Consumer Energy Alliance commended a conference committee comprised of members from the Massachusetts legislature that recently approved a final version of the Energy Diversity Bill (H.4385/S.2372) which removed a harmful provision that would have prevented critically needed natural gas pipeline infrastructure from being built.

“Thanks to the conference committee, Bay Staters struggling with continually high electricity and home heating prices can breathe a little easier,” CEA President David Holt “For far too long, politicians have only been listening to the unrealistic demands of the professional activist class that only offer ‘no’ as an option – instead of contributing the real solutions needed to keep the lights on and prices affordable.”

Holt added: “Consumers in Massachusetts have said loud and clear that they have had enough with the roadblocks for infrastructure and energy security. On behalf of CEA and northeastern consumers, I want to thank the conference committee for stripping this punitive anti-pipeline provision. Let’s work together on advancing a more balanced energy policy in Massachusetts and creating a more secure future for consumers.”

According to federal data, Massachusetts has some of the highest power costs in the lower 48 States. Boston area consumers, for instance, paid 53 percent more than the national average for electricity last spring. Over the last few winters, consumers in New England have paid billions more – unnecessarily – in higher natural gas prices, which has eaten into savings and increased the region’s already high cost of living. Independent grid manager ISO New England has repeatedly warned policymakers and the public that the region simply doesn’t have enough natural gas to meet demand on very cold days and is a threat to reliability and continued price spikes.

Last week, CEA delivered about 4,500 constituent letters to all Massachusetts Senate offices and House conference committee members urging them to remove the Senate’s harmful amendment rider and support bipartisan legislative language that the House approved, which would have allowed for much-needed electricity infrastructure expansion and expanded renewable energy development.

The out-pouring of support for more pipelines and natural gas infrastructure by Bay State residents should be no surprise. In a recent poll conducted for CEA, a sample of registered voters overwhelmingly supported electricity generation from natural gas power plants (73 percent), clearly and convincingly showing that New England voters are concerned with clean, reliable, and cost efficient energy sources.

The final Energy Diversity Bill conference report has been passed by both bodies of the Massachusetts legislature and now awaits signature by Gov. Charlie Baker.