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Kinder Morgan Suspends Plans To Build $3B Northeast Pipeline

Kinder Morgan
The path of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline

Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. announced Wednesday it has decided to stop work on the project. It cites a lack of contracts with gas distribution companies.

The company also says New England states haven't established needed regulatory procedures to allow it to move forward and the process in each state for creating those procedures remains open-ended.

The company says given the market conditions continuing to develop the pipeline is an unacceptable use of its shareholder funds.

The proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project spurred steady opposition along its path including in New York and Massachusetts.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts released the following statement Wednesday afternoon.

“I have opposed Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline through Massachusetts and New England because of concerns that it could have led to the export of American natural gas to foreign countries, the impact it would have had on local communities in Massachusetts, and its potential to worsen climate change,” Markey said. “Using New England as a throughway to export U.S. gas to overseas markets might be good for the bottom lines of pipeline companies but it could raise prices and be a disaster for consumers and businesses in our region. We need to build on the work that we have done in New England to move to a clean energy economy. And we should create jobs in New England by working smarter not harder when it comes to using natural gas through increasing efficiency and repairing and replacing our aging and leaking natural gas distribution pipeline infrastructure. Repairing these aging, leaking natural gas pipelines is a win for safety, a win for job creation, a win for consumers who have to pay for this lost gas, and a win for the climate. I will continue to vigorously oppose any pipeline proposals that would serve to export natural gas out of our region to overseas nations at the expense of Massachusetts consumers.”

Plans called for the construction of compressor stations in places like Windsor, Massachusetts and New York’s Rensselaer County.

In a statement, Nassau Town Supervisor David Fleming called it a “good day” for Nassau, a town in Rensselaer County.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic to hear the news of the suspension of Kinder Morgan's NED Pipeline Project which would have devastated the community I represent.  I have frequently and publicly joined residents across the Capital Region calling for the suspension of the review of this project.  It was redundant and bad for our communities. It provided us all the risk and no benefits. No gas, no savings and tremendous environmental degradation. It also included plans for the most outrageous use of eminent domain by a corporation against private citizens I have ever seen. Thank you to the countless residents that joined together in this fight to protect our families and everything that we love about Upstate.   Thank you also for the bipartisan efforts of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Gibson, the Nassau Town Board and every level of government that opposed this terrible project.  This is a good day for Nassau."

A statement for U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren:

"Across Massachusetts, residents raised significant concerns about the impact of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline on homes, businesses, and our environment. This announcement confirms what our citizens have been saying since the beginning - this project simply isn't necessary to meet our energy needs. The Kinder Morgan pipeline was the wrong project at the wrong time, but as Massachusetts works to modernize our energy system and ensure that prices remain affordable for families and businesses, it is urgent that we upgrade aging infrastructure and invest in clean technologies of the future."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. 

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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