News and Press

State House News Service: New Markey, Warren Bill Targets Energy Export Projects

Singling out a project in Weymouth that they say will help send natural gas to Canada, Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren announced plans Tuesday to file legislation blocking construction of any compressor station built as part of a pipeline project meant to export natural gas internationally.

Under the Community Outreach, Maintenance, and Preservation by Restricting Export Stations from Subverting Our Regulations (COMPRESSOR) Act, the question of whether a project facilitates exports would be resolved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They introduced it Tuesday as the Baker administration moves the gas project planned along the Fore River, in an industrial area near densely populated neighborhoods, through its permitting phases.

The project is strongly opposed by South Shore residents, elected officials and many public health and environmental justice activists, and opponents are challenging permit approvals in the courts. In July, nearly three-quarters of the Senate penned a letter urging the state Department of Environmental Protection to rescind its approval of project permits.

“We should not move forward with a project that asks our residents to sacrifice health and safety just to be a throughway for American natural gas to get to foreign markets,” Markey said. “Residents in Weymouth, Quincy, and Braintree have nothing to gain and everything to lose if this compressor station gets built.”

The U.S. senators noted that the project is proposed by a subsidiary of Enbridge, Canada’s largest pipeline operator.

“Major gas projects like the proposed compressor station in Weymouth increase our reliance on fossil fuels while ignoring the concerns of households and consumers who would be affected the most. Our bill helps ensure the health and safety of residents in Weymouth and across the Commonwealth are not jeopardized just so that gas companies like Enbridge can line their pockets by exporting natural gas overseas,” Warren said.
– Michael P. Norton/SHNS |