Neal Urges Investigation into Potential Economic and Environmental Benefits of Massachusetts Importing Canadian Hydroelectricity

Dec 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) Chairman David Johanson regarding Massachusetts’s importation of hydro-generated electricity from Canada. To determine the potential economic and renewable energy usage effects of such imports, Chairman requested the USITC conduct an investigation and prepare a report on the matter under section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930. 
“Over the past three decades, Massachusetts has seen the retirement of both nuclear and coal-generated power plants across the Commonwealth,” wrote Chairman Neal. “With these facilities offline, there has been a growing strain on the ability of New England’s bulk power generation and transmission system to meet the demands of consumers. High electricity rates undermine the competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses and make it difficult for residents, particularly low-income households, to afford their utility bills.”
Chairman Neal also pointed out that “many New England states have set ambitious goals for seeking alternative renewable means of providing energy while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” and that it’s possible hydroelectric imports from Canada could help the region meet those targets. 
Among other relevant information, the Chairman requested the USITC report examine New England’s renewable energy goals and commitments, and progress towards meeting these goals; the essential elements of Massachusetts’s long-term contract for the procurement of clean energy from Hydro-Quebec; and the potential economic and environmental effects on the Commonwealth of the import of hydroelectricity from Canada. 
Full text of the letter is available HERE

An updated version of the letter sent to the USITC can be found here.