Written on: July 15, 2015

Emerging Reality of Gas Infrastructure: Destination Export

There is mounting evidence that the natural gas pipelines being planned for the New England region are intended to ship natural gas overseas and not to meet any regional energy needs, according to a recent article on Huffington Post.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve gotten new evidence that the ultimate goal of these pipelines is export,” the article states. “[Pipeline developers] Spectra and Kinder Morgan keep canceling the parts of their projects that would actually go to homes.”

The article suggests that the pipeline companies have been misleading the public by saying the pipelines are intended to supply New England. “Spectra and Kinder Morgan really don’t have the ‘average New Englander, just trying to make ends meet’ in mind when proposing to bring more of a harmful energy source into our region. They’re looking to make a quick buck by exporting natural gas—which will raise electricity prices even more, while making our children pay for the destruction that climate change will bring to New England.”

“New England political leaders, utility companies, and multinational energy companies have been telling the same story for years: natural gas is the answer to New England’s energy needs,” the article states. “Recently, this tale has been used to justify multiple new natural gas pipeline project proposals. Spectra Energy has proposed three different expansions (Algonquin Incremental Market, Atlantic Bridge, and Access Northeast) to the Algonquin Pipeline, which runs from the New Jersey/New York border through Connecticut and Rhode Island to Massachusetts….Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan has proposed the construction of the Northeast Direct pipeline through New York and Massachusetts—a project that has received so much backlash that Kinder Morgan decided to partially reroute it through New Hampshire.”

“Kinder Morgan and Spectra swear up and down that their pipelines are desperately needed to meet local demand. But their claims simply don’t match reality,” the article continues. The pipelines would have a combined capacity of 3.65 billion cubic feet per day of gas, which is roughly triple the region’s needs in the eyes of staunch pipeline advocate ISO New England, which operates the regional electric grid. “This begs the question: if Spectra and Kinder Morgan’s gas isn’t going to meet New England demand, where is it going?” the Post asks.

The article says that natural gas drillers “are desperate to get their product to European and Asian markets, where the price is significantly higher.” The Post points out that both Spectra and Kinder Morgan keep canceling planned “pipeline laterals,” which are offshoots from a mainline that make local distribution easier. “Kinder Morgan and Spectra want us to believe that their pipelines are desperately needed to meet local demand, and yet they’re struggling to find New England customers for their gas,” the article states.