By Michael P. Norton, STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 23, 2016
After suspending work in April, Kinder Morgan on Monday fully pulled the plug on its controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project.
In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, J. Curtis Moffatt, deputy general counsel at the Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, notified the agency that the pipeline application was being withdrawn.
Tennessee Gas had filed its pipeline application on Nov. 20, 2015.
On April 23, citing inadequate commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan suspended work on the project, which held the possibility of helping Massachusetts and the New England region meet its energy and electricity cost goals. At the time, Kinder Morgan said expected commitments to the project from additional gas distribution companies and other “market participants” had not materialized.
In July 2015, Kinder Morgan authorized Tennessee Gas to move forward with the planned $3.3 billion investment in pipeline capacity from Wright, New York to Dracut, Massachusetts.
Environmentalists, rival energy sectors and some public officials questioned the costs of the pipeline project and the wisdom of increasing the region’s heavy reliance on natural gas. Kinder Morgan hoped the project would address natural gas transportation problems in the Northeast and alleviate “uniquely high” gas and electricity costs.
Bob Croce, a candidate for the Massachusetts House seat in the district currently represented by Rep. Ted Speliotis of Danvers, said in an email Monday that he chaired the Peabody Citizens United to Stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline and his activism led him to run for state rep.
“What this means is that the project is now officially dead,” Croce wrote. “Needless to say, our resident opposition groups across the Commonwealth are rejoicing today!”
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