Natural gas pipeline planned for Massachusetts

June 17, 2014

When people talk about natural gas exploration and development, they are usually referring to the large fuel deposits in the Midwestern and Southern regions of the United States. However, while not every state is a natural gas producer, virtually everyone is a gas consumer to some degree—and they all require some way of accessing gas. This is why there has been such a push to build pipelines.

According to a report by the Boston Globe, a Houston-based energy company is proposing a multibillion dollar pipeline that would connect Massachusetts to shale fields in New York and Pennsylvania. The purpose of this project is to increase gas supplies and bring down the state's high energy bills—according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, rate payers in New England pay the most for electricity throughout the country, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. The company, Kinder Morgan, argues that this will be particularly helpful during a New England winter, when home heating bills tend to increase even further.

It has yet to be seen as to whether the federal government will approve the project. Many environmentalists groups are reportedly taking a closer look at the plan to see how it might affect protected land. In the Western Massachusetts town of Richmond, for example, there are already numerous pipelines. Many residents do not want to see any more, and have, in fact, displayed skepticism over the whole project.

Still, Kinder Morgan has a good chance of winning over residents and regulators if it emphasizes the benefits of lower energy prices and works with an environmental consultant to ensure that the pipeline's impact is minimal. At the end of the day, no one likes high electricity bills.