A consumer model that compounds public benefits.
Ronald C. DeCurzio is chief executive officer of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC).
New England's well-documented natural gas pipeline deficiencies are jeopardizing electric system reliability and intensifying concern among consumers, businesses, regulators, and politicians about high and unmanageable electricity prices. Lay the blame on two root causes.
First, an historic shift has occurred in reliance on natural gas for electric generation. Second, we've seen a failure of the marketplace to adapt. But regardless of the reasons why, the problem won't go away until new gas pipeline capacity is in place to serve electric generators.
In the search for solutions, we New Englanders have a unique opportunity to change the model for natural gas pipeline development. And we can do that in a manner that not only addresses the pipeline shortage, but also corrals energy costs while compounding economic benefits by saving consumers billions of dollars in pipeline costs. We call it the Consumer Model for Natural Gas Infrastructure Development (Consumer Model). This new model calls for public, nonprofit ownership of pipelines and pipeline capacity constructed to serve electric generators.