Patrick Must Halt New Pipeline Tax Says Green-Rainbow Party

(The following press release was originally published on the Green Party website.)

BOSTON, MA – Governor Patrick must withdraw his administration’s support for a new electricity rate tariff that could saddle Massachusetts citizens with billions of dollars in electricity bill increases according to three candidates for statewide office. The increases would primarily go to build a fracked gas pipeline for Houston-based Kinder Morgan corporation.

“The Governor has put us on the road to a 4 billion dollar tax increase using a process that neatly evades the need for approval by the Massachusetts Legislature,” said Danny Factor, Green-Rainbow candidate for Secretary of State.

“Hitting people with rate increases through use of the largely hidden electricity rate bureaucracy is taxation without representation,” he added.

The three candidates are asking Governor Patrick to withdraw the Administration’s support for the tariff. The Administration (through the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities) signed a January 21, 2014 letter asking ISO New England to prepare for implementing the tariff. The candidates claim that the letter was premature and launches a process that exposes electricity consumers to unnecessary rate increases.

According to State Auditor candidate M K Merelice “When ordinary people ask for more funding for public transportation or schools, we’re told that money just isn’t available and our requests are bottled up by legislative hearings. It doesn’t seem right that when some CEO from Houston comes in with a multi-billion dollar scheme, their request is put on a fast track that bypasses the Legislature. ”

State Treasurer candidate Ian Jackson added that “the working people of Massachusetts could get a staggering tax bill for a for a pipeline that won’t even be necessary if we just keep pursuing our plans for renewable energy. We need to halt the work on the new electricity tax and lay out a plan to make the pipeline obsolete with clean, sustainable energy.”

Referring to the Conservation Law Foundation Freedom of Information Act request that unveiled the extent to which the Administration has been working in conjunction with the pipeline interests, Factor said “This kind of secrecy and evasion seems to be part of a strategy to deliver a major windfall to the energy companies before the citizens of Massachusetts realize what’s happening. We call upon the Governor to rescind the support of Massachusetts for the new tariff and to have a full, open study of how we can avoid this enormous expense.”

Earlier this year the Green-Rainbow Party joined a 5-state coalition of state Green parties known as the Green Alliance to Stop the Pipelines or GASP. GASP contends that the environmental damages of green house gas emissions requires us to stop spending money on fossil fuel infrastructure and to invest instead in clean, sustainable energy sources.

Contact for more information:
John Andrews, Tel. 781-382-5658, jandrews166@gmail.com

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