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Electricity Alert
PLATTS - November 9, 2005

Charlottesville, Va -- A coalition that includes several large energy companies on Wednesday set out plans for an alliance they hope can help address impending energy shortages in New England and their impact on the economy.

Entergy, Dominion Resources, National Grid, Northeast Utilities, Green Mountain Power, KeySpan Energy, TransCanada, Iroquois Gas Transmission System and Constellation NewEnergy are among members of the organization, called the New England Energy Alliance.

The group also released a public opinion research study indicating New England's voters view energy supply and prices among the top three most important issues in the region. By a two-to-one margin they favor new energy infrastructure, the survey showed, specifically, 79% favor more transmission lines, 75% favor more natural gas plants and 72% favor an offshore wind farm.

"Our assessment of the region's resources indicates that we are at a critical point today. Energy shortages could be acute soon--by 2010 at the latest. Since most of the region's energy investments are made in private markets which take time for project development, it means that policymakers need to act aggressively now to avoid problems in the future," said Susan Tierney, who directed preparation of the report by the Boston-based Analysis Group.

Tierney is the former assistant secretary of policy at the Dept of Energy.

The report calls on policymakers to resolve several factors that are causing uncertainty for energy companies and energy investors in New England: regional carbon policy, federal and state rules governing the region's electric resource adequacy regime and community acceptance of infrastructure projects.

The group plans to advocate actions ensuring the availability, reliability and affordability of future energy supplies, it said.