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The governors of the six New England states have committed to accelerating regional cooperation to expand renewable energy and energy infrastructure.

The governors - Dannel P. Malloy, D-Conn.; Paul LePage, R-Maine; Deval L. Patrick, D-Mass.; Margaret Wood Hassan, D-N.H.; Lincoln D. Chafee, D-R.I.; and Peter Shumlin, D-Vt. - say the Regional Energy Infrastructure Initiative will help bring New England lower electricity and heating costs, increased economic development, competitiveness and job growth, and improved air quality.

According to the governors, their staffs will continue working together over the next few months - through the New England States Committee on Electricity and in cooperation with grid operator ISO-New England - to develop a regional strategy that meets the shared needs and goals of the states.

New England's electric and natural gas systems have become "increasingly interdependent," the governors report, creating a need for cooperative investments in energy efficiency, new and existing renewable generation, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission.

The governors note that the initiative "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 [the] region, including the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), are involved in the process."

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