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    Mass. Senate has good sense to protect ratepayers from pipeline tax

    The July 5 editorial “Don’t let side issues derail crucial energy bill” refers to the Senate’s efforts to save Massachusetts businesses and families from being forced to pay a new pipeline tax as “unnecessary” and “premature,” when, in reality, these efforts could not be more timely or important. For the first time in our state’s long history, electric customers may be forced to pay for pipelines so expensive and risky that the energy giants themselves are unwilling to use their own money to build them. Not only is this disastrous for our economy and environment, but it defies existing laws designed to protect the people of Massachusetts from just such risk.

    The Senate bill would remove all ambiguity and settle the issue. To be clear, it would not stop energy corporations from financing pipelines themselves, as they historically have done. But it would prevent them from doing it with your money and mine.

    Private energy companies are lined up to take our money to build their projects. Given the opportunity, how can one blame them? Thank goodness our Senate has the sense to stop them in their tracks.

    Bradley Campbell, president

    Conservation Law Foundation

    Boston