Access Northeast Project
UPDATE: Going into fall 2018, the pipeline has not yet been revived, although there has been an attempt at bringing back a part of Access Northeast in New Hampshire. Eversource stated clearly that this was an attempt to revive the project in full. We can expect them to keep trying.
In June 29, 2017, the FERC pre-filing for the Access Northeast project has been withdrawn. Enbridge has stated that they will submit a new pipeline proposal for the region in the near future. No Sharon Gas Pipeline continues to work towards building a clean energy grid and stopping all pipelines in Massachusetts.
Facing a pipeline? Learn more about where to start with Food & Water Watch’s Pipelines 101: A Quick Reference Guide.
The Access Northeast (ANE) Project would have expanded Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline and included a proposed high-pressure 30-inch gas pipeline called the Q1 Loop that would have run through nine towns in Massachusetts: Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Franklin, Norfolk, Walpole, Sharon, Stoughton, and Canton.
We don’t think this pipeline is in our best interest:
- Gas pipelines are dangerous.
- Leaks don’t only come from accidents. Compressor stations emit chemicals from the pipelines at regular intervals.
- Gas pipelines and infrastructure cause health problems.
- Health problems reported near compressor stations and metering and regulating stations range from mild symptoms like dizziness to serious issues like strokes. Why? There are over 600 chemicals used in the process of fracking gas, including EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals), known carcinogens, and neurotoxins.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends we use less natural gas because of the health risks it poses to children through its contribution to climate change.
- Natural gas (which is mostly methane) contributes to global warming.
- Gas pipelines are expensive
- This is a $6 billion dollar project that Spectra would like to finance through surcharges on residential electric bills.
- $6 billion could be spent on clean energy solutions, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
- Synapse Energy Economics released a report on February 7, 2017 citing the actual cost of the proposed pipeline at two times more than previously disclosed and the decreased need for gas in the region.
Why does Spectra want to build the Northeast Access Pipeline?
- Spectra claims they want to provide more fuel for electricity to New England during the winter, but there are a few problems with this claim:
- We have extra gas capacity in the summer already, which could be stored for use in the winter.
- We managed supplies successfully during the exceptionally cold winter of 2014-15.
- MA Attorney General’s Office conducted a study that shows we can meet energy needs without new pipelines.
- So if we don’t need the gas, why are they building it?
- ANE would allow Spectra to export gas from Canadian LNG terminals by connecting the Algonquin pipeline to the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline.
- Exporting gas will likely cause our gas prices to rise to international levels.