Senate Approves Pipeline Ban

Excerpt from the Mass Live article. Read the full story here.

"The Massachusetts state Senate has approved a ban on building pipelines within 1,000 feet of a residential neighborhood, a school, or a senior center. The ban was adopted as part of the Senate's version of the fiscal 2017 state budget.

Spectra Energy is attempting to build a natural gas pipeline, known as Access Northeast, which runs through Timilty's district.

According to a State House News Service summary of floor remarks by Timilty, the senator railed against "Big Oil" and said the plan for the pipeline is ill-conceived. Sen. Michael Rush, D-West Roxbury, and Sen. Kathleen O'Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, backed Timilty's amendment.

Sen. Ben Downing, D-Pittsfield, said he isn't a "fan of pipelines," but questioned the constitutionality of the proposed ban, noting that state laws cannot supersede federal rules on energy projects if federal officials approve projects.

"I wish that wasn't the case," he said.

In his Senate district, Kinder Morgan is pushing for a project that runs through Otis State Forest and Sandisfield, and is aimed at serving Connecticut.

Earlier this week, Kinder Morgan formally retreated from its bid to build a separate 420-mile pipeline, called Northeast Energy Direct. The company said market conditions didn't support the project."