NH Towns Warn Of Costs Associated With Kinder Morgan Pipeline
NH TOWNS WARN OF COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH KINDER MORGAN PIPELINE
Dec. 3 – Today 15 New Hampshire towns issued a warning that the proposed Kinder Morgan gas pipeline will add significant costs to tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents and businesses, despite company claims to the contrary.
The long-term costs run counter to the savings being promised by proponents of the pipeline.
“Based on recent filings with the Public Utilities Commission, the average customer of Liberty Utilities will incur a cost of about $600 per year – for 20 years – should the Kinder Morgan pipeline be approved”, said Brookline Town Administrator Tad Putney and a member of the NH Municipal Pipeline Coalition.
Since announcing a year ago plans to shift its proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline across 80 miles of southern New Hampshire, company efforts to entice customers have fallen short.
“After months of attempting to get utilities to sign up for gas from Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline, Liberty Utilities is the only company in New Hampshire to commit,” continued Putney. “The Public Utilities Commission has approved Liberty’s investment in the pipeline and ultimately passing along to its New Hampshire ratepayers an annual cost of approximately $53 million per year, for 20 years, to finance the pipeline. With about 90,000 Liberty Utilities ratepayers in New Hampshire, that equates to an average annual cost to each of about $600 per year – for two decades, totaling $12,000 per customer.”
Milford town administrator Mark Bender joined Putney in questioning how Kinder Morgan continues to claim savings for New Hampshire residents. “We keep hearing from Kinder Morgan and Liberty Utilities about the savings that will result from the pipeline,” said Milford Town Administrator Mark Bender. “We want the region’s residents and area businesses to be fully aware that they would be financing a huge infrastructure project for many years – and a project that the Coalition is not convinced is even needed.”
Liberty Utilities recently filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission to expand its service territory into Rindge, Jaffrey, Swanzey, and Winchester in southern New Hampshire to supply natural gas from the Kinder Morgan pipeline to those communities.
Given concerns about the long-term costs to Liberty’s ratepayers, among other issues, the Municipal Coalition earlier this week filed a petition to intervene in the proceedings with the Public Utilities Commission. By intervening, the towns look to take an active role in any PUC approvals related to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and Liberty’s Agreements.
“The PUC will decide if the NH Municipal Pipeline Coalition will get Intervenor status,” said Putney. “We hope that occurs to give all our communities a voice in the proceeding.”
The NH Municipal Pipeline Coalition consists of municipal officials from Amherst, Brookline, Fitzwilliam, Greenville, Litchfield, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, New Ipswich, Pelham, Richmond, Rindge, Temple, Troy, and Winchester.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline has been proposed to cross approximately 80 miles of southern New Hampshire on its way from Pennsylvania to Dracut, MA.
Contact: Tad Putney, Brookline Town Administrator (603) 673-8855