For years, liberal states in New England opposed gas pipelines in the name of combatting climate change, yet now that ideological opposition is coming back to haunt them as the region faces a fuel shortage months before cold weather even starts.
The Department of Energy recently sent New England governors a letter begging them to increase fuel inventories through all legal measures ahead of winter. According to the data, fuel inventories in the region are running well below average. Now, the region is serving as a cautionary tale for all who seek to abandon fossil fuels.
“Years of policy choices to limit pipeline infrastructure means New England must rely more heavily on oil and gas reserves and imports,” Heritage Foundation’s Research Fellow at the Center for Energy, Climate and Environment Katie Tubb told The Daily Wire.
For example, in 2016, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) boasted that he opposed a 120-mile pipeline that would have transported gas from Tennessee to Dracut, Massachusetts. Kinder Morgan, the company behind the pipeline, abandoned the idea in part because of hostility from local and state governments in the Northeast.
“I have opposed Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline through Massachusetts and New England because of concerns that it could have led to the export of American natural gas to foreign countries, the impact it would have had on local communities in Massachusetts, and its potential to worsen climate change,” Markey said at the time.
“Using New England as a throughway to export U.S. gas to overseas markets might be good for the bottom lines of pipeline companies, but it could raise prices and be a disaster for consumers and businesses in our region,” he claimed.
Now, it looks as if opposition to that pipeline is coming back to haunt his state.
Because of policy choices, the region is largely dependent on foreign imports. The usual suspects are blaming the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine for the pending fuel shortage, but a look at the details reveals that costly regulations and taxes are also to blame for the energy troubles.
“At the same time, many states in New England are party to a cap and trade program … that taxes greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector, in addition to state policies to severely restrict their own energy production and mandate use of inherently unreliable energy resources,” Tubb told The Daily Wire.
All six New England states, as well as Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program designed to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector.
Yet, according to the letter sent by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, New England states now need to reverse course and increase their fossil fuel reserves.
“I urge you to consider what additional steps you can take in the coming weeks to improve preparedness, including using any legislative or executive tools at your disposal, working with responsible state agencies to require increased storage levels, and encouraging industry to voluntarily prioritize increasing gasoline and distillate inventories at this pivotal period of heightened risk,” Granholm recently told New England governors.
After Labor Day, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be holding a forum to discuss New England’s electrical heating challenges.
According to Tubb, there shouldn’t be any mystery as to why the liberal states are struggling to maintain adequate fuel supplies.
“These policies are designed to reduce production and use of conventional fuels, similar to those pursued in Europe — why are these states surprised that their policy chickens are coming home to roost and they are now facing shortages heading into winter?” Tubb pondered, in reference to the cap and trade partnership.
Governors in New England are also asking for the Jones Act to be suspended so that they can transport liquid natural gas (LNG) via ships into U.S. ports. CATO recently noted that due to the 1920 law, goods transported between U.S. ports must be U.S.-flagged, U.S.-built, and mostly U.S.-crew, yet no LNG ships exist like that, thus severely blocking the northeast’s access to LNG.
In total, Tubb claimed that New England’s energy sector is so fragile that disruptions can now become “catastrophic rather than uncomfortable blips.”
Of course, as we’ve seen from the Biden administration writ large, energy catastrophe tends to be the norm when climate change warriors are in charge of guiding policy.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.