- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission is recommending against spending up to $75 million a year to expand natural gas pipeline capacity in New England.

The recommendation issued Wednesday is a potential setback for Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s efforts to boost pipeline capacity to bring more natural gas into the energy mix in Maine. The three-member PUC will take up deliberations on the proposal this summer.

The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/1PLrBSo ) reports that PUC staff concluded factors including low oil and gas prices and new pipelines already under construction or being permitted could temper winter price spikes without ratepayers getting involved.

The Industrial Energy Consumer Group and the state’s public advocate criticized the conclusion, arguing natural gas would lower energy costs and bring benefits to ratepayers.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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