Work to Raise Net Metering Cap on Solar and Stop the NED Pipeline Continues in 2016…

Information about MA Dept. of Public Utilities Hearings and Legislative Work on Energy Bills.

Public Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) Hearings on Tennessee Gas Petition to Survey on Private Land Begins on March 29th with Greenfield Hearing on March 30. For background information and hearing schedule for all 6 locations see Survey Petition by TGP.

Tennessee Gas Files an Injunction Against Massachusetts — Public Court Hearing on April 15th at 1 p.m. in Pittsfield .    In this case, Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is suing the Commonwealth and its Department of Conservation & Recreation to gain the right of eminent domain to access land in Otis State Forest for the Connecticut Expansion pipeline project.

See Article 97 of MA Constitution for information Otis State Forest in Sandisfield — Guidelines for court hearing remain the same.  Watch for information about possible rally across from courthouse building.

Important Note on National Grid, Eversource Petitions to DPU –  Deadlines Set for Written Testimony –
National Grid – DPU Dockets 16-05, 16-07 — Deadline for Written Comments is May 11, 2016
• Eversource – DPU Docket 15-181  — Deadline for Written Comments is May 23, 2016  Please submit written comments to the hearing officer identified in the respective notice, and also please copy on your email. ALSO, send a hard copy of any comments to Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.  For information on hearings and background on petitions see Tariff on Electricity Bills.


For information on latest developments on the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED gas pipeline projects and filings with the MA Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) and National Grid’s proposal to DPU for a tariff see Info Sheet Update2 Feb2016 and Info DPUHearing Sched Feb2016 2

For Events and Activities for March 2016 go to EVENTS

Information about the need to continue contacting legislators about the net metering cap on solar projects and the current bill now in a legislative conference committee is at

Conserve -- Use Less! Hundreds join MLK Walk to Stop the Pipeline. Walk covered 34 miles from Northfield to Plainfield, MA during Martin Luther King week-end in mid-January.

Regional Groups File Motions to Intervene with FERC in Fight to Stop NED Pipeline

Several regional groups have filed motions to intervene with FERC.  Intervening helps citizens’ groups and individuals keep their options open in future dealings and FERC hearings on the proposed Tennessee Gas NED Pipeline Project.

North Quabbin Pipeline Action filed a motion to intervene just before Christmas.  This letter to FERC states that NQPA opposes the NED project because it is not needed and encourages more use of fossil fuels instead of working toward meeting the goals set forth in the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Action.  This law passed in 2008 calls for the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020.  Other groups in this region filing motions to intervene with FERC include North Quabbin Energy, Warwick Town Energy and Building Committee, Millers River Watershed Council, Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, several towns and other groups.  Individuals are encouraged to write short motions to intervene.  See information under events.

FERC extended deadline for filing motions to intervene regarding Tennessee Gas Northeast Energy Direct (NED) proposal – Docket #CP16-21 until January 15th.  This happened on Monday, Jan. 4th after e-filing portal of FERC was shut down for 4 days over New Year’s week-end and four days over Christmas week-end.  People emailed and called FERC, elected officials and other government officials protesting this unfair shutdown.  It is important individuals and groups file motions to intervene now.  See Intervening at FERC Directions  for step-by-step information on how to file a motion (thanks to NoFrackedGasinMass and others for this information.   Also see  EVENTS.

People Speak Out on Climate Crisis, Sustainable Energy and Protecting the Earth

Views of North Quabbin March for the Earth – Nov. 29th

People from many small towns in the region came together and joined with thousands participating in events  around the world before the Climate Talks in Paris (11/30-12/11/2015)

As the Paris Climate Summit  (Nov. 30-Dec. 11) approaches, we all must step up and raise our voices.  On the eve of the biggest U.N. climate talks of the decade, we’re taking to the streets — all around the world.  With news from Paris that security will prohibit many of the Paris mobilizations and events from happening this means all people must make their voices heard around the world and be louder everywhere.  Join with people from around the North Quabbin and other places on Sunday, Nov. 29th from 1-2 p.m. at the Uptown Common in Athol for a short march, speakers and music.

No. Quabbin Global March for the Earth
No. Quabbin Global March for the Earth

Other Local and Regional Events

Winsert Making Workshops (interior storms) took place in both Orange and Royalston during November.  North Quabbin Energy and town energy committees in Orange and Royalston helped town residents build winserts for the Water Department Building in Orange and the Town Hall in Royalston.  These interior inexpensive winserts help increase the R-value of windows and cut down on heating costs.   See winsert page for information on using the “wrap method” to make winserts.

Public Lands Protected by Article 97 in Massachusetts  — Close to 20 people from the North Quabbin area were among the almost 150 people from across the state who attended a hearing in Boston recently on Article 97 and the proposed pipeline.

Alan Berman and Betsy Alkins (Warwick) were among many who attended Nov. 10 hearing at Boston State House.

People from across the state attended to give testimony to uphold Article 97 and keep Otis State Forest land from being taken out of Article 97 protection for a proposed gas pipeline running into Connecticut — another Kinder Morgan/TGP proposal.

Other News on Kinder Morgan/TGP proposed pipeline – Northeast Energy Direct Project — On Nov. 20, FERC posted the formal application submitted to them by Tennessee Gas Pipeline.  In the application Tennessee Gas makes the following comment about Article 97:   “Tennessee anticipates that it will seek Article 97 authorization from the Massachusetts legislature to obtain easement rights on lands that promote conservation purposes and that are owned by the Commonwealth  or  by a town or city.” (Nov. 20, 2015 application by Tennessee Gas Pipeline to FERC, Attachment A – Scoping Summary Matrix Responses, p. 40.).  For a listing of all sections of the application go to 

Solar Legislation — No Bill was passed by the MA State Legislature so works on this continues.


Acting Locally and Regionally on Energy Issues

Both North Quabbin Energy and North Quabbin Pipeline Action continue to plan events to educate people about energy conservation and efficiency as well as working to stop the proposed gas pipeline.

In the area of energy conservation, winsert making workshops are alive and well.  North Quabbin Energy along with town energy committees will co-ordinate two workshops in November – one on Nov. 7th at the Royalston Town Hall and the other on Nov. 14th at the Orange Armory. For information about these workshops see events and for instructions on how to make inexpensive interior storms (winserts) see Winserts – the Wrap Method.

People from the North Quabbin area also attended recent hearings at the State House in Boston.  These hearings before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy considered several energy bills. People working on these issues hope that the net metering cap affecting solar development projects in National Grid territory will be lifted this fall, and that a favorable energy bill will be passed by the State Legislature.

North Quabbin Pipeline Action had a presence at the Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange recently.  People staffed a table and got over 100 people to sign and write short letters to State Senators asking them to commit to upholding Article 97 of the State Constitution – an article pertaining to protected public lands in the state (see Resources and Research).  See Events for more information about upcoming activities.

Watch for Local Actions on Nov. 29th — Week-end of Climate Action on Road to Paris —  Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground.  See  —  “This huge weekend of action is being dubbed the Global Climate March, and a lot of organizations will be taking part. There will be a big march in Paris with hundreds of thousands of people, as well as key marches on every continent. Here in the U.S. it will be a holiday weekend, so we’re anticipating that many events will be a bit smaller. We’re still fired up to add our voices to the global call for action though, and we hope that you are too.”


Energy Bills Stall in State Legislature and Proposed KM Pipeline Moves Forward

Energy Bills in MA Legislature — As August ends it is still unclear what energy bills will be considered by the State Legislature this Fall.  It is important to keep contacting state officials and legislators about the Net Metering Cap.  Before the Legislature recessed for August,  Senator Rosenberg’s office reported that nothing could be done until this fall.  It is still unclear  if any energy bills will be considered this Fall.  Meanwhile there is a cap on large solar developments and community solar in National Grid territory which includes 171 communities in Massachusetts.  Continue calling legislators and Governor Baker asking them to lift the Net Metering cap (contacts for government officials).

On the proposed KM/TGP gas pipeline FERC is continuing to take comments for a couple of weeks in September on concerns pertaining to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for PF14-22.

For September Activities  see Events under Gas Pipeline.

State Energy Policy – Renewables and Fossil Fuel Debate Heats Up

July 2015   Actions  Concerning Solar and Net Metering in MA  — Write Governor Baker and State Legislators in July to call for lifting the Net Metering Cap on Solar and call a halt to new gas pipeline infrastructure – See Actions to Take.

Defending Renewable Energy, Solar and Community Shared Solar through Legislation: On June 2, 2015 at the Statehouse in Boston the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy will be holding a public hearing   starting at 1:00 P. M. in Gardner Auditorium on bills related to solar energy and net metering.  For more details and the bills that will be covered in this hearing see Solar Hearings June 2015

Berkshire Gas asks for more fossil fuels/gas in the future:  On June 11, 2015 the MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will hold a hearing at the Greenfield Middle School in Greenfield on a petition by Berkshire Gas to sign a contract with Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s NED project to receive 36,000 dekatherms per day of gas through the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project.  This and other petitions to the DPU help set up continuing use of fossils fuels (natural gas) well into the future.  See Docket 15-48  –  DPU (  Enter 15-48 in DPU dockets by number to see comments and original Berkshire Gas petition.

See Events for details and more events.

State Legislature Considers Energy Bills including Support of More Solar Power

Warren MA Solar Installation helps Orange Town Buildings with energy savings on electricity through net metering - June 2014

State Legislature to  Consider Energy Bills this Spring

Solar is Working —  The State Legislature will take up several bills concerning energy, net metering caps on solar and other issues related to state policy on energy.  To support bills that promote lifting net metering caps on solar and other renewable issues sign on at (                                                                                                                 For more information on Net Metering caps and specific bills see MassSolar SD1616-H2852 presentation, 4.1.15 1.  Also see for talking points  April2015-Phone script for solar power-2.  

See Events for upcoming regional events.  Also see  Actions to Take for latest on DPU hearings in Boston on proposed precedent agreements between gas companies and the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project.

No Need for New Infrastructure such as Pipelines — Recently Ken Berthiaume from Orange, who is part of a team researching issues related to the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP 36″ pipeline, shared some of his research findings with Montague residents at an NQPA public event.   Much of the information is taken from ISO-New England.  See The Grid, Renewables & Jobs, Leaks and More_4.23.15

Take Action now –Sign the new petition to Governor Baker now (see Actions to Take)  calling for a Clean Energy future which means supporting energy efficiency and conservation, working toward 20% of electricity generation from solar sources by 2025 and mandating full implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act.   People can also continue writing to state legislators voicing your opinion and telling them to uphold Article 97 regarding protected land.  See Research and Resources for more information


Note: Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!

NQ Pipeline Action Fundraiser Set for March 15

Sunday, March 15th—  Join with others and attend the  Stop the Pipeline Go Green Fundraiser at the Arts Block, 14 Court St. in Greenfield from 2-5 p.m.  This event is sponsored by No. Quabbin Pipeline Action (NQPA).  Musicians and local artists including Court Dorsey, Tex & Pat, Richard Chase and Moonlight & Morningstar  will provide entertainment.  There will be a silent auction, light refreshments and other events.

Help spread the word and attend this exciting fundraiser for NQ Pipeline Action as we continue our work to stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project running across MA and NH.  Residents of Athol, Erving, Orange, Royalston, Warwick and other towns came together a year ago to form No. Quabbin Pipeline Action (NQPA) to stop the proposed 36″ pipeline project.  We have been involved in fighting the pipeline since people first heard from KM land agents in January and February 2014. The proposed pipeline still follows a path through Warwick, Northfield, Erving, Montague and other Franklin County towns before entering NH.  Kinder Morgan is also proposing to build an 80,000 HP compressor station in Northfield.   For more information and to contribute to the Silent Auction call Lisa at 978-790-7352.  Donations may now also be made to Millers River Watershed Council – “pipeline” (100 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331).  See Events for link to poster to print and give to others.

Take Action now –Sign the new petition to Governor Baker now (see Actions to Take).  File a comment with FERC.  Write to state legislators voicing your opinion and tell them to uphold Article 97 regarding protected land.  See Research and Resources for more information



Note: Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!

Pipeline Opposition Activists Form Tri-State Coalition

Over 40 activists working to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline attended a retreat in January and formed a tri-state coalition.  These activists included people from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, many who had been working on opposing the pipeline for the past year.  Representatives from two dozen (24) organizations formed the StopNED Coalition to work together in the region to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline and also focus on alternative solutions such as more renewable energy and more energy efficiency programs.

The StopNED Coalition will address the broader environmental and economic impacts of the pipeline. According to Rosemary Wessel from,  “Increasing the region’s dependence on natural gas will hold businesses and homeowners hostage to this volatile commodity’s price swings, as well as price increases arising from possible export.  We all will benefit far more from clean energy solutions that fight climate change, offer stable prices and create thousands of local, permanent jobs.”

The focus for the StopNED Coalition in the next few months will include coordinating work on several campaigns.  The possible campaigns include: Alternative Solutions, Landowners and KM Open Houses, Upholding Article 97 and other work regarding conservation lands, Global Warming (e.g., in MA getting state to mandate and comply with goals set in MA Global Warming Solutions Act), and Tariff Issues.
NQ Pipeline Action will join with other groups to work on these campaigns and will update people as proposed actions develop.  Materials regarding these campaigns will also be posted under Resources and Research.  Meanwhile several public events are happening in the region during the coming month (See Events).

Outreach to other Communities and Organizations in other parts of Massachusetts — For an example of this, see posting at UUMassAction website —  This group reaches out to 140 churches affiliated with the Universalist-Unitarian (UU) churches in MA.