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New England Overview: A Primer on Natural Gas Related Issues in 2018

Natural gas continues to be an issue of great interest and significant controversy throughout New England. Proponents of building additional gas pipeline infrastructure to secure additional natural gas supply into New England maintain that doing so will reduce gas prices and electricity prices (since approximately half of the region’s generation fleet is now gas-fired). They further argue that additional pipelines will enhance the reliability of the region’s electricity system. Opponents of additional gas pipeline infrastructure and supply maintain that increasing reliance on natural gas will delay the achievement of the region’s long-term climate reduction obligations (i.e., 80 percent reduction by 2050) and create stranded costs. This primer does not take a position on this regional debate, but it does provide an up-to-date discussion of this multi-faceted and complex set of facts and issues.

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