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Kinder Morgan to Sign Pipeline Deal with N.H. Trade Unions

Consumer Energy
Flicker CC

Natural-gas pipeline developer Kinder Morgan is teaming up with the New Hampshire Building Trades Council on the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline. The deal is likely to guarantee the support of major labor unions for the controversial project.

The agreement says that Kinder Morgan will use union labor on all of its job sites, if it gets permission from federal regulators to build its pipeline. Unions say that would mean hundreds of jobs for New Hampshire pipefitters, welders, electrical workers, and basically every building trade.

This announcement is no real surprise: Developers often rely on union support to help push for politically charged infrastructure projects, and the Northeast Energy Direct has generated substantial push-back in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

If completed, the pipeline would carry up to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day into New England. That would be a 35 percent increase over current natural gas pipeline capacity. It's the largest of a bevy of pipeline proposals on the table, which would nearly double the region's import capacity if they were all completed.

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