How will New England’s past reliance on Russian natural gas affect Liz Warren’s campaign

By Chris White

Massachusetts’ past reliance on Russian natural gas to keep citizens warm in the winter could cause some damage to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose presidential campaign is tied to the anti-fracking movement.

Warren is introducing a bill Wednesday with fellow Massachusetts Democrat, Sen. Ed Markey, that would blockconstruction on ports that export natural gas. She is pegging her campaign to ending oil as her state recovers from an energy crunch that tossed Massachusetts into the cold in 2018.

Massachusetts and New Hampshire blocked financing in 2016 for the $3 billion Access Northeast Pipeline, a gas line that would have helped the state weather an energy crunch in 2018. The state’s decision to rely on green energy instead hiked gas prices and forced it turnto Russian imports.

New England’s energy grid struggled to keep up with energy demand in December and January of 2018 when frigid temperatures hammered the region. Boston received a shipment of natural gas from an export terminal owned by Novatek — one of the Russian energy giants sanctionedin 2014.

Massachusetts’ lack of pipeline infrastructure forced the state to rely on coal production during the cold snap, which caused energy prices to pitch upward.

“We wouldn’t have seen any widespread outages absent coal,” Kevin McIntyre, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency, told senators during a January 2018 meetingassessing how the grid responded to a recent spate of snowstorms.

“[C]oal was a key contributor,” McIntyre added. “It wasn’t exempt from operational problems — there were some issues, as I understand it, with frozen coal piles in certain sites and so on. But it was, no question, a key contributor.”

Warren is no stranger to campaigns against Massachusetts’ pipeline infrastructure. She askedfederal regulators to rescind its approval in 2017 of Enbridge’s Algonquin Gas Transmission, a $452 million project that would replace existing pipelines in New York and Massachusetts.

Warren is even supportinga ban on hydraulic fracturing, a method of drilling that involves spraying high pressure water and sand underground to make tiny fractures in rock to release gas, which can then be liquified.

She proposeda plan in June to spend $2 trillion over a decade to create one million green jobs.

Warren’s campaign has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about her state’s past record struggling to meet energy demands following her state’s moves against pipelines.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tim Pierce
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One thought on “How will New England’s past reliance on Russian natural gas affect Liz Warren’s campaign

  1. POWER OUTAGES AND HIGH GASOLINE PRICES

    Millions of Californians may have just suffered an unprecedented, induced blackout by the state’s largest (and bankrupt) utility, PG&E, just so it isn’t blamed for starting even more fires causing it to go even more bankrupt..

    The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles County was $4.25 on Wednesday, 4.5 cents higher than one week ago, 57.6 cents more than one month ago and 37.1 cents greater than one year ago. It has also risen 86.4 cents since the start of the year. What is more troubling is that as California gas prices reached the highest level in the state since 2015, some Los Angeles area gas stations are charging more than $5 a gallon.

    The gas price spike started last month after Saudi Arabia oil production facilities were attacked, and accelerated after three Los Angeles-area refineries slowed or halted production due to maintenance issues and no imported gasoline was available to make up for the shortfall, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

    SOLAR IS THE ANSWER?

    America’s most “environmentally conscious, sustainable, resilient” state got a harsh lesson in electrical engineering when many of the tens of thousands of people hit by this week’s blackout learned the hard way that solar installations don’t keep the lights on during a power outage.

    Most panels are designed to supply power to the grid, not directly to the houses. During midday, solar systems generate more juice than a home can handle. However, they don’t produce power at all at night. So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority are not feeding into the gird as PG&E cut power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires.”

    Of course, the only way for most solar panels to work during a blackout is pairing them with batteries, however as Tesla has found out the hard way, that market is just starting to take off and even so it’s having a very difficult time making headway.

    The largest U.S. rooftop solar company, Sunrun, said hundreds of its customers are making it through the blackouts with batteries. Alas, the total number of those affected – and without power – is in the hundreds of thousands. HOW WOULD THAT WORK FOR CHARGING EVS AND RUNNING HEAT PUMPS?

    For those wondering if their AC appliances can work of the DC power from a Tesla Powerwall battery, the answer is no, unless DC TO AC converters are provided.

    BTW, without electricity, a Tesla electric vehicles do not run.

    Californians who still have their “uncool” internal combustion engines are in luck? Sure, but soon they may have to pay nearly $6 per gallon to fill up.

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