The Senate voted 39 to 0 on the "Ban the Pipeline Tax" amendment and the desire for natural gas is fading.
"The growing opposition to natural gas would have been unthinkable two years ago, when the push began to bring new pipelines into the region to avoid a replay of the sky-high electricity prices that battered the region following the grueling winter of 2013-14. Officials said the high prices were the result of inadequate pipeline capacity.
Several companies announced plans to build new pipelines into the region, but the proposals depended on a novel financing scheme. Electric power generators were unwilling to sign long-term commitments to purchase natural gas pipeline capacity because they had no guarantee they could recover their investments. So their backers suggested utilities should tap electricity ratepayers for the money. The pipeline promoters promised that the cost to ratepayers would be more than offset by the savings from additional, cheap gas coming into the region.
The Baker administration hopped on board, saying the proposal would stabilize electricity rates and avoid the need to burn oil and coal when gas supplies were in short supply during the winter months. In October, Baker’s Department of Public Utilities gave electric utilities the green light to file plans to charge their ratepayers for natural gas capacity."