Peter Shattuck, director of Acadia Center Massachusetts, sees the issue differently. He pointed to the “Regional Electric Reliability Options Study” by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, which concluded a reduction in natural gas supplies will not lead to peak winter demand period electric system “deficiencies” through 2030, under existing market conditions.

The Attorney General’s study concluded New England should opt for more energy efficiency and demand-side management, rather than building new gas pipelines, a finding gas supporters say ignored dozens of studies to the contrary. Environmentalists, meanwhile, say other industry-supported analyses failed to take into account the potential of electric demand reductions.

Whether new pipelines are needed or not, both Shattuck and UCS’s Rogers expect the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to rule against the DPU decision, barring utilities from using money from the rate base to invest in gas pipelines once again.


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