SJC rules “pipeline tax” goes against state law

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Industrial pipe with gas and oil

BOSTON (WWLP) – Senate President Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst said that the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision is a major victory for the region. The proposed “pipeline tax” would’ve allowed utility companies to pass on the cost of building a new natural gas pipeline to ratepayers.

The state’s highest court ruled that charging customers in advance for a gas pipeline is prohibited under state law. The decision effectively kills the controversial Northeast Energy Direct project. The natural gas company Kinder Morgan wanted to build 120-miles of new gas pipeline through parts of western Massachusetts.

Governor Charlie Baker refused to share his thoughts on today’s ruling. “I haven’t read the ruling yet,” Baker told 22News. “I know it came out this morning, but I’m not going to comment on it until I’ve had a chance to review it.”

The Massachusetts Petroleum Council said in a statement that this is a major step backwards for Bay State residents who pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation.

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