June 9, 2016: The state of Maine's PUC released a report suggesting that more natural gas pipelines are not economically worthwhile. is reporting: The Portland (Maine) Press Herald is reporting:
The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission concluded Wednesday that the state’s electricity and gas customers won’t benefit from a plan to spend up to $75 million a year to help expand natural gas pipeline capacity in New England.
The conclusion of a long-awaited report stemming from 2013 legislation was welcomed by clean-energy advocates, who are pushing renewable energy over fossil fuels in order to fight climate change. It was denounced by businesses that use a lot of electricity and natural gas and are desperate to lower their operating costs.
The PUC staff concluded that low oil and gas prices, new pipelines under construction or being permitted, and other factors could temper winter price spikes in wholesale natural gas without ratepayers getting involved.
The report said, in part: “The record in this proceeding does not support a finding that (a pipeline contract) is reasonably likely to provide net benefits for Maine electricity and natural gas consumers under a sufficiently broad spectrum of future scenarios. Moreover, regional market conditions, rule changes and other events suggest that the price and volatility concerns that led to the (2013 law) may be addressed without (a contract).”And so it goes. We'll see how it all works out.
Having killed the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline, now those same folks want the local utility to lift the moratorium on new hook-ups. I can't make this stuff up.
The Recorder has the story here but additional googling will provide a more complete story. My understanding is that the Massachusetts Senate president demanding that the moratorium be lifted is among the most liberal in the state and would have been with the group to kill the pipeline.
I may have the story wrong, but that's how I read it.
From May 2, 2016:
RBN Energy: New England gas pipeline update.
More than 3,000 MW of new, natural gas-fired generating capacity is either under construction in New England or will be soon, but some of the gas pipeline projects that would ease long-standing constraints into and through the six-state region have hit rough patches. Kinder Morgan in mid-April suspended plans for its Northeast Energy Direct project, a “greenfield” pipeline across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, and a few days later the state of New York denied the co-developers of the already-delayed Constitution Pipeline—a key link between the Marcellus and New England--a needed water quality permit.
The good folks in western Massachusetts and, for that matter, all of New England might want to read how their comrades in Venezuela are faring. This is from The New York Times published today:The fates of some other major projects in the Northeast are uncertain too. Today, we provide an update on pipelines in the land of Yankees and Red Sox.We’ve written often about gas pipeline constraints to and through New England, a region with less than one-third the area of Texas but nearly 15 million people, the vast majority of whom believe that Fenway Park is heaven on earth.New England has been adding a lot of new gas-fired generating capacity, but only modest enhancements have been made to the gas pipeline network that serves the region.In the unusually cold winter of 2013-14, the lack of sufficient pipeline capacity to meet demand during periods of very high demand sent natural gas prices soaring as local distribution companies (LDCs) with firm transportation contracts took most of the gas and owners of many gas-fired power plants either scrambled for deliverable, high-priced gas or switched to firing their units with fuel oil.
CARACAS, Venezuela — The courts? Closed most days. The bureau to start a business? Same thing. The public defender’s office? That’s been converted into a food bank for government employees.
Step by step, Venezuela has been shutting down.
This country has long been accustomed to painful shortages, even of basic foods. But Venezuela keeps drifting further into uncharted territory.
In recent weeks, the government has taken what may be one of the most desperate measures ever by a country to save electricity: A shutdown of many of its offices for all but two half-days each week.
But that is only the start of the country’s woes. Electricity and water are being rationed, and huge areas of the country have spent months with little of either.
Many people cannot make international calls from their phones because of a dispute between the government and phone companies over currency regulations and rates.
Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company that bottles Coke in the country, has even said it was halting production of sugary soft drinks because it was running out of sugar.
Wait till they run out of beer.Last week, protests turned violent in parts of the country where demonstrators demanded empty supermarkets be resupplied. And on Friday, the government said it would continue its truncated workweek for an additional 15 days.
Not being reported much in mainstream media right now, but we should be getting reports of unbelievable war atrocities and horror stories in the next 72 hours or so as the Fallujah story plays out. 50,000 non-combatants being used as human shields by ISIS.
Meanwhile, the president is golfing this weekend, based on video being show on local television stations.
As his former SecState would say: what does it matter?
A Note for the Granddaughters
Life could not be much better.
Our older daughter, happily married, and living and loving "let's keep Portland weird." Two conservatives -- his idol is John Wayne -- living in the most liberal city in the union.
Our older daughter is in north Texas watching our middle granddaughter play "club-level" soccer. She is in fourth grade. My wife is up there watching them.
Our son-in-law is in Austin, TX, with our older granddaughter, where the latter is in a statewide two-day water polo tournament. She is 13 years old and playing on the high school team.
Meanwhile, I'm with Sophia. Sophia, not quite two years old, is washing dishes. She is easily entertained and the easiest two-year-old I've ever seen to take care of. Let her play in the water at the sink and she can occupy herself for "hours" on end. Right now, she's on the sofa with me waiting for the NBA finals to begin, game 6, OKC Thunder vs Golden State.
She has her raisins and ice water; I have my chips and Coke, and we are just chillin'.