Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law Monday a wide-ranging energy bill. A key state senator says he’s disappointed it doesn’t contain language designed to slow the construction of natural gas pipelines.
The Senate version of the bill would have banned a so-called “pipeline tax,” preventing energy companies from raising rates to help cover the cost of building new natural gas pipelines.
But in negotiations with the House, that measure was dropped, says State Senator Ben Downing, who was on the committee that brokered the compromise.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our colleagues in the House to agree with us on that position,” Downing says. “We had to make sure we didn’t lose the good that was in this bill with the end of session, so I’m frustrated by that along with many other provisions that I thought would have strengthened the bill.”
The final version also calls for the state to purchase more hydro-power and off-shore wind energy.