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Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 3, 2013

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Signs Regional Energy Statement to Reduce Energy Costs, Protect New Hampshire's Interests
Statement Calls for Enhanced Cooperation Among New England States on Natural Gas Expansion, Energy Infrastructure Issues

CONCORD - As part of efforts to pursue additional energy sources that will help reduce energy costs and improve reliability for New Hampshire's families and businesses, Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that she has joined with her fellow New England governors in signing a regional statement of commitment to increase cooperation among the region on energy infrastructure issues.

The agreement expands on existing cooperative efforts to allow for increased collaboration among the states as the region works to increase the availability of affordable natural gas while diversifying energy resources, modernizing technology, and increasing energy efficiency. The statement includes a focus on respecting the interests and views of each individual state in order to ensure that each state benefits from participation and that no state is forced to shoulder unfair costs.

"In order to build an innovative energy future and encourage the economic growth that will create good jobs, we must take steps to lower energy prices for New Hampshire's businesses and families while making sure that we are protecting what we love about our state," Governor Hassan said. "By continuing to work closely with our fellow New England states, we ensure that our state is well represented in regional initiatives."

"Collaboration allows us to explore accelerating the pursuit of additional natural gas and other energy sources in innovative ways that will reduce energy costs and increase reliability throughout the region while protecting New Hampshire ratepayers and the natural resources that are critical to our state's economy and to what makes our state special," Governor Hassan said. "Participating in ongoing regional discussions about important energy issues can benefit ratepayers with lower energy costs, protect our vital natural resources, and ensure that that New Hampshire's voice is fully heard by our neighbors and by decision makers outside of our state."

In addition to Governor Hassan, the statement was signed by Governors Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island; Paul R. LePage of Maine; Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut; Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts; and Peter Shumlin of Vermont.

The full statement is below:

Securing the future of the New England economy and environment requires strategic investments in our region's energy resources and infrastructure. These investments will provide affordable, clean, and reliable energy to power our homes and businesses; make our region more competitive by reducing energy costs; attract more investment to the region; and protect our quality of life and environment.

As the region's electric and natural gas systems have become increasingly interdependent, ensuring that we are efficiently using existing resources and securing additional clean energy supplies will be critical to New England's economic future. To ensure a reliable, affordable and diverse energy system, we need investments in additional energy efficiency, renewable generation, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission. These investments will also serve to balance intermittent generation, reduce peak demand, and displace some of the least efficient and most polluting fossil fuel generation, enabling the states to meet clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals while improving the economic competitiveness of our region.

New England ratepayers can benefit if the states collaborate to advance our common goals. The Governors therefore commit to continue to work together, in coordination with ISO-New England and through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), to advance a regional energy infrastructure initiative that diversifies our energy supply portfolio while ensuring that the benefits and costs of transmission and pipeline investments are shared appropriately among the New England States. At the same time, we must respect individual state perspectives, particularly those of host states, as well as the natural resources, environment, and economy of the States, and ensure that the citizens and other stakeholders of our region, including NEPOOL, are involved in the process. The Governors are committed to achieving consensus as we move forward, consistent with laws and policies across the region.

The New England States believe that investments in local renewable generation, combined heat and power, and renewable and competitively-priced heating for buildings will support local markets and result in additional cost savings, new jobs and economic opportunities, and environmental gains. The New England States further believe that these investments must be advanced in a coordinated approach in order to maximize ratepayer savings and system integrity.

We have directed our appropriate staff to work together with NESCOE to ensure that we are taking all necessary steps to meet our common needs and goals. Our commitment to work together on energy infrastructure issues will be informed by recent regional energy infrastructure studies conducted by the States, ISO-New England, and other regional organizations. We believe that by working together we can expand economic development, promote job growth, improve the competitiveness of our industries, enhance system reliability, and protect and increase the quality of life of our citizens. Expanding our existing efforts will ensure that we are on a course toward a transformed energy, environment, and economic future for our region that offers a model for the nation.

Signed,

Dannel P. Malloy
Governor of Connecticut

Paul R. LePage
Governor of Maine

Deval L. Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor of New Hampshire

Lincoln D. Chafee
Governor of Rhode Island

Peter Shumlin
Governor of Vermont