March 12, 2018


Tennessee Gas 261 Expansion & Columbia
Holyoke Gas & Electric imposes moratorium on new natural gas service
By Greta Jochem, Daily Hampshire Gazette
February 20, 2019

Holyoke Gas & Electric announced last month that is imposing a moratorium on new natural gas service due to what the company says is “insufficient pipeline capacity.”

NOTE: HG&E would be one of the customers of the proposed expansion of Tennessee Gas’ 261 compressor station and it’s new sections of pipeline that are currently under consideration by FERC and state agencies. (See info at

It’s worth noting that Berkshire Gas issued a similar moratorium on new customers when the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline was under consideration, stating that the massive transmission line project was the only way to alleviate pipeline constraints. Berkshire Gas eventually gave up on the idea of serving new customers when residents of the region moving on to alternative energy sources made any future gas expansions unfeasible. It’s the hope of climate activists throughout the region, as well as us at No Fracked Gas in Mass, that this moratorium will force a similar dynamic, helping advance energy efficiency and alternate energy sources, making pipeline system expansions unnecessary.

Anti-pipeline group questions
HG&E moratorium decision

By Greta Jochem, The Daily Hampshire Gazette
February 26, 2019

“The HG&E moratorium seems created to emphasize a dubious need for the widely criticized ‘Columbia Reliability Project’” Holyoke Neighbor to Neighbor lead organizer Jacqueline Velez said in a statement from the Columbia Gas Resistance Campaign, a group that formed two years ago in opposition to pipeline expansion.

HG&E joins two other utility companies – Berkshire Gas and Columbia Gas – that have made similar announcements in western Massachusetts over the last few years. All three companies get some gas supply from the 20-mile Northampton Lateral of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, according to HG&E.

Letter to the Editor: Moratorium on natural gas a blessing in disguise
by Lilly Lombard, Daily Hampshire Gazette
February 26, 2019

With a gas moratorium imposed on it by Columbia Gas in 2014, the city of Northampton has used the opportunity to button up its existing homes and buildings, to strengthen its building codes promoting efficiency and solar production, to plant nearly 1000 street trees that reduce heating & cooling costs, and to hold Columbia Gas accountable for fixing gas leaks city-wide. Five years later, is it begging for more gas? Hardly!

In fact, with huge public support, Northampton’s City Council just passed the Resolution Opposing the Expansion of Gas Infrastructure and Calling for Increased Development and Implementation of Renewable and Clean Energy Sources. Thank you, Columbia Gas, for your blessing in disguise.

Weymouth Compressor Station
Regulators visit proposed compressor site in Weymouth
By Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger
March 7, 2019

State regulators visited the proposed site for a 7,700-horsepower natural-gas compressor station on the banks of the Fore River on Thursday as part of an environmental audit that could potentially forcing further cleanup of the land.

Three state Department of Environmental Protection regulators, two representatives from the firm TRC Environmental, and a representative from Algonquin Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy-Enbridge, were on the Bridge Street site Thursday. Members of the citizens group Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station also attended

State regulators to review compressor station findings
By Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger
March 4, 2019

State regulators will conduct their own environmental review of the proposed site for a 7,700-horsepower natural-gas compressor station on the banks of the Fore River, potentially forcing further cleanup of the land.

State officials sent a letter to Algonquin Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy-Enbridge, notifying it that the state Department of Environmental Protection will do its own audit of the site. That decision was made after Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund and other officials raised concerns that consultants for the natural-gas company made errors in the “21E” assessment.

» Read the full story

Columbia Gas Merrimack Valley Disaster
‘Who’s going to pay for what I lost?’ Business owners say they still await claim payment, six months after Columbia Gas explosions
Daily Hampshire Gazette
March 7, 2019

More than six months after natural gas explosions rocked Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley, small business owners in the region say they’re still reeling.

Broader picture
Three takes on natural gas
Charlie Baker, Weymouth compressor station, hookup moratoriums

by Craig Altemose,  Rick Sullivan and  Kathryn R. Eiseman, Commonwealth Magazine
March 1, 2019

Are gas pipeline capacity constraints ever desirable? Yes, if you want to incentivize energy solutions that are preferable to natural gas. This is the lens through which to view the moratoria on new gas hookups recently announced by municipal utilities in Holyoke and Middleborough.

Pipeline Safety Act Deters New Safety Regulations On Natural Gas Pipelines
by Craig LeMoult, National Public Radio
March 7, 2019

A quirk in the Pipeline Safety Act makes it hard to toughen safety regulations on natural gas pipelines to avoid deadly explosions like those in the Merrimack Valley. The act is up for renewal this year.

The Role of Shale Gas Development In
the Global Methane Cycle
Presentation by Robert Howarth of Cornell University

In a talk titled, “The Role of Shale Gas Development in the Methane Cycle: New Insights from 13C and 14C Data,” Robert Howarth, PhD, concludes that the global increase in methane over the last 10 years is largely driven by the oil/gas industry. His updated estimate for average, full-cycle methane leakage rate from natural gas operations is 4.1%.

Dr. Howarth is the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is a biogeochemist and ecosystem scientist whose work includes the environmental consequences of energy systems, particularly from oil and gas development and from biofuels, emphasizing water quality and greenhouse emissions.





Berkshire Earth Expo 2019
Berkshire Earth Expo is a collaboration of many different community members in the Berkshires, including students, teachers, parents, businesses, non-profits, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, and Living the Change Berkshires.

This year at the Berkshire Earth Expo, attendants will participate in the Cooler Communities Berkshires Challenge! This challenge serves as a tool to help our communities save money and energy, all by reducing our carbon footprint.
One person can make a difference, and a whole community can make a transformative impact. Visit the expo for a wealth of information and resources to help you shrink your carbon footprint and to collaborate with others.

Free Public Event
11 AM – 4 PM
Boys & Girls Club Of The Berkshires
16 Melville Street
Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201

» Facebook Event Page

For news on various pipelines, FERC and the industry, check out the Latest News Tab

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