A new study commissioned by an importer of liquefied natural gas challenges the notion that new natural gas pipelines are needed for the New England market, contending that demand for the product is expected to decline and noting that the region will benefit from a diversification in power generation resources.
The report, issued by Energyzt Advisors LLC and commissioned by France-based GDF Suez, comes at a time when parts of Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango counties have found themselves on the pathways of two controversial projects — the Constitution Pipeline and the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline.
Proponents of both projects have maintained they are needed by energy users in the Northeast and would help to curb gas price fluctuations during heating-season months.
But the Energyzt report concluded: “Even during extreme winter conditions, new pipeline capacity is not required to meet New England natural gas demand needs given existing infrastructure, current market conditions and policy initiatives.”
GDF has not been a neutral party on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings involving the NED project that would parallel Interstate 88 before heading east into Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
GDF, which operates LNG facilities in Massachusetts, has refused to allow Kinder Morgan surveyors to have access to its land in Northfield and Erving, Mass., the Greenfield Recorder newspaper reported Thursday.
The report also echoed the contentions of local pipeline foes by suggesting some of the gas moved in proposed pipelines would end up being sent to LNG export facilities in the Canadian Maritimes, with New England benefiting from an anticipated increase of Canadian hydroelectric power.
Also this week, among the documents sent to FERC on its review of the NED project was a report by the Southwest Pennsylvania Health Project that summarized potential health impacts from natural gas compressor stations. The NED project would result in two new compressors in the town of Schoharie and one in Franklin.
While no epidemiological studies have been conducted on those living near compressors, the report said, public health surveys have noted health impacts related to respiratory, neurological and cardiovascular body systems.
This article was written by Joe Mahoney from The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.