Residents in New England for years voted for the liberal Obama policies that supported the ‘global warming hoax’ and created the ‘war on coal’. Now, it seems, because of their past support for Obama’s policies they have found themselves in a situation where their energy supplies may not meet their demands because of the record-low temperatures in the New England area.
“While New England has adequate capacity resources to meet projected demand, a continuing concern involves the availability of fuel for those power plants to generate electricity when needed,” grid operator ISO New England reported in November.
“During extremely cold weather, natural gas pipeline constraints limit the availability of fuel for natural-gas-fired power plants,” the grid operator noted.
That’s exactly what is happening right now.
Unrelenting cold since late December has caused energy demand to spike, pushing up prices and straining supplies. New England power companies are struggling to keep up with demand.
New England’s current energy woes are the result of years of state and federal policies aimed at closing coal and oil-fired power plants, largely as part of the region’s effort to fight global warming.
In 2000, New England got about 18 percent of its electricity from coal plants. Now, the region gets around 3 percent — though it’s jumped to 6 percent in the recent cold snap.
Most of the shuttered capacity has been replaced by natural gas, but pipeline capacity has not kept up with demands from power plants.
When temperatures drop, natural gas demand spikes as residents clamor to stay warm. But, like in 2014, New England’s pipeline capacity hasn’t expanded enough to fully meet demand during such cold snaps.
Environmentalists have contributed to the problem by protesting large pipeline projects power operators wanted to increase gas deliveries. Things got more complicated when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled companies could not enter into long-term gas contracts and pass those costs onto consumers.
The court ruling killed the planned $3 billion Access Northeast pipeline project. The project would have expanded an existing New England pipeline and was expected to save customers $1 billion a year.
A second $3 billion pipeline plan, the Northeast Energy Direct project, was mothballed in 2016 amid stiff political resistance.
Gas supply constraints have made New England the world’s most expensive power market. Some power plants have taken to burning oil to generate power, but supplies are running low. Federal air quality regulations are also keeping power plants from burning more fuel.
“The region’s natural gas delivery infrastructure has expanded only incrementally, while reliance on natural gas as the predominant fuel for both power generation and heating continues to grow,” the ISO reported in its winter outlook, which was released at the end of November.