Natural Gas Pipeline

Electricity prices should fall in western Massachusetts this summer.  The region’s two major investor-owned electric utility companies have filed plans with the state’s regulatory board to cut rates. Also, there should be no concerns about power shortages this summer.

Eversource, formerly known as Western Massachusetts Electric Company, announced this week a plan to cut rates by more than 31 percent. The company said the average customer, using 500 kilowatt-hours a month, can expect to save $22 a month.

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New England governors say they are committed to a collaborative solution in hopes of lowering energy costs. Five of the region’s six governors meet in Hartford Thursday for an energy summit.

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More than 200 people, including a small marching band, converged on the Vermont Statehouse Monday to protest the Vermont Natural Gas pipeline being built to serve the western part of the state.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

People opposing a proposed natural gas pipeline that would carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania through New York and Massachusetts are holding a rally in Boston Common today.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Protestors are continuing a march across Massachusetts following the route of a proposed multi-state natural gas pipeline. About 100 people started the march Sunday in Richmond.

Roughly 30 people gathered in downtown Pittsfield Monday morning to send off about a dozen biking 20 miles round trip to Windsor carrying a ceremonial baton designed to look like a piece of pipeline. Cheryl Rose organized this leg of the bike trip.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Protestors are continuing a march across Massachusetts following the route of a proposed natural gas pipeline. About 100 people started the march Sunday in Richmond.

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More than 100 people in Sandisfiled, Massachusetts, home to about 900, came out Thursday night to hear more about a proposed expansion of a natural gas pipeline in the region.

Roberta Myers is one about 15 members of Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the Pipeline, or STOP. She recalls town residents being evacuated following a construction accident in 1981 when the last expansion was done. 

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New England's electric grid operator says a lack of pipelines is making natural gas costlier, pushing up wholesale electricity prices in the region by 55 percent last year.

ISO-New England said Tuesday that the average price of wholesale electric energy rose to $56.06 per megawatt hour, up from a historic low of $36.09 in 2012.

Natural gas is the predominant fuel used to generate the region's electricity, amounting to about 46 percent of generation in 2013. Wholesale power prices tend to track the price of natural gas.

Voters in the towns of Cornwall and Shoreham are saying "no" to a plan by Vermont Gas to extend a natural gas pipeline through their communities.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — New England governors have announced a plan to expand the region's pipeline capacity to deliver more natural gas and cut energy costs.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday he and the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont have asked the region's grid operator to help as the states seek proposals for transmission equipment and public works to deliver enough electricity to serve 1.2 million to 3.6 million homes.

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