Joe Gervais: Democrats’ ‘America Last’ policies bringing blackouts to New England this winter

This commentary is by Joe Gervais, of Arlington. He is the Republican candidate for the Vermont House of Representatives in the Bennington-4 district.

Since the 2020 election and installation of Joe Biden as president of the United States, we have seen a number of policies put in place that do not make America great — to the contrary, they destroy America. On day one we saw a number of executive orders that destroyed our energy independence. We also saw construction on the border wall suspended with an unprecedented flow of drugs and illegal immigrants. It is this policy direction that awakened me and motivated me to run for public office.

Joe Gervais

Earlier this week, I read of the challenges our grid operator ISO New England is facing due to the Democrats’ America Last policy. The majority of our electricity in New England comes from natural gas-powered plants. ISO New England is facing shortages of fuel and is announcing that there likely will be rolling blackouts during periods of peak demand this winter. This is similar to the situation in England, where the grid operator announced the likelihood of power outages from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the coldest days of January and February.

Some will say that we are facing this because we haven’t deployed enough renewable energy. Renewables are about 7 percent of the ISO NE generation capability. The reality is that large-scale deployment of renewables creates tremendous stress on the grid and requires widescale deployment of battery banks to smooth out the disparity between peak generation hours and peak demand hours. Extrapolating from a recent article I read, deploying 16 hours of battery capacity across the US grid is a three trillion-dollar challenge.

The reality is that the shortage is a choice that the Biden administration has made. With supply disruptions in Europe over the Ukrainian war and destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, our administration has chosen to prioritize the sale of liquified natural gas to Europe to the detriment of American citizens. This was reiterated by White House officials in a Reuters article last week. This is no different than the sale of our strategic oil reserves to the highest bidder, which includes the Chinese firm Sinopec, in which Hunter Biden has held a financial interest through his private equity firm BHR Partners.

Elections have consequences. Are we going to continue to elect politicians who serve with their own self-interests, or are we going to elect America First public servants?

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10 thoughts on “Joe Gervais: Democrats’ ‘America Last’ policies bringing blackouts to New England this winter

  1. We certainly have voted ourselves into a dilemma.
    The current slate of elected socialist/elitists terms expire technically in January 2023.
    We can have their terms end early, on November 8th.
    Perhaps the D/P socialist way isn’t really best for Vermont.
    All this experimental cultural marxism hasn’t done much to improve our lot.
    Here’s hoping for a very cold Election Day- and a few reminders of the predicament
    Vermont’s legislators and Governors, past and present have created.

  2. Why is the green, renewable, and inexpensive power from our northern neighbor, Hydro Quebec, never mentioned? Green Mountain Power pays in excess of 20 cents per kwh for locally generated green power (and charges its other customers for those costs). Meanwhile, HQ has offered Vermont all the power it can use for one third that cost (6 cents/kwh). And if Vermont can justify 30% of its power being generated by HQ (as it is now), why not 60%… or 80%?

    And if anyone is honestly concerned that getting our power from a foreign source (right next door) can be problematic, explain why it’s okay that our very own Green Mountain Power is a subsidiary of HQ and why HQ was allowed to purchase the dozen or so hydro dams on the CT River from Great River Hydro.

    Keep in mind that HQ is the fourth largest energy producer in the world – it’s looking for markets – and it’s our neighbor.

    • One of the reasons (if not the greatest reason) Vermont’s energy policies are so bent out of shape is because those energy policies are rigged. Pure cronyism. Consider that one of the three Public Utility Commissioners who determine this energy policy is the appointed commissioner, Margaret Cheney.

      Ms. Cheney has no qualifications to make these decisions. She’s a former magazine feature writer and part-time Spanish teacher.

      Why is she a PUC commissioner? Because her husband, Peter Welch, sits on various federal energy committees. Welch relies on special interest campaign funding and has been recently shown to have engaged in, and profited personally from, this cronyism.

    • Silly Jay :)…..I know the answer :)……the “Usual Democrat Enviro Suspects” were all over Hydro Quebc…..to stop it…regardless of how enviro friendly the massive amounts of “grreen” hydro they have for Vermont. Guess what the enviros “hated on” for Hydro Qubec…. I kid you not…..it violates rights for “Indigenious Peoples”….even thought Hydro Quebec paid ALL of them massive amounts of $$$$ for rights on or near their lands.. Enviros don’t talk about that. Just Indigenous People on the brain.. Just like Libs LIE about the truth of the Abenaki Indians sometimes in VT. It wasn’t WHITE MAN that killed and stole their lands…..the Abenaki, for most part, left VT for Canada early on….BECAUSE THE IROQUOIS INDIANS – from New York, were raiding, raping, stealing, slaving the Abenaki decades before. White settlers, whatever few there were….were angels compared to the Iroquois who murdered, raped and took Abenaki as slaves….which is why Abenaki left for safer Canada.

      But try telling the facts to any Liberal. They have NO idea what they say…just convienent :”feel good” lies….that turn into their own story.

      • Jay…here’s what every bleeding heart liberal has no clue of…Abenaki largely left VT for Canada (and some encroaching settlers) because of Iroquois…worse than I thought…they were cannibals!

        “The Abenaki had friendly relations with most area groups. The exception was their long-time enemies, the Iroquois. The Abenaki called the Iroquois people “man-eaters,” since they occasionally practiced cannibalism on their enemies. The Iroquois raided the Abenaki often across Lake Bitawbagok (later called Champlain).

  3. COLD WEATHER OPERATION IN NEW ENGLAND DECEMBER 24, 2017 TO JANUARY 8, 2018-r
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cold-weather-operation-in-new-england-december-24-2017-to-january

    This article describes in detail what happened in New England during an unusual cold period.
    As there was insufficient natural gas in storage, increased fuel oil had to be used
    When stored fuel oil almost ran out, increased coal had to be used.

    This entire situation arose, due to environmental zealots in New York State, Connecticut and Massachusetts banding together to not allow:
     
    1) The building of sufficient natural gas pipelines from Pennsylvania to New England
    2) The building of sufficient gas and fuel oil storage near gas/oil-fired CCGT plants.
    3) The keeping of coal and nuclear plants for standby service, as needed, but pushing for the premature closing of the plants.
     
    This is analogous to Germany’s 20-plus-years of ENERGIEWENDE idiocy, etc., which has led to all sorts of very expensive disruptions of the German and European economy and society.
     
    Biden’s folks are belatedly “reinventing” THAT wind/solar/battery wheel, with their “Inflation Reduction” Act.
     
    This ISO-NE report details the history of the cold period
    https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2018/01/20180112_cold_weather_ops_npc.pdf
     
    Pages 13, 37, 42, 48, 49, 50 of the report are of particular interest.

    The report served to document a set of unusual circumstances, that are highly likely to repeat themselves in the future, such as:
     
    – Very low winter temperatures, lasting several days, which could have been accompanied with low wind and solar conditions.
    – Natural gas supply being diverted from power plants to residential and commercial buildings for space heating.
    – Oil/gas-fired CCGT plants having insufficient, nearby fuel supply (natural gas and oil) in storage facilities.
    – A transmission line failure; the nuclear output decreased, which was made up by burning more fuel oil.
    – A major plant having an unscheduled outage.
    – Imports via tie lines with Canada and New York State varying up and down. Net imports add about 19% to the total NE grid load, on an annual basis. See page 42
     
    The NE area just barely avoided rolling black-outs during the cold period.
    If low temperatures had persisted just 2 days longer, the fuel oil supply would have been depleted.
     
    NOTE: To rely on the weather to provide electricity is full of pitfalls, as Europe, California and Texas, etc., have found out.
    In 2022, there was plenty of hot weather and sunshine, but little wind and rainfall in Europe
    As a result, there was much solar electricity, but little wind electricity, and reduced hydro electricity
    Nuclear electricity, especially in France, was also reduced, because those plants need adequate cooling water to function.
     
    Importance of Stored Fuel Oil to the NE Grid. 
     
    Anyone advocating reducing the barely adequate NE oil and gas storage system capacity is seriously irrational.
     
    The table, prepared by Warren Van Wyck, shows the lack of sufficient natural gas storage capacity near power plants, which required major quantities of fuel oil to take its place; fuel oil has much higher cost/kWh, and emits more CO2/kWh

    You can read more of the article by opening the first URL

    • Spot on Willem…..the ringleader in this war is smack dab in Montpelier, “The Conservation Law Foundation” (the damage they have inflicted on VT is incalcuable…like the Essex Circ highway they shut down or ask Stowe Mtn)….and they exist from just a handful of extremely wealthy liberals who support it. I know some of the donor names & foundations, but it isn’t right to post their names.. Enviros halt any construction of new STORAGE facility or allowed ANY new pipeline to be built. Because of this VT is dependant on natural gas from OUTSIDE THE USA that is LNG “tankered” in. There is plenty of LNG from the Gulf of Mexico area & Applachian Basin close by, but there are no USA Flagged LNG tankers to deliver in USA port to port. it is illegal (see Jones Act)….same goes with gasoline and heating oil. NO new pipelines allowed, so it goes by far more dangerous highway trucks or tanker. And ENVIROS are trying hard to SHUT DOWN current storage tank farms BECAUSE THEY SAY THE OCEAN WILL FLOOD THEM OVER SOON!. Almost all natural gas for new england is tankered in from europe, where it costs multiples of USA gas
      It is idiocy.

    • If the impact of a policy is predictable and has been rationally predicted prior to implementation it is folly to assume that the result of the policy is not intentional or at least considered acceptable by those implementing it. It would interest me to learn how many of the private jet set anti gas line AGW zealots have backup generators at their mansions. A curious paradox: In the light of patent global instability and threat, Joe Biden is emptying the U.S. petroleum reserve in preference to resuming Keystone and encouraging petroleum resource development. Why? The potential consequences are manifest.

  4. Good timing, Joe….here’s part of today’s Op-Ed from Wall St Journal….they are always spot on showing the isdiocy of Democrat energy policy (war)…”you can’t fix stupid”…:

    “New York’s pipeline (natural gas) obstruction ( and Vermont’s Conservation Law Foundation) is forcing New England to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from overseas, which costs multiples more than domestic gas. The Jones Act, which says that only American-built, -flagged and -crewed ships can transport cargo between U.S. ports, limits LNG from the U.S. Gulf Coast. Six Governors of New England states in July asked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to consider suspending the Jones Act to alleviate their energy costs this winter. But that would offend the AFL-CIO.

    Instead, the Administration is threatening to restrict U.S. refined fuel exports. This would increase global fuel prices and result in higher heating costs in New England, which relies on oil imports. One bad protectionist policy may thus produce another. All of which means that Americans will pay again for the Democratic Party’s war on fossil fuels. U.S. gasoline prices have been rising again after OPEC’s production cuts, and swelling heating bills will compound the pain.”

    • Jeff,

      Fuel Oil Minimum Storage Capacity
      https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cold-weather-operation-in-new-england-december-24-2017-to-january

      Fuel oil used by power plants during the DECEMBER 24, 2017, TO JANUARY 8, 2018, cold period was = (1,303,415 MWh/0.50, average efficiency) x (3,412,000 Btu/MWh x 1 gallon/140,000 Btu, LHV = 63.532 million gallons  

      The storage capacity should exceed maximum use by at least 20%, i.e., about 80 million gallons NEAR POWER PLANTS.
      Maximum use likely occurs during longer cold periods.

      It should be abundantly clear, the capacities of NE strategic oil and gas storage systems should be increased, to ensure reliable delivery of electricity service, including for future heat pumps and electric vehicles.

      That electricity should be generated by highly efficient, oil/gas-fired, on-demand, CCGT plants, especially during likely combinations of events, that would stress the NE grid. 

      Wind and solar would be totally unreliable during such stressed conditions.
      Battery storage would be grossly too expensive during relatively rare stressed conditions.

      New England

      By the way, all of this, including rolling blackouts at ZUB-ZERO temperatures, and a lack of gas and oil for space heating, applies to New England, if:

      1) New York State keeps obstructing new gas pipelines from Pennsylvania to New England; THIS SHOULD BE LEGALLY FORBIDDEN AS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL INTERFERENCE OF INTER-STATE COMMERCE, and

      2) The New England oil, gas and coal storage capacities near power plants are not increased by at least 100% to ensure RELIABLE ELECTRICAL SERVICE IN WINTER, WHICH WOULD BE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT, IF UNCERTAIN, MOTHER-NATURE, WEATHER-DEPENDENT WIND AND SOLAR WERE FURTHER EXPANDED, AS THE US IS AIMING TO BLINDLY COPY THE DISASTROUS EUROPEAN SCENARIO

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