Even though there’s absolutely no evidence they’re needed, some people just don’t know how to quit shilling for new or expanded fracked gas pipelines. This week in the Boston Herald, Republican consultant and columnist Holly Robichaud once again claims “there is a great need” for Massachusetts ratepayers to pay billions in new fees to subsidize pipelines.
The problem: ISO New England announced last week that wholesale electricity prices have dropped to their lowest level in 13 years, as the Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto reported. Why should we slap a huge new pipeline tax on electricity bills when electricity prices are so low?
That these pipelines are still being pushed in the face of all available evidence shows they were never about cutting electricity rates – they’re about raising them. As Sen. Ed Markey has detailed, by building export pipelines to the MA coast, oil and gas companies can get an inflated price for their gas on the international market, instead of having to sell it to us on the cheap.
Vets4Energy appears to be little more than a manufactured frontgroup for API.
An API press release from 2013 states that the group is a project of API “American Petroleum Institute’s Vets4Energy campaign.” The group’s chairman (according to the Anchorage Daily Planet; V4E’s website does not identify the organization’s leadership) is a former mayor of Anchorage who also happens to be former vice president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, an API member. The video to the right shows API’s CEO and president Jack Gerard giving a pep talk at a pre-lobbying meeting for high-ranking veterans, telling them to “Stand their Ground.”
Oh, and those ads that run constantly with a man and a woman telling us we should subsidize gas pipelines? Those are also paid for by the American Petroleum Institute.
The legislature and Gov. Baker have been right to put subsidized gas pipelines on the back burner, focusing on clean energy and efficiency, which can meet our energy needs and provide some real energy competition (this morning New England is getting 75% of its electricity from just two sources, gas and nuclear).
More background: 11 Reasons We Must Say No to New Fracked Gas Infrastructure