Tennessee Gas Pipeline Files Comments with the Massachusetts DPU Supporting Additional Natural Gas Supply Options to Lower and Stabilize Prices for Natural Gas and Electricity in Massachusetts and the New England Region
Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP), a Kinder Morgan company, today submitted a filing with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) supporting the DPU’s examination into the means by which new natural gas supply capacity may be added to the New England market, including providing a regulatory mechanism for Massachusetts electric distribution companies (EDCs) to contract for additional natural gas pipeline capacity to help reduce natural gas and electricity prices in Massachusetts.
In its June 15 DPU filing, TGP noted that Massachusetts and New England are consistently experiencing the highest natural gas and electricity prices in the continental United States, which can be significantly reduced through contracting for and building additional natural gas pipeline capacity to service the region. “The existing shortage of pipeline capacity to serve the demand from the electric generation sector, particularly during the winter, leads to significantly higher regional natural gas prices and, in turn, higher regional electricity prices,” said Kimberly S. Watson, President, Kinder Morgan East Region Natural Gas Pipelines. Over the past two winters, New England’s electricity plants have had to rely on needlessly high-priced natural gas, expensive imported LNG and costly fuel oil purchased on the spot market to meet demand due to insufficient natural gas pipeline capacity serving the region. According to the independent electric grid operator ISO New England, this resulted in New Englanders paying over $7 billion more for electricity during the winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15 than what they paid for electricity during the winter of 2011/12. ISO New England has also noted that although total use of electricity in New England dropped 2 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, the average price of wholesale electricity rose 13 percent in 2014, with the increase largely due to the increase in the cost of power plant fuel, particularly natural gas. “There is no doubt that the increasing cost of natural gas and electricity caused by the lack of adequate natural gas pipeline capacity makes it more costly for New England’s businesses to compete with businesses operating in nearby lower energy cost regions, and is particularly painful for New England’s working families, retirees and others living on fixed incomes,” said Ms. Watson. Ms. Watson added, “The ability to bring additional low-cost, domestic, abundant and environmentally cleaner natural gas to Massachusetts and New England will lower and stabilize energy costs for gas and electric customers and help stimulate economic growth, providing the opportunity for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to benefit similarly to other regions of the United States, where low-cost natural gas is transforming their economies by creating new jobs and cost savings for families, businesses and public institutions.”
According to the TGP filing, increasing the natural gas supply capacity to New England will also have additional important benefits to Massachusetts and New England, such as: further reducing regional emissions of CO2, NOX, and SO2 by replacing higher emitting coal and oil-fired electricity generation with new, cleaner natural gas-fired electricity generation, supporting growth of renewable generation technologies such as solar and wind by ensuring uninterrupted energy supply on cloudy or windless days, and providing the opportunity for additional residences and businesses to convert from oil and other fuels for heating and manufacturing to less expensive and cleaner natural gas, particularly in western Massachusetts and other areas which are currently dealing with moratoriums on new connections due to limited natural gas supply.
TGP has provided safe and reliable interstate pipeline natural gas to New England for over 60 years, and is an important source of gas supply for gas utilities and electricity generation facilities in Massachusetts. TGP directly serves a substantial portion of existing installed gas-fired generating capacity in New England that cannot be served by any other pipeline, and has the unique and critical ability to supply generation connected to other regional interstate pipelines.
A copy of the filing can be accessed at: http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/NED_TGP_Comments.pdf.
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI) is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. It owns an interest in or operates 84,000 miles of pipelines and 165 terminals. The company’s pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, CO2 and other products, and its terminals store petroleum products and chemicals, and handle bulk materials like coal and petroleum coke. Kinder Morgan is the largest midstream and third largest energy company in North America with an enterprise value of approximately $130 billion. For more information please visit www.kindermorgan.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of management, based on information currently available to them. Although Kinder Morgan believes that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that such assumptions will materialize. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements herein include those enumerated in Kinder Morgan’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and except to the extent required by law, Kinder Morgan undertakes no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement because of new information, future events or other factors. Because of these uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
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