AG opposes gas-pipeline price break for new Back Bay high rise

Attorney General Maura Healy this week urged state regulators to reject a deal between National Grid and the developer of the 61-story One Dalton project that would give the developer a price break on a required gas main and let it avoid the energy-efficiency charges regular customers who are not building luxury hotel/condo projects have to pay.

"Simply, this Special Contract is nothing more than a special deal for a real estate developer and its hotel and luxury condominium customers that is unavailable to any other core, firm-service customer," one that could ultimately mean higher prices for less well off customers, Healey's office writes in a filing with the state Department of Public Utilities.

The DPU has authority over both the proposed deal and the new 4,100-foot pipeline National Grid wants to put under the Back Bay to feed One Dalton - and other customers.

The exact amount One Dalton would pay for construction of the new main is redacted from state filings, but both the AG's office and National Grid call it a "multi-million-dollar" project. National Grid says the proposed savings - also redacted - are to help out developer Carpenter & Co. because the construction cost would be "unusual and would be a financial burden on One Dalton."

Healey's office did not explicitly condemn the new pipeline, which some Back Bay residents are fighting, but noted that while National Grid points to One Dalton as the main reason to build it, the company has proposed using it to feed other new customers in the neighborhood, and that those customers would have to pick up a higher share of the costs of the pipeline due to the One Dalton deal.

The AG says National Grid estimated that One Dalton - which will include a 215-room Four Seasons Hotel topped by 160 luxury condos - would need a 6-inch gas main to feed it, but that the company is proposing a main of between 12 and 20 inches wide.

[T]he Department should consider which customers can afford to engage in large development projects requiring multi-million dollar [gas-main construction contracts]. In the case of One Dalton, it is a developer of a sixty-one story building in one of the country's most expensive neighbborhoods that is reportedly selling a condominium upwards of $40 million to a CEO of a Fortune 500 company ... A policy allowing special rates for customers requiring large [contracts], solely because they have large [contracts], favors those with the most economic resources at the expense of other, less-wealthy firm distribution customers.

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Comments

Why does the AG have any say

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Why does the AG have any say over DPU? Didn't the legislature create DPU for a reason?

And if the AG is so concerned with utility rates why didn't the AG have a problem with the electric rates being jacked up a few years ago?

This seems like theater for a governatorial bid.

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Voting is closed. 11

She doesn't have "say" over the DPU

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She is supposed to represent the people's and ratepayers' interests in hearings before the DPU. But the DPU is free to reject her arguments.

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Voting is closed. 30

Maura Healey - Theatre?

I think you are mistaking someone doing their job for what you think is grandstanding.

She is smart, tough, and not afraid to get things done. I like the way she operates way more than the lunacy that is going on in the senate right now with Rosenberg clutching his way back into power, or C. Faker letting the T run itself into the ground.

Sorry, the T does run into the ground, instead how about Faker allowing the T's maintenance to falter to let you be like Gronk and get concussed on the Orange Line by falling panels.

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Voting is closed. 9

Healey spends more time

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Healey spends more time traveling and state money campaigning for other politicians than she does doing her job. She's the epitome of theatre. As far as "getting things done" she has a blatant disregard for the law especially when it comes to public records. The SCotUS already has taken a dim view of her and when she finally moves onto a different office there is going to be a doozy of expensive court cases the commonwealth will lose which taxpayers will be on the hook for. Healey is Coakley with better PR skills. Otherwise she is every bit as incompetent, arrogant, crooked, and ambitious as he predecessors. Seriously the MA AG office churns out winners like the Speaker of the House does. Long list of self serving gasbags obsessed with publicity stunts while white collar criminals get away with running massive empires as long as they keep the campaign checks in the mail.

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Oh that's just great. Charge

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Oh that's just great. Charge the rich what everyone else has to pay for services? What kind of socialized world are we living in?

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Voting is closed. 20

New buildings should be

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New buildings should be efficient enough to run off of geothermal or heat pump technology via clean electricity. No new gas infrastructure should be allowed. Or else we will also be paying for the $45 billion sea wall to protect the city from sea level rise. Perhaps there should be a surcharge on new construction to help pay for that.

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