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Winter Exposes New England’s Natural Gas Dependency

An editorial in the Concord Monitor summarizes the energy problem in New Hampshire.

Winter’s cold weather exposed New England’s dependency on natural gas which resulted in skyrocketing natural gas prices and soaring utility bills. The cause of this problem is a shortage of pipeline capacity to supply the region for its growing hunger for natural gas.

Several remarkable things, none of them good, happened during the recent cold spell. The price of natural gas, the normally cheap bridge fuel that seemed destined to replace coal and oil until renewable fuels became affordable, increased 20-fold or more, hitting an all-time high in some markets.

The price spike caused the owners of the paper mill in Gorham to shut down much of its operation until prices fell. And, in a back to the future moment, the operators of New England’s regional energy grid shut down three quarters of the region’s plants fueled by natural gas and told Public Service of New Hampshire to fire up not just its aged coal and oil-fired power plants in Bow, Newington and Portsmouth, but also its turbine units in Bow, Grovetown and Tamworth. They are powered by expensive jet fuel and called upon only in emergencies. The result: more, not less pollution.

New England governors, facing an energy crisis, are calling for construction of new pipelines to fill the void. Building a new pipeline network is a good idea but it’s going to take time and run into community group opposition.

A better idea is to make sure utilities have a diverse energy supply including coal and nuclear power. Closing coal-fired power plants, such as the Brayton Point plant, will only exacerbate the growing energy crisis.

Tom Borelli

Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review and is a TV and radio commentator addressing political issues from a conservative grassroots perspective. As a columnist, he has written for, The Washington Times and authored articles for Newsmax magazine. Dr. Borelli is also a regular political panelist on NewsmaxTV and i24 News he also co-hosts radio programs on SiriusXM Patriot with his wife Deneen Borelli. Dr. Borelli appeared on numerous television programs, including the highly ranked Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” “The Kelly File," and "America’s News Headquarters." He has also appeared on Fox Business Network’s “Making Money with Charles Payne” and “After the Bell” as well as TheBlaze TV’s "The Glenn Beck Program" and "Dana!" Prior to working for public policy organizations, Dr. Borelli was a managing partner with the investment advisory firm of Action Fund Management, LLC and a portfolio manager for the Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF) where he used shareholder activism to challenge corporations that sought to profit from the growth of government. During his 25 years with the Altria Group, Inc., he built a foundation in public policy and issues management, drawing from diverse experiences ranging from basic research to corporate affairs. Dr. Borelli served as science fellow for the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology during the 100th Congress. Dr. Borelli has also published scientific papers on interferon and human leukemia.

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