[bq]”Massachusetts’ secure energy future is in peril.”[/bq]
Electricity prices in Massachusetts are straining the budgets of consumers, low- and fixed-income families and businesses. Federal statistics show that New England consumers have the highest electric rates of anywhere in the continental U.S., and in April, the Boston area paid 53 percent more for electricity than the national average.
Without upgrading pipeline capacity, experts predict that New England will lose the capability to power more than 9 million homes in the next few years – enough to power Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.
So why are Massachusetts legislators supporting legislation to block financing for these critical infrastructure upgrades – which will create more natural gas supply constraints – instead of trying to encourage upgrading existing infrastructure and lower energy prices?
Tell the our state leaders to oppose legislation that will prevent less expensive clean-burning natural gas from getting here.
As a Massachusetts energy consumer I’m writing to urge you to oppose the inclusion Senate Amendment #1 in the pending Energy Diversity bill (S. 2372).
Electricity prices in Massachusetts are already straining the budgets of the poor, seniors, and working families on fixed incomes. Federal statistics showed that New England consumers have the highest electric rates of anywhere in the continental U.S., and in April 2016 the Department of Labor reported the Boston area paid 53 percent more for electricity than the national average. Increases in our energy bills are a regressive tax that many of the most vulnerable in our society cannot afford to pay. Every extra dollar spent on an unnecessarily high electric or home heating bill is one less dollar spent on food, medicine, and rent for far too many in our communities who deal with the realities of these hard choices every day.
New England’s grid experts have estimated the region will lose enough electrical capacity to power more than 9 million homes in the next few years – that’s enough to power Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Without adding additional natural gas pipeline capacity into our markets, we could see even higher rate increases and reduced reliability. Massachusetts saw this first-hand from the last Polar Vortex when our energy prices skyrocketed because we simply couldn’t meet demands for home heating and electricity needs.
Please don’t listen to extremists and special interests who don’t have a realistic plan for keeping my power bills from continuing to go up year after year. I urge you to oppose Senate Amendment #1 and support an all-of-the-above energy policy that includes more pipelines, more clean natural gas, and more consumer options rather than higher energy bills.