Bummer: New England Is One Cold Snap From Energy Doom

This is all your fault….oh, wait, no, this is the fault of all the climate cultists who keep voting to do away with reliable, dependable, affordable energy

New England Is One Cold Snap Away From An Energy Crisis

(skip through a bunch of paragraphs that are weird)

Consider Boston, Massachusetts, the unofficial capital of New England (for our international readers, New England consists of six states in the US Northeast, namely Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). Given its northern latitude, the citizens of Boston experience cold and sometimes brutal winters, but more reasonable summers. Globally, far more people die from exposure to cold than to heat, and this makes winter energy policy especially consequential. In the chart below, we’ve plotted the daily average high and low temperatures for the city and overlaid the thermal comfort zone for easy reference. Not surprisingly, the coldest months of the year are December, January, and February. During these months, an enormous amount of energy is consumed as the population seeks to achieve thermal comfort, and the amount of energy needed to do this is bounded by the laws of physics – it scales with the delta from the thermal comfort zone – and, as a practical matter, the tactics deployed at the extremes are highly inefficient.

In her excellent book Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid, Meredith Angwin describes how a combination of bad policy, complicated governance, and dense bureaucracy has made the entire electric grid of New England incredibly vulnerable to collapse, especially during winter cold snaps (you can buy Angwin’s book here and follow her Twitter account here). She tells the story of how Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) like ISO New England have evolved to oversee bulk electric power systems and transmission lines, and how producers of electricity must subordinate their natural gas consumption for use in home heating during extreme cold weather events. Of course, the demand for electricity skyrockets during these same extreme events as people supplement their home heating needs with electric space heaters, further exacerbating the problem.

Angwin goes on the tell the story of how New England’s electric grid nearly collapsed during cold snaps in late December 2017 and early January 2018. In the book, she quotes from an op-ed she wrote for the Valley News shortly after the incident (emphasis added throughout this piece):

Huh. Bad policy? Who would have thought that with so many Warmists running things in New England

You would think that the near-collapse of their energy grid would have motivated the good people of New England to get serious about shoring up their energy needs ahead of future cold snaps. You would be wrong. Instead, they have set about the task of systematically dismantling existing critical infrastructure and blocking the development of proven technologies. In 2019, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was shuttered, leaving New England with only two nuclear power facilities. There are no plans to build more.

In other words, they got rid of nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas, while blocking new construction of oil and gas, while slapping up solar panels and wind turbines which freeze and don’t really work at night.

As activists become more adept at enlisting government in their war on oil and gas pipelines, even small projects are becoming difficult to build.

Last month, voters in Longmeadow, Mass., approved a non-binding ballot measure encouraging the town to buy land to block a local natural gas metering and transfer station.

This past Earth Day, the mayor of Holyoke, Mass., announced his opposition to a proposed 2.1-mile, 12-inch natural gas pipeline that would increase capacity to meet rising demand. He asked federal regulators to reject the pipeline.

There’s quite a bit more in this piece, but, you get the idea. And, any winter weather collapse is on them. They to not complain, suck it up, and reflect on their choices.

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14 Responses to “Bummer: New England Is One Cold Snap From Energy Doom”

  1. Dana says:

    During their 2018 season, This Old House was renovating yet another home in Massachusetts, and replaced the old heating system in this large home with, you guessed it, a thoroughly modern natural gas boiler system.

    It seems that even those New England warmunists wants to actually be warm in the wintertime.

  2. Dana says:

    I spent only one winter in Maine, back when I was in the third grade, but I still recall how cold it can get.

    Down East Maine can get what New Englanders now call wicked cold, and something I never saw in Kentucky or Virginia or even in the Poconos happens there frequently: after a snowfall, it can get wicked cold, and an ice crust will form on top of the snow. At eight years old, I was too big, but my two sisters, 4 and 5½ years younger than me, could sometimes walk on the crust on the snow; it was my job to rescue them if they broke through and got stuck in a snowdrift.

    Boys my age would make snowballs, put them in a pan, set them on the porch overnight, where they’d develop their own icy crust, and if you got hit with one of those, it hurt!

    The average January low in Maine is 6.9º F. In Portland, which is in southeast Maine, the average high temperature in January is 32º F, and it’s lower than that in the interior of the state. Weeks can pass with the temperature never getting above freezing. So, yeah, New Englanders are justifiably concerned about heating in the winter!

    • james wilson says:

      I once spent a January night in central Maine. It was so cold the natives were talking about it. By coincedence, 41 below zero is the same in Fahrenheit and Centegrade. It’s very dry. Stepping outside you don’t register anything’s wrong for about ten seconds. Then you better notice.
      Of course in 1970 heating oil was 16 and 2/3 cents a gallon in Boston. Rents were one hundred a month. Really. Ah, the things our ruling class have done for us.

      Natural gas is the cleanest fuel ever. Solar panels and wind turbines are ineffective litter produced for corporate tax farmers.

  3. Dana says:

    Of course, the much-more-liberal Europeans are now considering calling investments in natural gas a “green” investment. Why, it’s almost as though they realize what could happen in the northern part of the continent if Vladimir Vladimirovich shuts off the pipeline!

    • I agree says:

      You should not quote the New York Times. Only because you have to have a subscription in order to see the content you post. I mean I personally do not care if you support them with your dollars or not. This is America after all.

      As for the content of your post. The EU has been fucccckkeedddd by Allowing Putin to build the pipeline to the EU and pump natural gas. The EU has been recked by allowing Russia to intervene in Syria and turn Turkey against the EU. Doing those two things assured Putin the pipeline would have to be built from Russia to the EU vs the Middle East to the EU. Other than Russia has always been a Syrian Ally, the Spineless EU refused to intervene in Syria thus they are now in a precarious predicament because they live in fear.

      They fear Covid. They fear the heat. They fear the cold. They fear Wokism. But most of all they FEAR the AGW crowd because they are backed by China and Billionaires who do not care about any of us. Even Billionaires in China can do almost anything they want. All that matters to these pricks is THEM and their families and they would go to the ends of the earth for another dollar and to trample the ordinary joe who stands to lose everything for their unbridled greed.

      Don’t you find it funny how the EU will allow pipelines to worm their way across Europe but the USA keeps trying to close ours down?

      • Dana says:

        I prefer print media for my sources, and by using liberal sources like the Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, to all of which I have subscriptions, I avoid complaints that, “Oh, you used an evil reich wing source.”

        Yes, it means that I am paying them some of my hard-earned money. Our esteemed host likes to use Yahoo! and The Guardian, which are free, and I think he just might have a digital subscription to The New York Times, since he has quoted them extensively.

  4. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    That Teach considers the first few paragraphs of the article “weird” tells us all we need to know. It’s a bit sciency.

    Anyway, there was a statement that was incorrect in paragraph two…

    “people are most comfortable when the temperature is between 67°F and 82°F”

    any husband knows that a wife in the passenger seat is only comfortable from 70.5°F to 71.5°F.

  5. Hairy says:

    Skyrocketing? Why is that not mentioned Teach always uses that word.
    Better check on that
    Ohhhh! Natural Gas prices have gone up 100% since Dec 2021 nationwide. Profits are skyrocketing! Capitalists dancing!! Fossil fuel prices are very very volatile. Germany currently gets about 12% of its electric power from natural gas,40 % from renewables and some quarters going over 50% Biden has put sanctions on the gas pipeline from Russia but of course many Americans,like Trump, think that is not a problem. Facts? They just get in the way of what people WANT TO think.

  6. L.G.Brandon says:

    Hairy: “Biden has put sanctions on the gas pipeline from Russia but of course many Americans,like Trump, think that is not a problem.”

    That’s a confusing line. So are the sanctions junta joe’s fault for putting them on or has it (in your mind) somehow become Trumps fault because you believe he agrees? We assume everything is Trumps fault in your world from Chinese Covid to natures cold snaps. It must be lonely in there with only you and Trump to talk to.

  7. Hairy says:

    You are assuming things that you have no real knowledge of knowing.
    Why would you do this? Biden hS attempted to stop the gasoline yo Europe. Something thst Trump did not. I am sorry if you find this confusing. Trump did say he was against it, but never sanctioned ANY of tge companies involved as did Biden. My personal position is that trade is good. Whether a gas shutoff might hurt Germany more than Russia? Who currently needs the pipeline more? I think Russia.thete are more alternatives to gas than there are hard currency.remember currently only 12% (Teach forgot to mention that) og German electricity comes from gas.

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  9. CapitalistRoader says:

    Biden hS attempted to stop the gasoline yo Europe. Something thst Trump did not. I am sorry if you find this confusing. Trump did say he was against it, but never sanctioned ANY of tge companies involved as did Biden.


    Trump, the alleged pro-Russian president, fought the Nord Stream 2 pipeline throughout his presidency; in that, he, like Biden, enjoyed the strong backing of the U.S. Senate. Trump wielded sanctions to scare off Western companies involved in its construction, leaving only Russian vessels, associated Russian oligarchs and the Nord Stream parent company, headquartered in Switzerland, at risk of further sanctions. Although the Nord Stream 2 project was launched in 2016, Trump managed to stave off its completion throughout his term before handing off the battle to the Biden administration.
    Biden gives Putin the Nord Stream prize and gets nothing in return, MSN, 21 May ’21

  10. Dirk says:

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha. I do feel for the good people who have the misfortune to be trapped there, as well as the vulnerable who have no way to get out. For the vast majority, I quote my grade school teacher, one of those wise old souls who started out in a one room school house, who told us quite regularly, “A word to the wise is sufficient. As for the rest of you, well, you can’t help everyone.”

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