Return to Blog

Massachusetts Plan to Fund New Gas Lines Rejected by Court

The Supreme Court in MA has rejected a plan that would allow utilities to charge customers to help finance new natural gas pipelines.  The good news for customers is they will not be charged additional fees; the bad news is that customers are still susceptible to huge price spikes due to not enough natural gas supply.

The highest court in Massachusetts struck down a bid by electric utilities to charge ratepayers for new natural gas pipelines, dealing a blow to their efforts to boost supplies of the fuel and avert shortages.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities cannot approve contracts that force electric utility customers to subsidize gas pipelines, according to a ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on Wednesday. The court vacated an order from the department that authorized the contracts, which it said would unfairly expose ratepayers to higher costs.

The ruling will hamper efforts by Massachusetts to expand its gas pipeline network to avoid a repeat of price surges that have come to haunt the New England region during severe winter cold snaps. It also throws into question a plan by Eversource Energy and National Grid Plc to help Spectra Energy Corp. build the $3 billion Access Northeast natural gas pipeline project.

Spectra “is extremely disappointed with the decision,” Arthur Diestel, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We will have to reevaluate our path forward — consistent with the court’s decision — to provide the infrastructure so urgently needed by New England’s electric consumers.”

The ruling leaves the region in a “precarious” position without enough gas capacity for electric generation during cold winters, Caroline Pretyman, a spokeswoman for Eversource Energy, said by e-mail. Eversource fell as much as 2.3 percent before erasing losses.

Read the rest at

Disclaimer: Although the information contained herein is from sources believed to be reliable, TFS Energy Solutions, LLC and/or any of its members, affiliates, and subsidiaries (collectively “TFS”) makes no warranty or representation that such information is correct and is not responsible for errors, omissions or misstatements of any kind. All information is provided “AS IS” and on an “AS AVAILABLE” basis and TFS disclaims all express and implied warranties related to such information and does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, performance or fitness for a particular purpose of any of the information. The information contained herein, including any pricing, is for informational purposes only, can be changed at any time, should be independently evaluated, and is not a binding offer to provide electricity, natural gas and related services. The parties agree that TFS’s sole function with respect to any transaction is the introduction of the parties and that each party is responsible for evaluating the merits of the transaction and credit worthiness of the other. TFS assumes no responsibility for the performance of any transaction or the financial condition of any party. TFS accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or other consequential loss arising out of any use of the information contained herein or any inaccuracy, error or omission in any of its content. This document is the property of, and is proprietary to, TFS Energy Solutions, LLC and/or any of its members, affiliates, and subsidiaries (collectively “TFS”) and is identified as “Confidential.” Those parties to whom it is distributed shall exercise the same degree of custody and care afforded their own such information. TFS makes no claims concerning the validity of the information provided herein and will not be held liable for any use of this information. The information provided herein may be displayed and printed for your internal use only and may not reproduced, retransmitted, distributed, disseminated, sold, published, broadcast or circulated to anyone without the express written consent of TFS.