Study: Lack of energy infrastructure would cripple New England
A study funded by trade groups representing the oil and natural gas industries is predicting dire consequences for New England if the region doesn’t improve its energy infrastructure by the end of the current decade.
The 68-page report released Thursday was prepared for the New England Coalition for Affordable Energy, a Boston-based advocacy group. But it was sponsored by two energy trade groups, the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance.
The report predicts that homes and businesses across the region could collectively pay $5.4 billion more than what they are paying now for energy costs. It also claims the region could be facing 167,000 jobs lost or not created as a result of higher energy costs.
The combination of higher energy costs and lost jobs would reduce the amount of disposable income available to New England by more than $12 billion.
Alvaro Pereira, principal consultant at La Capra Associates, one of the study’s authors, said in a conference call that the report examined “multiple types of infrastructure to reduce energy costs including natural gas pipelines, electricity transmission lines, renewable and non-renewable electricity generation.”
“We looked at that and compared it with the cost impact of continuing to rely on existing infrastructure,” Pereira said.
Carl Gustin, spokesman for the New England Coalition for Affordable Energy, said the high level of employment loss being predicted in the study would be “caused by the combination of higher energy costs and the loss of additional infrastructure investment.”