CLF Fights Massachusetts’ Natural Gas Pipeline Approvals

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Says approvals defy legal obligations under the Global Warming Solutions Act

September 17, 2015 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it will fight the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approval of contracts between three local gas distribution utilities and Kinder Morgan. These contracts are essential to the development of a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cut through significant regions of the Commonwealth and carry 200 million cubic feet per day of additional natural gas above what the Commonwealth now consumes. CLF has filed its appeal with the DPU and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

“It’s time to get serious about addressing climate change, and that simply cannot happen if we trade our coal dependency for gas dependency,” said Bradley Campbell, President of Conservation Law Foundation. “When considering these three cases, the DPU unlawfully failed to assess the environmental impacts of the significant greenhouse gas emissions that would result, as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Had they followed the law, they would have found that approving an overbuild of natural gas pipelines defies legal obligations, economic logic, environmental consciousness, and common sense.”

The three local gas distribution utilities involved in the respective appeals are Boston Gas Company, Bay State Gas Company, and Berkshire Gas Company.

These motions come on the heels of another appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court by CLF, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, and four Massachusetts youths concerning the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s failure to issue legally-mandated regulations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide.

Campbell added, “All four of these cases rest on one central question – is the GWSA merely a set of guidelines that can be altered and ignored, or does it impose legal mandates that are binding and enforceable? The answer will decide the future of our state’s power grid, our climate, and the health of our communities.”

CLF experts are available for further comment.