Kinder Morgan Nixes Controversial $3 Billion Pipeline through New England
Environmental activists received some good news on Wednesday, as energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan Inc. has decided to nix a controversial pipeline plan that would’ve funneled natural gas through parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
According to the Boston Globe, the $3.3 billion project was shelved because it did not receive enough commitments from large utility customers and also faced fierce opposition from consumer and environmental groups.
The company has faced similar backlash over similar projects from protesters in places such as Canada.
The now-scrapped plan involved the construction of a 188-mile pipeline from a location near Albany, New York, to Dracut, which would have affected residents in several New England towns.
Critics were concerned the pipeline would have led to the region becoming too dependent on natural gas, an energy source that isn’t as “green” as some proponents may claim. Some Massachusetts lawmakers have been supportive of using natural gas to fuel power plants in an effort to lower the high rate of electricity used in the region, with the hope that the new pipelines would bring more cheap gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.
While local activists are celebrating the news as a win, they still have a fight on their hands, since another pipeline plan likely received a boost from Wednesday’s news.
According to the Globe, Spectra Energy Partners’ Access Northeast project, which is also backed by Eversource Energy and National Grid, is still hoping to construct a pipeline through New England.
“There was probably room for only one of the two competing projects,” ESAI Power director Paul Flemming told the Globe.
Opponents to the projects aren’t going down without a fight, though. Emily Kirkland, director of organizing for the Better Future Project in Cambridge, said in a statement that Kinder Morgan and other energy companies are no match for grassroots efforts.
“Spectra Energy, you’re next,” she said.