April 21, 2015

Five N. England governors to discuss energy issues

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo
In order to access clean and affordable electricity, New England will need more transmission lines.

The governors of five of the six New England states are meeting on Thursday in Hartford to develop a regional strategy on energy infrastructure and use.

The heart of the discussion will be the need to get electricity and heating fuel to the main load centers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in the most efficient, clean, and reliable manner possible. This includes expanding and building new transmission lines across the region, as well as utilizing New England's natural resources, such as wind power in Maine.

The governors attending Thursday's event in Hartford are Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage, Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Rainmondo, and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, whose state is the proposed site of the region's most ambitious electric transmission line to import hydropower from Canada, will not be in attendance. That $1 billion proposed Northern Pass transmission line has been a controversial issue in New Hampshire since it was proposed.

The agenda for Thursday's meeting calls for an energy forum in the morning featuring the Connecticut consumer counsel and the CEO of power grid administrator ISO New England. Following that, the governors will retreat into a closed-door session to develop an energy infrastructure strategy for the region.

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