Berkshire Gas looking to lift its moratorium on new natural gas service

Berkshire Gas has come up with eight options for supplying customers through 2020.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- State lawmakers are putting pressure on Berkshire Gas to lift its moratorium on new natural gas service.

The company supplies gas to residents and businesses in western Massachusetts.
Berkshire Gas is looking at ways to safely lift the moratorium.

“When a project which has environmental impact, like a pipeline and so forth is considered, I think it should be considered in the larger context of overall energy use and so it can be reduced,” said Jagu Jagannathan of Amherst.

In 2015, Berkshire gas halted its new natural gas service to Hatfield, Hadley, Sunderland, and Amherst. They said it would stay in place until a Kinder Morgan pipeline was built.

But Kinder Morgan withdrew support for its pipeline in April. Berkshire Gas has come up with eight options for supplying customers through 2020. Among them, building new facilities and expanding natural gas pipeline delivery. Hadley town officials said the moratorium is delaying development in town.

“With gas supply along route 9, we would expect to see development, said William Dwyer, Hadley Planning Board Clerk. “Without it, we don’t see as much.”

The moratorium forced the Texas Roadhouse in Hadley to use propane instead of natural gas. Natural gas is considered to be a cleaner, cheaper energy source. Berkshire Gas covers most of route 9 in Hadley, and some residential parts of town.

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