Letter: New England’s position

Earth Day 2014, 44 years of celebrating Earth Day and the best the U.S. energy chief can come up with is “more pipelines?” This is the same forward thinking that took Detroit down. We in New England are not yet heavily invested in the gas infrastructure that will tie us, for decades, to an energy source that is polluting the well fields and adding at least as much CO2 to the atmosphere (if you account for drilling, pumping and burning) as oil. This COULD position us to invest in new, sustainable and renewable energy infrastructure, but our national leadership seems to be so tied to oil, coal and gas that we will once again be playing an expensive game of catch up. The argument that New England, or other regions of the U.S., will have cheaper energy prices from this push for pipelines is in total denial of the world market that will soon “force” the gas companies to export more and more LNG to Asia and Europe. So we lose the race for new energy sources, lose the race against climate change and are left with a decaying, polluting infrastructure that we (read: taxpayers) will have to pay to clean up. Now, there is an Earth Day initiative to get behind.



note: higher retail electrical sales: that's us. Price hikes due to "alleged costs of bad winter" really about shareholder gains and digesting their merger with Nstar. gas.

Northeast Utilities stock prices began last year at 37.50 (as of January 18, 2013), and are, as of April 21, at 46.97 a share.

“Northeast Utilities is posting second quarter profit more than tripled while higher retail electrical sales and lower expenses also bolstered the bottom line.” Northeast Utilities has also been investing in high-voltage transmission lines, superhighways for electricity- due to above-average returns from customers on those outlays, as a way to improve profits amid waning U.S. electricity use.” (From John Kell of the Wallstreet Journal.) This DOES NOT square with the push for pipeline capacity, the purported “needs of the Northeast” and the increasingly inflated need for “additional pipelines” being touted to the public. In fact in the past weeks this alleged “need” has been growing like pinocchio’s nose. When they say “customers” they mean shareholders. Their actions are premised on the destruction of New York’s Marcellus region, and further destruction of drinking water. There is enormous pressure to lift the moratorium in New York and Northeast Utilities is now part of the engine involved in that, using advertising to dupe the public about natural gas when it is unconventional gas. This wastes enormous quantities of drinking water. And we are being asked to finance this with a tariff.

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