NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF KINDER MORGAN PIPELINE
The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce today announced its support of the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline. The construction of the natural gas pipeline will provide a reliable, more affordable source of energy in a region that has been plagued by high energy costs.
“Businesses in Massachusetts face energy costs that present significant obstacles to competing in a growing economy,” said Roy Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “The pipeline will allow businesses and families to access a clean and affordable energy supply.”
According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), Massachusetts ranks as the third most expensive state in the country for electricity prices. The EIA has also stated that Massachusetts has exceptionally high natural gas prices, resulting from a serious lack of pipeline capacity supplying power plants. Natural gas is used by power plants in New England to produce over 40 percent of the region’s electric power, meaning the supply of natural gas to our state significantly impacts electric rates. Gas prices are a function of supply and demand in the market, and the current regional supply infrastructure cannot meet the increasing demands of the state.
Higher energy costs also impact residents and working families in the region and the state. Residential electric rates have doubled in New England since 1990, with much of the increase occurring since 2004. In addition, about half of households in the state rely on natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating.
Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline would deliver natural gas to the region from Pennsylvania. The project is expected to bring 1,700 jobs to Massachusetts and nearly $24 million in state and local tax revenues each year after project completion.
The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce supports measures and initiatives that support and encourage a reliable, diverse and more affordable energy supply that keeps pace with the region’s growing population and economy, while protecting our environment. Given the strained natural gas capacity in New England and the region’s increasing reliance on Natural Gas for our electricity, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber supports the development of the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline to transport natural gas into the region and state. The Chamber believes that the project will increase the availability of natural gas in New England, reduce price volatility and increase capacity to help support the future needs of the region and the Commonwealth.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee reviewed the project and adopted a formal position statement supporting the project on September 24, 2015.