New England Facing Blackouts This Winter, As Mad Green Policies Bite

By Paul Homewood


It’s not only Europe!




Residents in New England cities are facing rolling blackouts this winter if temperatures drop for a prolonged cold snap because of lower fuel supplies.

The region relies on natural-gas imports to bridge the gaps during the winter but is now having to compete with European countries for shipments of liquefied gas.

Russia’s halt of most pipeline gas to the continent has ramped up the price and demand for natural gas across the globe.

Both Europe and the US are now scrambling to import more LNG, which could send gas prices skyrocketing next winter – despite America being one of the top importers in the world.

New England does not import American LNG because the Jones Act, which limits how cargo is transported by sea, bans foreign flagged ships transporting goods between US ports.

A shortage of American owned vessels means the region is forced to buy LNG from outside the US.

The act was designed in 1920 and is designed to help promote US ships which have to be run, owned and created by American crews – of which there are a shortage.

However, this means that although the US is one of the world’s biggest LNG producers it can’t ship the gas around the country.

Several cold spells in the Northeast could reduce the amount of gas available to generate electricity, as more of it is burned to heat homes in the plummeting temperatures.

ISO New England Inc, the region’s power-grid operator, have wanted that an extremely cold winter could result in the need for rolling blackouts to keep electricity supply and demand in balance.

Vamsi Chadalavada, the grid operator’s chief operating officer told the WSJ: ‘The most challenging aspect of this winter is what’s happening around the world and the extreme volatility in the markets.

‘If you are in the commercial sector, at what point do you buy fuel?’

Power producers could be forced to foot the bill for imported gas, paying several times more than last year, if the severe weather creates an urgent need for immediate purchases.

Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have struggled to replace the retired power plants with large-scale renewable projects or pipelines to serve existing gas facilities.

According to the Energy Information Administration imports of LNG can make up more than a third of the region’s natural-gas supply during periods of peak demand.

Older coal, oil and nuclear-fueled generators in the region have shut in recent years, leaving the gas-fired ones to plug the gap and face the brunt of the increasing demand.

According to ISO, at least eight plants have closed or are retiring in the region, with six new natural gas projects meant to be set up between 2018 and 2020.

Experts fear that the older plants closing faster than they can be replaced have left New England more reliant on imports of gas and oil to the remaining plants.

The Mail misses the most important factor of all – the lack of pipeline capacity, deliberately engineered for political reasons as ADI Analytics explain:


While the energy crisis in Europe is well known, with much of the continent facing gas shortages due to the war in Ukraine and subsequent Russian sanctions and policies, less talked about is an energy crisis brewing in the U.S. Problems with natural gas infrastructure in New England have been mounting for years, and the region faces a potential energy crisis of its own.

Every winter there are concerns about natural gas supply in New England and how the region’s infrastructure cannot handle a prolonged cold snap. On the region’s coldest days, there is not sufficient pipeline capacity to provide natural gas for home heating and power generation despite the prolific Marcellus and Utica Shales being close by. In fact, New England is the only region in the continental U.S. that imports natural gas, with imports contributing up to 35% of the region’s supplies on peak days. Now, with LNG prices at record levels due to demand in Europe, New England consumers will be paying higher prices for their energy. Exhibit 1 shows some of the announced rate increases announced by utility providers in New England so far.



In August, the CEO of Independent System Operator New England (ISO-NE) wrote a letter to the Secretary of Energy about these infrastructure issues. This statement has spurred concerns from customers and consumers seeking to improve energy reliability in the region. Several reasons have been cited for the causes of this brewing crisis, including regional and state policies that do not support the further development of natural gas infrastructure. In fact, regulatory hurdles and lawsuits have stymied pipeline development and access to natural gas in the region, with 7.1 BCFPD of capacity cancelled or delayed since 2018 and only 2.3 BCFPD added. Some of these projects include the Penn East Pipeline (1.1 BCFPD), Diamond East Pipeline (1.0 BCFPD), and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (2.0 BCFPD). Not only do these hurdles affect New England consumers and limit their access to the U.S.’s abundant natural gas resources, but they have also left the Marcellus and Utica shales largely isolated and challenged to supply LNG exports to a world hungry for LNG.





The simplest fix to these issues is expanded capacity in the region. With abundant, domestic supply, the only real challenge is transportation and access to that supply. Unfortunately, this simple fix is not so simple in today’s polarized world. Additional renewable and green energy projects could provide some relief, but it is apparent that the region needs natural gas, and peak days will require consistent baseload power supply that renewable energy does not provide.

What a truly ludicrous state of affairs!

The US has oil and gas to last a hundred years and more. Yet thanks to green dogma, New Englanders face the prospect of paying through the nose for imported energy and the risk of blackouts.

Yet things will quickly get progressively worse, as Joe Biden’s war on fossil fuels continues.

Good luck, if New England thinks it can survive winters in future with only wind and solar power to heat people’s homes, power the economy and keep public services going!

Still, there’s always Qatar!


October 20, 2022 at 12:45PM

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