February 14, 2014
Massachusetts State Legislators
Beacon and Park Street
Boston, MA 01233
Last month Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) requested the Massachusetts Legislature to abandon any efforts to ban shale gas development in the state.
As you know, harsh winter forecasts make the cost of home heating a new worry for the family budget, especially in New England where the winter forecast is for bitter cold and snow. With over a million people in Massachusetts using natural gas to heat their homes, why would the legislature move to ban the source of Massachusetts’ natural gas in the middle of the cold winter months?
Make no mistake natural gas plays a critical role in Massachusetts where it generates 68 percent of its electricity and is imported to 3 LNG terminals that supply about 20 percent of New England.
Fortunately, new technologies in shale resource development are creating a boom in natural gas production. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. produced more than 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012 – a trillion cubic feet more than in 2011 — adding to a 25 percent production increase nationally since 2007.
While the Marcellus Shale formation doesn’t stretch into Massachusetts from Pennsylvania and New York, the state does have the Hartford Basin, which tracks through the Connecticut River Valley on a north-south axis through Massachusetts and Connecticut. Regardless of where the natural gas lies, it’s clear that it is a key component to make natural gas affordable in Massachusetts – from electricity generation to keeping homes warm during a harsh winter.
With this in mind, Massachusetts should be promoting policies that support the responsible development of natural gas – not legislation that would ban it.
CEA members recently petitioned the Massachusetts Legislature to keep the heat on in Massachusetts and abandon efforts to ban shale gas development. CEA believes that advancing this legislation further will leave people out in the cold. On behalf of our members, we urge you to oppose any efforts to ban fracking in the Massachusetts Legislature.
President, Consumer Energy Alliance