Thank you to everyone who is supporting our work. Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated and needed to continue funding our legal efforts. We are now able to accept tax deductible contributions through our fiscal sponsor, New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF). Checks can be made out to NEGEF, with “PLAN-NE” in the memo line, and mailed to NEGEF, P.O. Box 611, Newmarket, NH 03857.
Donations can also be made directly to us via this Paypal link.
In both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, we continue to fight requests for approval of “precedent agreements”between Kinder Morgan and local gas companies for capacity on the NED pipeline. State-level approval of these agreements is critical for Kinder Morgan to prove “need” for the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
In New Hampshire, thanks to the work of our attorney, the Public Utilities Commission recently ruled in the Liberty Utilities precedent agreement proceeding that “assessment of the environmental impacts of the NED pipeline is relevant to, or likely to lead to the discovery of relevant information about, the justness, reasonableness, and/or prudence of the cost of the new pipeline capacity.” Our expert testimony, along with the testimony submitted by the Office of Consumer Advocate and the testimony submitted by the staff of the PUC, concluded that Liberty Utilities' contract with Kinder Morgan should be denied. While the other parties may ultimately be willing to settle for some amount of NED capacity, PLAN-NE is committed to working to prevent approval of the agreement. This contract amounts to approximately one quarter of the NED capacity contracts that Kinder Morgan has announced.
In Massachusetts, there are three precedent agreement proceedings underway. The western Mass hearing held by the Department of Public Utilities last week was attended by over 700 people and lasted for over four hours, while elected officials, affected landowners and concerned citizens testified. Unlike the NH PUC, the MA DPU has granted us limited participant status rather than allowing us to participate as a full intervenor, even when state representatives and municipalities joined our coalition. As a limited participant, we are still able to file a legal brief in each proceeding and intend to gain access to confidential information for our experts to analyze. We are now pursuing appeals to become a full party, while collaborating with the those who already have full party status (both the Conservation Law Foundation and the Attorney General's Office have submitted information requests to the gas companies that we prepared with our attorney).
To date we have been funded by some very generous supporters and we are extremely grateful for the start they have provided. Legal and technical expertise come with an associated cost and we are asking everyone to step up and make a contribution of $50 this week. While this is not a small amount, we are hopeful it is within reach of most. If everyone who receives this message contributes a minimum of $50, it will provide some relief against the cost of these proceedings and allow us to forge ahead with next steps. If you are able to give more than this amount, we will be able to spend less time on fundraising and focus more on this important work.
Please share this appeal with your friends, neighbors, fellow pipeline-fighting networks, and others opposed to the overbuild of gas infrastructure embodied in the NED pipeline proposal.
Katy Eiseman on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast, Inc.
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