While Massachusetts manufacturers have been converting their facilities to burn natural gas at the behest of public policy leaders, they are suffering from a gas supply shortage due to the failure of public policy to embrace new sources of gas, according to the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance Inc.

Alliance CEO David Wawer recently wrote to FERC about the failure of his state's policy on natural gas, particularly with regard to the controversial Weaver's Cove Energy LLC liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed for Fall River, MA.

"Unfortunately, Massachusetts policy makers have failed to address the resulting high costs of natural gas associated with the increased demand," Wawer wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "In addition, policy makers have failed to promote long-term solutions to the coming energy crisis resulting from the increased usage of natural gas as an energy source."

Recently, Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management delivered more bad news to the embattled Weaver's Cove terminal when it denied the company's request for a permit and water quality certificate for dredging (see NGI, Aug 20).

In his letter to FERC, Wawer calls for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs to approve the Weaver's Cove project. FERC approved Weaver's Cove in mid-2005.

"New sources of natural gas are especially critical to address the high cost problem created under existing Massachusetts regulatory policies," he wrote, citing the recent closing of a Quaker Fabrics plant in Fall River in part due to high energy costs. "The question for the [Massachusetts] administration to address is how many more Quaker Fabrics will be announced in the next several years, as opposed to news stories about job creation and economic development."

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