Further Thoughts on Columbia Gas Disaster in Massachusetts

We spotted an announcement by Columbia Gas (subsidiary of NiSource) that says they are withdrawing a rate case–their request filed earlier this year with Massachusetts to increase natural gas rates by $33 million. Probably a good idea in light of the recent tragedy (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The rate case got us to thinking about the recent tragedy. It dawns on us that there’s a fair bit of irony in this tragedy–a lesson we can learn. For years political leaders in states like Massachusetts and New York, heavily influenced by radical environmentalists (afraid of their power and money) have trash-talked natural gas. Those leaders, people like Elizabeth Warren and Maura Healey in MA and Andrew Cuomo in NY, have told their constituents that natural gas is evil, it’s “dirty,” it’s unnecessary. “We don’t need more pipelines that will perpetuate another 50 years or more of dependence and reliance on these filthy fossil fuels” has been their message. And so, they are directly responsible for rejecting new pipeline projects to bring cheap Marcellus gas to New York and New England, on the theory that magical, unicorn-like “renewables” will ride in to save the day. “In fact…” (they say), “…if we only had ‘the will,’ we could end our use of evil fossil fuels right NOW, today. Certainly in another 10 or 20 years at most.” And then this explosion occurs, this disaster that killed one, injured 25 and burned some 80 homes and businesses. Columbia has pledged to replace 48 miles of underground delivery pipeline. In the meantime (please don’t misunderstand us here)–some 8,600 homes and businesses are now living what the politicians and radical environmentalists have preached for years–no gas. They are without gas for weeks–likely for months. Can you imagine no gas for your stove to cook with? No hot water for showers or laundry? And as the temps drop, no heat to stay warm? While we’re not excited nor happy to see this (quite the opposite), we’d like to ask those 8,600 homes and businesses–what do you think of your no-gas future now? Is this how you want to live, not only today, but 10 or 20 years down the road? Can you really live without natural gas? Perhaps this situation will give them, and us, a new perspective on all this senseless talk of replacing natural gas with renewables…

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