BOSTON — The Conservation Law Foundation wants to get a behind-the-scenes look at how governors in the six New England states came up with the idea of using ratepayer money to finance construction of a new natural gas pipeline into New England.
The environmental group has issued right-to-know requests with each of the states and the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE).
"This is an effort to bring transparency to the process through which the governors of these states are proposing billions of dollars in new publicly funded energy infrastructure, which has until now been taking place without public vetting," said Seth Kaplan, vice president of public policy and climate advocacy at CLF.
He said the governors' actions "appear to be the result of back room deal-making rather than sound public policy informed by open dialogue," and that the records requests an effort to "ensure the public knows more about the projects they would be funding when they pay their gas and electric bills, in terms of types of energy resources, costs, siting, and other elements."
To date, CLF's requests for full disclosure from the governors and NESCOE about the plans have gone unanswered, Kaplan said.
"Governors have asked ISO New England to impose billions in costs on the public to pay for new gas pipelines and massive imports of Canadian hydropower, leading many to point out that the governors' focus on gas and Canadian hydro seems to be a package deal, resulting from private negotiations between the governors and energy industry representatives."
CLF intends to make the results of its records requests available on its website at www.clf.org.