In face of sustained political protest coupled with an indifferent future customer base, Kinder Morgan has decided to cancel the construction of a $3.3 billion, 188 - mile gas pipeline system from a point west of Albany, New York to Dracut, Massachusetts.
The company said on Wednesday that its Northeast Energy Direct project didn’t receive the commitments from big customers, particularly utilities, that it needed to proceed.
Kinder Morgan's withdrawal represents a huge victory for its array of opponents, ranging from grass-roots organizations to established environmental groups to powerful politicians. They also included residents of the many towns that would be affected by pipeline construction and activists who worried it could make New England overly dependent on natural gas.
And the decision could provide a big boost to the other large pipeline construction project proposed for New England, Spectra Energy Partners’ Access Northeast, which has the financial backing of utilities Eversource Energy and National Grid.
“There was probably room for only one of the two competing projects,” said Paul Flemming, director at ESAI Power, a research and consulting firm in Wakefield.