In 2014 the Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont agreed to develop a plan to address New England's growing energy needs. The group was on track to present a proposal in early September, but Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked to delay the process and consider alternatives.
The proposal focuses on importing Canadian hydropower and building new natural gas pipeline. The pipeline, in particular, would have to be financed through a federal tariff on electricity ratepayers.
Supporters of the proposal point to a spike in natural gas prices last winter, due to limited supply. The private sector arguably needs government assistance to finance new pipeline, however, because electricity generators are reluctant to sign long-term pipeline contracts that pay for construction.
Opponents of the proposal argue that the plan was developed behind closed doors, excluding ratepayers and environmentalists. Other opponents argue the plan should include more renewable energy sources.
Opposition from the Conservation Law Foundation, in particular, motivated Gov. Patrick's request for a delay.
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