Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – December 1, 2018

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

Andrew Cuomo’s Renewable Fiasco Runs Into Reality

Andrew Cuomo, at the instigation of the NRDC gang, made a foolish pledge a few years ago to make sure 50% of the state’s electricity will come from renewables by 2030. It might have seemed remotely feasible because New York has access to so much hydro-electric power but, as I have said many times, solar and wind projects tend to engender fierce NIMBY opposition. That’s exactly what’s happened, leading to still further foolishness, according to Robert Bryce who offered this in a New York Post article:

[T]he New York State Energy Research and Development Authority released its “offshore-wind master plan.” The agency said it was “charting a course to 2,400 megawatts” of offshore capacity to be installed by 2030. That much capacity (roughly twice as much as now exists in all of Denmark) will require installing hundreds of platforms over more than 300 square miles of ocean in some of the most navigated, and heavily fished, waters on the Eastern Seaboard.

It will also be enormously expensive. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration, by 2022 producing a megawatt hour of electricity from offshore wind will cost a whopping $145.90.

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Offshore wind promoters claim costs are declining. Maybe so. But according to the New York Independent System Operator, the average cost of wholesale electricity in the state last year was $36.56. Thus, Cuomo’s presidential ambitions will require New York consumers to pay roughly four times as much for offshore electricity as they currently pay for juice from conventional generators.

Why is the governor pushing so hard for offshore wind? The answer’s simple: The rural backlash against Big Wind is growing daily.

Just a few hours after NYSERDA released its plan, the Somerset town board unanimously banned industrial wind turbines. The town (population: 2,700) is actively opposing the proposed 200-megawatt Lighthouse Wind project, which, if built, would be one of the largest onshore-wind facilities in the Northeast…

Numerous other small communities are fighting the encroachment of Big Wind. In the Thousand Islands region, towns like Cape Vincent and Clayton have been fending off wind projects for years. Last May, the town of Clayton approved an amendment to its zoning ordinance that bans all commercial wind projects.

Last September, the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization announced its opposition to eight proposed onshore-wind projects due to the deleterious effect those projects could have on radar systems and military aviation…

The onshore backlash has left Cuomo with no choice but to move his renewable-energy obsession offshore… but plenty of fishermen… are none too happy at the prospect of having hundreds of offshore platforms obstruct their fishing.

To protect their interests, fishermen and fishmongers from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have filed a federal lawsuit to block an offshore wind lease won by Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA, at the site of one of the best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard. That lawsuit is still pending.

In short, Cuomo’s push for offshore wind shows how desperate he is to show his pals at the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club how much he loves renewable energy. Never mind that New York’s electricity prices are already 40 percent higher than the US average or that his offshore scheme will send those rates even higher.

Bryce gets it right. This is nonsense—very expensive nonsense—promoted by those with special interest agendas who don’t give a damn about the impacts on other New Yorkers.

And, Cuomo and the NRDC Gang Are
Selling Out the Adirondacks for the Agenda

If you thought Robert Bryce was overstating the opposition to Cuomo’s solar and wind plans or that the NRDC gang is all about protecting the Adirondacks, check out this letter to the editor in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise (excerpts):

Are you aware the Adirondack Park Agency has quietly made a move toward embracing industrial wind and solar development inside the Blue Line in its Nov. 9 Policy on Renewable Energy Production and Energy Supply Guidance document? We believe the impact of this decision would scar the Adirondacks forever…

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Click image for the reality

Learn what Gov. Cuomo’s “50 by 30” plan really means for the North Country and the Adirondacks…

Urge your local government to adopt a moratorium on wind and solar development to allow them time to research and create laws that will protect you from many negative health, environmental and economic impacts…

For more information visit nnywind.com or Facebook.com/CitizensForRuralPreservation.

And, you thought the NRDC gang just wanted save the wilderness.

Perry to New York: It’s Pipelines or Russia

S&P Global Platts reports that US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry spoke to the Consumer Energy Alliance this week and sent another strong message to FERC, New York and states who would deny energy to New England and make it dependent on Russian LNG:

When Perry spoke at a House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing in May, he questioned whether “states have the right to block a pipeline across their state that will have a national security implication or an economic implication on individuals.”

On Thursday, Perry was asked to weigh in on New England’s infrastructure constraints. “Why in the world today, with America being the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, would Boston and the Northeast have to have to rely upon gas from Russia? I don’t get that,” he said.

He was likely referring to the offloading of a tanker originating from Russia’s Yamal plant during a cold snap last winter to replenish stocks at the Distrigas LNG terminal in Boston. New England leans on imported LNG to supply power plants during cold weather when the region’s gas pipeline capacity is dedicated to home heating…

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The ship that brought Russian LNG to Boston

Perry said politics in New York make it very difficult for US-produced gas to travel across the state. On a recent trip to Ukraine, Perry talked up US LNG as an alternative to Russian gas, “because the Russians are not necessarily reliable,” he said, spurring chuckles from the audience.“I would suggest that those that are making decisions in the United States that think somehow or another Russian gas is more reliable than US-produced gas, they might want to think about that,” he saidTwo major projects have been blocked by New York — Williams’ 121-mile, 650 MMcf/d Constitution Pipeline (CP13-499), and National Fuel Gas Supply and Empire Pipeline ‘s 97-mile, 497 MMcf/d Northern Access 2016 project (CP15-115). Both were denied water quality certifications. But FERC recently waived New York’s Clean Water Act Section 401 review for Northern Access on the grounds that state regulators took too long to act.

Right on, Rick!

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