July 29, 2016
Comment on Omnibus Energy Bill TODAY

The Massachusetts Senate passed S2400, its version of the energy omnibus bill, setting the stage for conference committee negotiations with the House to send a final bill to the governor. Though the House Bill, H4385, was a solid starting point, the Senate bill significantly improves the House’s version in a few key ways:

— Doubles the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the rate at which utility companies must increasingly buy from renewable energy sources
— Outright BANS the pipeline tax from being used against ratepayers by the Department of Public Utilities.
— Provides for the decommissioning of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant

The House and Senate have named Senator Ben Downing, Senator Marc Pacheco, Senator Bruce Tarr, Representative Brian Dempsey, Representative Tom Golden and Representative Brad Jones to a conference committee which will negotiate the two bills.

Please call your state representative and ask them to speak to Speaker Deleo and conference committee members about standing up for these priorities, and please also call your senator and ask them to speak with Senator Downing and other conferees about standing firm on the Senate’s hard-won priorities. If you need a script for your phone call, here's one!    

If you can only make one phone call, call Speaker DeLeo, 617-722-2500.
Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov, if you prefer email.

This is our last day for input!

Sandisfield pipeline route sees action as stay on eminent domain case expires

Kinder Morgan surveyors have been observed along the proposed Connecticut Expansion pipeline route in Sandisfield, MA this week. The surveyors report that surveying will be complete by July 29th. The AG’s office has been informed of this activity.

KM will gain possession of the pipeline easement Friday at midnight with the expiration of the stay put in place by Judge Agostini's ruling in the eminent domain condemnation case to take the public land in Otis State Forest. People on the ground are watching and keeping us apprised of what’s going on. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will keep you updated.

FERC has been informed of the appeal of the 401 Water Quality Certificate filed by PLAN-NE and Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), along with the fact that there is no authorization of tree-cutting or other activities that threaten water quality while the appeal of the 401 Certificate remains pending.

» Read PLAN-NE's letter to FERC here.

Opposition begins to form
to Somerset LNG proposal

By Michael Holtzman, Herald News Staff Reporter, Jul. 27, 2016

SOMERSET — As preliminary filings with the federal government have been delayed, area residents are weighing in on prospects of two huge LNG storage tanks being built in town — each nearly the size of a football field at the base and able to hold a combined 6.8 billion cubic feet of LNG.

Environmental groups have organized a meeting Thursday night to share information and concerns with area citizens and the public.

The Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities, which helped lead a momentous fight repelling HessLNG’s proposal at Weaver’s Cove in Fall River, is among five groups organizing the forum.

“About 400 people live in the area abutting the area where we think they want to put the tanks,” said Joseph Carvalho, long-time president of the responsible siting coalition.
Spectra Energy Transmission LLC notified town officials 2½ weeks ago that a 135-acre tract owned by National Grid in the area of the Taunton River, Interstate 195 and the town’s sewer plant was under preliminary consideration for this major storage facility.
Spectra had reported that Algonquin Gas Transmission and other partners in the “Access Northeast Project” planned to file by Friday, July 22, a draft resource report on its expansion of existing natural gas pipelines with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC is charged with oversight and approval of such projects.

FERC filing delayed
This filing has been delayed an indefinite amount of time.

“Algonquin anticipates that revised drafts of Resource Reports 1 & 10 along with additional draft resource reports will be filed later this year,” Arthur Diestel, Spectra Energy director of stakeholder outreach, said in an email Tuesday.

“We had planned to file the second draft of the pre-filing draft resource reports (including the Somerset option) in late July; however, Algonquin believes it is prudent to take additional time in order to complete the comprehensive alternatives analysis for the Access Northeast LNG facility as expected by the FERC staff, agencies and other interested stakeholders,” Diestel wrote.

“I also want to stress that a number of alternatives are still under consideration.”

FERC extends Constitution Pipeline
construction 2 more years

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, July 28, 2016

The Constitution Pipeline was approved in 2014 and developers were given two years to bring the system online, but difficulties with New York construction approvals have set the project back. Difficulties in getting authorization to remove trees set the pipeline back by a year, and then in the spring, the state denied the water certification.

"NYSDEC’s decision has caused the Constitution Pipeline Project to be delayed, and, as a result, Constitution will not be able to complete construction of the project within the prescribed time frame," FERC Division of Pipeline Certificates Director John Wood acknowledged in a letter.

The pipeline consortium's request for additional time was approved almost instantly, SNL reports. The companies filed a request for two more years on July 22, and Wood's letter was issued just four days later.

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Defeating the Pipelines!
Thanks to Your Help!

We'll still be here, fighting the CT Expansion pipeline and aiding other communities fighting AIM, Access Northeast, Constitution and others, and keeping an eye out for possible resurrection of NED or another restructured project. We'll also still be working with PLAN-NE, Mass Power Forward and other organizations to help ensure bold steps away from fossil fuel dependency continue and grow!

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