dixon Line and still decreasing in price. Better we should sit tight and let renewable energy overtake fossil fuel in the market place. Failing that try to at least find a way to keep it in the ground while still giving holders of currently known fossil fuel reserves a chance to liquidate fossil fuel holdings and invest instead in renewable energy projects.

  3. Bev Edwards

    CLF has done an extraordinary job of enumerating and detailing the many reasons why the implementation of NED would be harmful if not disastrous for NH and New England. I wish this were required reading for NE residents and our elected officials.

    Thank you for this excellent filing for intervener status in FERC’s proceedings with the TGP’s NED proposal.

  4. Patricia Martin

    Many thanks to CLF for taking this on! There’s an awful lot of money being spent to push these pipelines…very intimidating. The more I look into where our electricity prices exceed those in other regions of the country, the more it is obvious that we are suffering from higher prices for transmission/distribution charges on the delivery portion of our bills and higher capacity payments buried in the energy generation portion of our bills than the national average. Pipelines won’t help either of those problems and creates a “red herring” for the utilities to distract business and the public from the real issues.

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