PowerOptions Calls for Immediate Action on Natural Gas

Proposes Plan for Expedient Pipeline Expansion

Boston, MA, August 7—PowerOptions, Massachusetts’ largest energy buying group, today issued its position paper on the natural gas pipeline capacity constraints that are wreaking havoc on New England’s energy markets and producing some of the the highest electricity and natural gas prices in the country.

The paper, “An Expedient Solution to New England’s Natural Gas Constraints,” outlines the severity of the situation, and summarizes the regional discussion to date in simple terms for its Members and other non-industry readers. The paper particularly decodes the approach proposed by the New England Governors in January in a letter to the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) calling for regional charges to all electricity consumers to support both pipeline and transmission infrastructure to import large scale renewable energy such as hydro electric power from Canada.

“So much of the information on this critical issue is impossible for the average consumer to decipher,” states PowerOptions President and CEO Cynthia A. Arcate. “This paper is written with our members in mind, so they can easily understand the problem and the various proposals to solve it.”

The paper illustrates the immediacy of Massachusetts’ problem and calls for the abandonment of the New England Governors proposals that present the potential to create prolonged delays and unnecessary complexity. “We cannot afford to spend the time needed to implement approaches that are unchartered and raise a myriad of complex economic and legal issues,” explains Arcate. “We appreciate the New England Governors’ efforts to craft an approach that addresses both natural gas and transmission infrastructure imperatives, but these tariffs aren’t the way to do it.”

PowerOptions calls for an approach based in the current regulatory framework whereby the gas distribution companies in the region enter into contracts for the capacity needed to meet the demand not only of their own customers but the generation sector in the region as well. “The current framework of pipeline expansion is a well-established approach and will result in the shortest time to increased capacity.”

PowerOptions is offering the position paper on its website, www.poweroptions.org, click here to download it.

About PowerOptions
PowerOptions is the largest energy buying consortium in Massachusetts, serving more than 500 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with combined annual energy sales of roughly $200 million. With supply offerings for electricity, natural gas, and solar power, PowerOptions provides its members budget certainty and savings, as well as best-in-industry consumer protections. Any nonprofit or public institution in Massachusetts may become a member and participate in this collective purchasing effort. For more information, visit www.poweroptions.org.

CONTACT: Liam Sullivan
(617) 428-4250