New England Governors’ Statement
Regional Cooperation on Energy Infrastructure
April 23, 2015
New England continues to face significant energy system challenges with serious economic consequences for the region’s consumers. These challenges require cost-effective solutions to reduce consumer energy costs, strengthen grid reliability and enhance regional economic competitiveness.
A challenge for the region, which offers an unmatched quality of life and a world-class workforce, is that New England consumers pay more for electricity than consumers anywhere else in the continental United States. Although there were variations across the region, many New England residents have seen electric prices increase dramatically over the last two winters.
In January, ISO New England, the region’s power system operator, reiterated that New England is challenged by a lack of natural gas pipeline infrastructure and is losing non-gas power plants, both of which threaten power system reliability. As a result, New England is now relying on greater use of fuel oil to maintain reliability. Such a trend is to our detriment, as fuel oil has a higher cost, a higher emissions profile and its increased use will reverse progress on New England’s environmental objectives.
Continued state attention is urgently needed to achieve clean, affordable, and reliable power on which our families and businesses depend. This problem is greater than any one state can solve alone. For this reason, we renew our commitment to coordinated action to address our regional energy challenge.
The economic, system reliability, and environmental consequences of inadequate energy infrastructure require action. Cost-effective investment in new natural gas infrastructure and the continued integration of clean energy resources are important to resolving these challenges. With these infrastructure investments, and continuing aggressive investment in other clean energy solutions such as energy efficiency and distributed generation, our region can reduce energy costs and thereby attract new businesses and jobs for our hard-working citizens.
We recognize that each state may support addressing our regional energy challenge in different ways. These efforts must be done in partnership with state legislatures, and respecting the requirements of laws, regulatory proceedings, and opportunities for public participation that are unique to each individual state.
Together and respecting the bounds of individual state laws, we plan to continue to work to seek out economically beneficial infrastructure solutions to New England’s power system challenges. We are committed to working as a region to advance New England’s shared economic, energy, and environmental goals.