Massachusetts Law Declines Funding Plan for Pipeline

The life of a proposed pipeline is now uncertain after the state court declined a plan that would involve electric ratepayers in helping to fund the project.

Attorney General Maura Healy, who rejected the funding plan, said that if pipeline developers want to build new projects in Massachusetts, they will need to find other ways of revenue than electric ratepayers.

The Supreme Judicial Court released on Wednesday their rule that under Massachusetts law electric companies cannot buy contracts for gas capacity; gas and electric utilities must be completely separate.

Under this new state law, the construction of the Access Northeast pipeline and several other planned pipelines for Massachusetts are under question as they were planned to be partly funded by electric customers.

David Ismay, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, said that the state decision will most likely “make the entire project unfundable.”

The developers of the pipeline responded to the state’s decision saying they will explore their options for the Access Northeast pipeline despite the obvious setback the court’s decision will cause.

The Access Northeast project is a joint effort between Spectra-owned Algonquin Gas Transmission, Eversource Energy, and National Grid.

Boston Herald