New Pipelines Vital to New England’s Energy Future

In a recent column, Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, explains that New England residents face some of the highest energy rates in the country.

Santa correctly points out that the problem “isn’t a lack of natural gas supply; it’s a lack of infrastructure that reduces people’s access to affordable and clean energy supplies from nearby sources.”

There’s definitely not a supply problem. Cabot alone is producing more than 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day in northeastern Pennsylvania. That production is helping put Pennsylvania on another record-setting year of natural gas production (for 2018, Pennsylvania has produced more than 5 trillion cubic of natural gas through October alone).

Pennsylvania’s year-over-year escalating gas production over the past decade has fueled the state’s economy and delivered environmental benefits.

Unfortunately, Northeast families and businesses are missing out on new jobs, higher wages, lower household energy costs and much more. These benefits could be realized if the region better leveraged its proximity to the country’s second-largest natural gas producing state. And additional natural gas supplies are especially important for those to the north when temperatures drop.

“The most immediate, and effective steps that New York and New England can take to ease home heating spikes and outages for low-income families and those living paycheck to paycheck would be to end the state’s blockade on natural gas, and allow the expansion of
critical pipeline infrastructure projects,” explains Consumer Energy Alliance’s December 2018 report, 2018/2019 Winter Forecast: High Heating Bills for the Northeast.

Unfortunately, that blockade continues, and New England is choosing to rely on oil-fired electric generation and liquefied natural gas imports to keep the heat and lights on during cold weather (read more about this irony and New England’s electric generation mix via RBN Energy).

New York and New England’s appetite for natural gas is increasing. Choosing to receive its natural gas via ship or tractor trailer is a solution. But for greater safety, reliability and resiliency, new natural gas pipelines must be part of the region’s energy future.

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Well Said Cabot

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