When Neighbors Go Bad: NY Forcing New England into Blackouts

Last winter, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 9, the northeast and New England experienced an extreme cold snap. New England essentially ran out of natural gas needed to feed electric generating plants. The entire region came razor close to succumbing to rolling blackouts. The only thing that prevented the blackouts was the restart of 1960s oil-burning electric plants. During that two week period, New England burned through 2 million barrels of oil to keep the lights on. Scary. Although a number of circumstances conspired to produce this “perfect storm” that almost tripped over into blackouts, there is one main, towering, primary reason why it happened: lack of natural gas pipelines. And there is one main, towering, primary reason why there aren’t more pipelines to flow more natgas into New England: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Andy has admitted, on camera, that his policy is to block any/every/all new natural gas pipelines (see NY Gov. Cuomo Says He’ll Block All New Gas-Fired Elec Plants). It is breathtaking hubris and arrogance. As we’ve pointed out, keep an eye on what’s happening in Canada with the Trans Mountain Pipeline project–where one province (British Columbia) refuses to allow a pipeline from a neighboring oil-producing province (Alberta) to cross through. It’s turned into a nasty civil war, complete with everything but bullets flying. The whole mess is enough to make Kinder Morgan, owner of the Trans Mountain system, sell it to the Canadian government (see Kinder Morgan Says No Thx to Canadian Civil War, Selling Pipeline). Sooner or later Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont (on the demand side) and Pennsylvania (on the supply side) are going to take aim at New York for blocking important interstate pipeline projects like the Constitution and Northern Access. Retribution is coming, you can bank on it…

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