NEW ENGLAND GOVERNORS’ COMMITMENT TO REGIONAL COOPERATION ON ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES
December 5, 2013
Securing the future of the New England economy and environment requires strategic investments in our region’s energy resources and infrastructure. These investments will provide affordable, clean, and reliable energy to power our homes and businesses; make our region more competitive by reducing energy costs; attract more investment to the region; and protect our quality of life and environment.
As the region’s electric and natural gas systems have become increasingly interdependent, ensuring that we are efficiently using existing resources and securing additional clean energy supplies will be critical to New England’s economic future. To ensure a reliable, affordable and diverse energy system, we need investments in additional energy efficiency, renewable generation, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission. These investments will also serve to balance intermittent generation, reduce peak demand, and displace some of the least efficient and most polluting fossil fuel generation, enabling the states to meet clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals while improving the economic competitiveness of our region.
New England ratepayers can benefit if the states collaborate to advance our common goals. The Governors therefore commit to continue to work together, in coordination with ISO-New England and through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), to advance a regional energy infrastructure initiative that diversifies our energy supply portfolio while ensuring that the benefits and costs of transmission and pipeline investments are shared appropriately among the New England States. At the same time, we must respect individual state perspectives, particularly those of host states, as well as the natural resources, environment, and economy of the States, and ensure that the citizens and other stakeholders of our region, including NEPOOL, are involved in the process. The Governors are committed to achieving consensus as we move forward, consistent with laws and policies across the region.
The New England States believe that investments in local renewable generation, combined heat and power, and renewable and competitively-priced heating for buildings will support local markets and result in additional cost savings, new jobs and economic opportunities, and environmental gains. The New England States further believe that these investments must be advanced in a coordinated approach in order to maximize ratepayer savings and system integrity. We will continue to advocate at ISO-New England, NEPOOL, and elsewhere for greater integration and utilization of renewable generation; development of new natural gas pipeline infrastructure; maximizing the use of existing transmission infrastructure; investment, where appropriate, in new transmission infrastructure; and continuation of the inclusion of energy efficiency – and the addition of distributed generation – in load forecasting and transmission planning.
We have directed our appropriate staff to work together with NESCOE to ensure that we are taking all necessary steps to meet our common needs and goals. Our commitment to work together on energy infrastructure issues will be informed by recent regional energy infrastructure studies conducted by the States, ISO-New England, and other regional organizations. We believe that by working together we can expand economic development, promote job growth, improve the competitiveness of our industries, enhance system reliability, and protect and increase the quality of life of our citizens. Expanding our existing efforts will ensure that we are on a course toward a transformed energy, environment, and economic future for our region that offers a model for the nation.
Dannel P. Malloy
Governor of Connecticut
Paul R. LePage
Governor of Maine
Deval L. Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts
Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor of New Hampshire
Lincoln D. Chafee
Governor of Rhode Island
Governor of Vermont