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New England Officials Face Reality: They Need Fracked Gas

New England - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

Fractivists have the luxury of living in a fantasy world that state officials do not enjoy. New England leaders are forced to confront the reality – they need fracked gas, badly.

Listen up, you Massachusetts anti-drillers who don’t want Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion running through your backyard. Without that pipeline, you’re faced with impending blackouts. No electricity. For extended periods. And, that’s according to the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. At a joint meeting held in Manchaster, NH on Monday, this warning was delivered:

“The lights did not go out this past winter,” said Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources’s Nicholas Ucci at the forum hosted by the New England Council business association. “That doesn’t mean that they can’t.”

Sound like a threat? Sure does to us.

New England Fantasy World

Here’s what we noted a while back in one of our earlier MDN posts:

new england - ashfield

Ashfield Town Hall

An anti-driller from Ashfield, MA says she wants her chance to stand in front of a Kinder Morgan bulldozer to try and stop the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion from coming through their town. We sincerely hope she gets the opportunity. Some 200 “voters” who are virulent anti-drillers packed an Ashfield town meeting to vote in favor of two resolutions against the proposed Kinder Morgan TGP pipeline. The Democrat governor of Massachusetts and the governors of five other New England states want and desperately need that pipeline. But true to form, at least some towns along the proposed route, including Ashfield, have revived the old hippie brigade to begin a round of new protests (gives their lives a little purpose, a chance to relive the glory years of the 60s)…

According to Ashfield community agitator Anna Fessenden, the founder of the Hilltown Community Rights group:

“We’ve been working since March 11, our first meeting, toward this…”

“We just have to stand in the way of the bulldozers and say ‘no, not here,’” Fessenden said.*

Your lips to God’s ears Ms. Fessenden. We hope someone has a camera there to snap a few pics when it happens.

The resolutions passed at the town meeting are nonbinding and frankly, don’t mean squat. Ashfield has a population, as of the 2010 census, of 1,737. This vote by perhaps as many as 200 Ashfield residents means that 11.5% of Ashfield’s residents don’t want to see the pipeline. Conversely, 88.5% either don’t care or are in favor of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Any kind of vote with an 88.5% majority is a political obliteration.

New England Reality

State officials, contrary to Ms. Fessenden and her ilk, have to deal with reality and at a three-hour meeting at Saint Anselm College tackled a range of energy issues faced by New England, including the proposed Kinder Morgan shale gas pipeline expansion that will cross Massachusetts. Anti-drillers can gripe and moan all they want–but when their lights go out, who will they blame then?

New England is facing a critical energy shortage. They have few coal-fired electric generating plants. They have a number of natural gas-fired plants with more coming online–but no way to feed them if they can’t get more gas to the region.

The Maine Governor’s Energy Office said New England is in danger of becoming an economy that runs only nine months of the year. That is, without new energy sources. And no, solar and wind can’t come close to providing what they need. Not if you cover every hillside with windmills and rooftop with solar panels.

And, by 2020, roughly 8,300 megawatts of nongas-powered generation is at risk for retirement, [CEO of ISO-New England Gordon] van Welie said. That could create a gap in power capacity, he said, and many of the generation projects that are planned to fill that energy void are gas-generated. “It’s going to really be a tricky situation for New England for next three to four years,” van Welie said.*

Mr. van Welie also said lack of sources for new gas is driving up natgas prices in New England to some of the highest in the country.

New England pipeline expansions

The heartbreaker, according to van Welie, is that New England is just a few hundred miles from the Marcellus/Utica with some of the cheapest gas available. That’s why the Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion expansion will happen, regardless of the NIMBYs in Massachusetts. And, the gas New England receives will be 100% tracked gas. Call it poetic justice, pipeline justice or sweet justice, but isn’t it grand?

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52 thoughts on “New England Officials Face Reality: They Need Fracked Gas

      • I have and it’s disgusting what the industry has done to the area.

        I’m only talking about the visible aesthetic things. That doesn’t even begin to talk about the consequences that haven’t become evident yet. I mean you’re talking about a fluid with known carcinogens that THEY WON”T RELEASE THE INGREDIENTS TOO!!!!

        I travelled all over the United States inspecting weatherization work (Making buildings more resilient to the weather. i.e. More energy EFFICIENT) and in all the fracked areas the only time that people were happy was when it brought a boom to the area that was sustainable for the infrastructure.

        I’m convinced that the only reason people would promote natural gas are because they have a vested interest or they have not done enough research in to the SCIENCE. Not the propaganda, not the skeptics who somehow think climate change isn’t mainly caused by human actions, particularly deforestation and burning fossil fuels, but the science.

        I will gladly provide sources to answer any questions or provide any rebuttals, but for starters, https://www.skepticalscience.com/ is a great source that rebukes many of the myths.

          • Tom,

            I’m aware that I have friends doing PhD work CURRENTLY. because companies are still allowed to claim “Trade Secrets” and not release the entire list to the public. If you’re referring to Act 13 from PA, and how FracFocus started off as a voluntary disclosure program, then why don’t you also include the fact that doctors have to sign non-disclosure agreements and aren’t even allowed to discuss everything they know with their patients.

            You talk to me about talking points, but you just push an industry set of them. Making it look transparent when it really isn’t.

            If you have a full list of ALL the chemicals involved why don’t you give me a link for it so I can have my friends call off their thesis work since it’s already done.

          • Additionally, when we could take care of the ENTIRE electric needs of the country by covering only 6% of it’s land mass in median performance solar panels, why is this even a discussion?

            Look at the 95% recycled material solar collectors being produced right here in the USA (Specifically Massachusetts), and the argument about how much silicon it would take is gone.
            And what’s that? NO 1,000,000 plus gallons of water per well required?

            You do understand that like energy, the amount of water present on this planet has remained pretty much the same, it just changes form right?
            And you do understand how much of it is being WASTED due to fracking right?

            Since you’re such an expert how long will it be till that wastewater is usable as drinking water again?

            We have a finite planet with finite resources. Obviously you’re not a parent because you don’t care about future generations.

          • It is not true that resources are finite. They are, in fact, infinitely expandable because they come from human ingenuity in making use of finite stuff. The idea we could supply everything from solar, is likewise naive in the extreme, although it does serve to illustrate my first point, which is that resources are expandable. Also, know that natural gas when combusted produces more water than required during fracking.

          • Tom,

            For someone who claims to be so educated you miss some very simple points. Additionally, you are the pot calling the kettle black in every aspect of what you point out about my arguments.

            You say the entire list of chemicals is out? So instead of just giving me FracFocus, why don’t you provide a link that shows them and my friends doing their PhD thesis can put it to rest and find a new topic.

            I’m citing Elon Musk when I say that 6% of the land mass of this country could account for our entire electric needs and unlike FOSSIL FUELS (Which by definition ARE FINITE, since they are limited to the fossils in the ground that turned to the dirty products being pumped up to the surface)

            You talk a lot of S**T but don’t offer much in the way of evidence.

            Regarding Rudolf Diesel:
            “Not only did Diesel create a more efficient engine, he had also warned of the possible air pollution dangers that may arise from the use of engines, and he even wrote a book about the human condition which also suggested how businesses should be owned by the employees.” ( https://www.famousscientists.org/rudolf-christian-karl-diesel/ )

          • http://hudsonia.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/nfh-Fracking-biodiversity-best.pdf

            And here are some scientists waying in on why Fracking is bad and things that the industry likes to ignore or try to hide when discussing natural gas.

            Oh wait,

            And then there are all the earthquakes happening in Oklahoma since it’s been Fracked to Hell:


            Then there is this to consider:

            Why is this even a conversation when there is enough renewable energy able to be harnessed to entirely supply our energy needs internationally.

            I just mentioned solar, you mentioned wind, then there is Hydro, Geothermal, Biomass Fuel, Algae that produce Biofuel (Which Mobil Exxon is actually researching. Even broken clocks are right twice a day), Tidal Generation projects like those going on off the coast of NJ ( http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/tidal-power-test-off-new-jersey )

            But yeah, (Sarcasm Ahead!) let’s keep burning fossil fuels!

            Ocean Acidification due to rising temperatures, the Great Barrier Reef pronounced Dead, Cancer Alley where all the refineries are located along the Mississippi, and the earthquakes going up over 1000% in Oklahoma all be damned. You guys have profits to rake in and who cares the cost to the planet and future generations!

          • Tom,

            Expose myself as what?

            Someone that does research, cares about this planet and future generations, is concerned about what we’re doing to the environment and the future of the human race?

            Or maybe it’s that I’m someone calling the B.S. where I see it?

            You see I call you out for not having kids because you don’t seem to care about the things humans are doing to the planet.

            Meanwhile I have been very careful not to have any yet because I’m worried that the future isn’t something I would want my would-be children to suffer through. a suffering brought on by either the greed or ignorance of people touting that we should be building more pipelines instead of looking in to things like vertical axis wind turbine farms or any of the things I mentioned in my previous comments.

            I can see climate change evidence just in my own lifetime.

            The great barrier reef is dead.

            Fish populations are dropping off at alarming rates

            Honey Bee populations are crashing all over the country due to the neonicotinoids being used by Monsanto.

            I’m too busy trying to follow in the footsteps of my idols like Elon Musk or Dean Kamen. Rudolf Diesel or Nikola Tesla.

            Men who have shown the world that one person can make a difference. As long as the greed of others doesn’t destroy them like Edison did to Tesla.

    • Cliff you can stop those bulldozers! I surely hope you try!

      One thing, though:

      We don’t want your filthy windmills here in PA. Build the damn things in MA and kill your own raptors. Windmills are as ugly as your disposition. And they are so high they destroy rural ambiance within a thirty mile radius.

      Natural gas? My home is surrounded by fracked wells. Water is fine. No dead birds or raptors. Scenery still looks great because once constructed, you don’t even know the gas wells are there!!!!! They are quiet. They are American. And they are UNDERGROUND!!!

      Course you know better than those of us actually living the dream. Your vivid imagination trumps our real-life experience . . . in a pig’s eye!!

      At a well pad near to my home, one of my neighbors discovered the nest of a bald eagle. There are young. I saw her photos. They are magnificent creatures and they are thriving. My first thought was what your windmill killing machines would do to those birds. Give me clean-burning natural gas any day of the week. I’m so sick of you foolish environmentalist nut cases I could throw up.

      • Ben, I have no desire to impose wind turbines on you or your lovely scenery. So I ask the same of you. Keep your fracking and your pipelines to yourself. But can you also keep your CO2 and your fugitive methane? Screw up your own climate, thanks.

        • Well, China is building coal plants and so is Germany and it’s one global climate, so I guess it doesn’t matter much, does it? Why don’t you offer some facts, Clifford?

          • Why are you so angry, Clifford? Also, just a reminder: it’s my blog, I get to decide what to put up or say and you’re a guest, albeit an appreciated one. I just wish you’d talk facts, numbers, science, etc. and not the fractivist talking points.

          • Tom, let’s not forget who began this thread with a string of insults aimed at people from Massachusetts and those opposing fracking in general.

            I’d not have stopped by if you hadn’t tried to peddle this BS on LinkedIn.

            The fact is some people have different views than you and you need to get over it and you also need to realize that you and your ilk have little credibility since you are profiting from fracking.

        • NAtural Gas reduces CO2 levels, so get off that BS. Speaking of BS, the fugitive emissions claims of biased, anti gas funded studies has been debunked. It is not the threat it has been made out to be. And what risk there is can be mitigated with simple technological fixes.

          • I wish you were right, cdanon, but you are not. I’m no fan of coal, but natural gas isn’t much better – only 44% less CO2 emissions for a given amount of energy. Better than nothing you say? Not really because of the role fugitive methane emissions play in global warming. Or don’t you understand the connection?

            You should read this before you dismiss fugitive methane:

            Science 14 February 2014:
            Vol. 343 no. 6172 pp. 733-735
            DOI: 10.1126/science.1247045
            Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems

  1. There may be a little problem with the math here.

    I believe that an organizers’ – left or right – rule of thumb is that for every person who comes out to demonstrate, there are 10 who don’t bother to come out for whatever reason.

    So, if the town of Ashfield, with 1,737 residents, had 200 demonstrators, that means 2,000 of them, or 115%, are against gas, not that 88.5% don’t care or are in favor of.

    As for the extra 15%: yeah Tom, the bussed them in…

  2. I find it curious that antis would rather by Non Ethical GAS from an LNG import terminal in Boston Harbour rather then keep the money in US boarders by using Utica and Mercellus shale gas? Whether Qatar, Iranian , Russian , Saudi or Algerian gas it seems like Putin has a few useful Idiots in Mass State . The one must think of what indeed you support when you turn to a Saudi sourse of Energy Gays hung in the public square. Women stoned to death for adultery . No voting rights or driving rights for women. As a note to those not in all the know about NG pipeline infrastructure there are a couple of Pilot projects globally which renewable energy is transmitted and stored in Natural Gas Pipeline systems . Electricity transmitted next to Natural Gas in a pipeline may indeed seem counter intuitive but what Germanys Eon Energy and Canada Enbridge are siting hydrogen generators at Windfarms which then inject hydrogen into the pipeline. On the destination end a separator allows NG to be burn in one power plant while the hydrogen is burn another generator emissions free. The mix is a maximum of hydrogen at ten percent of volume. Ten percent of a 24 to 36 inch pipeline over hundreds of miles is a huge storage volume. This mixing of hydrogen with CH4 is not new as there was Manufactured Gas in which up to 50 percent of the mix was hydrogen. The first manufactured gas dates back to the mid 1800s. The problem with the Antis is they indeed believe that the sun always shines and the wind always blows at costs of 200 dollar plus per MWH compared to about 20 dollars per mgw hour for Coal , Bunker C and Natural Gas. According to renouned environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg over 300,000 Germans had their power disconnected for non payment as electricity their in about 60 cents per KWH . How many of those had to eat cat food due to energy poverty and how many Germans are eating cat food tonight because the government forces solar and wind power on them ? Natural Gas can start up a power plant to full production in 15 minutes .

    • And for all your knowledge, spell check and proper grammer seem to evade you.

      Speaking of the Germans, how about the fact that the diesel engine was designed to run on Peanut Oil (Rudolf was the son of a peanut farmer) until the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act and the Rockefellers ties in the Middle East stomped that out in the name of “Progress”

      Henry Ford used to sustainably power and manufacture 40,000 vehicles with 10,000 acres of Industrial Hemp. One of the reasons he fought the act for 12 years and was also running cars on Ethanol during the time of prohibition which was expanded to include ALL alcohols not just ethyl alcohol.

      So much done in the name of “progress” and the free market but it’s really the elite cronies at the top using political sway and lobbying with ridiculous amounts of money to keep their fossil fuels burning at the expense of our air quality, water quality and to line their pockets.

      Wake up and follow the money.

      Or are you just one of the many paid trolls pushing the fossil fuel industry’s agenda for the sake of that money?!?!?!?!?

  3. I think what should be done is to get a list of the wackos. Then they need there gas, electricity and water shut off. Then let’s see what they do. You idiots go freeze in the dark.

      • Based on what I see here Clifford you people are already using LNG. So you’re argument of we don’t want it means that you should stop using it then as all this pipeline is doing is bringing it in from another source. It reminds me of the people in Canada who are opposing a pipeline project where all they want to do is reverse the flow of the pipeline to bring oil from the oil sands instead of importing it.

        Now think about this, They are predicting blackouts could occur in the northeast without this supply of gas. You don’t have enough renewable energy in place there to power all of your demands right now. It would take decades to build it whereas a pipeline can be constructed quickly.

        Also think about this, natural gas is used for more than power generation. It is also used for cooking and heating. Let’s say you do have a power outage because of natural forces such as hurricanes or blizzards, if you have a natural gas supply to your house you can still cook and heat with it.

        • Here’s another thing for you to think about Clifford. If you do have a hurricane or blizzard this means cloud cover and high winds. Guess what ?? Solar energy doesn’t produce electricity when there is cloud cover and wind turbines have to be shut down in high winds because they will explode if they over speed.

        • Yes, we have a lingering LNG import terminal up here and with all the inefficiencies in liquefaction, shipping and re-gassification it’s still a lot better that fracked gas. You see, not all natural gas is the same – some is associated with lots of flaring, leakage, and groundwater contamination while gas from conventional sources is merely expensive.

          By the way, in a power outage, a gas furnace is useless.

      • Class act or not, he clearly points out your hypocrisy AND points out that while most antis are all to glad to be NIMBYs and BANANAs they don’t have real world feasible alternatives to promote in lieu of using NG.

  4. they are fracking whackos and the proof is they continue to pay NYSEG monthly for the gas even 7 years after they decided natural gas is evil devil breath from hell. They want everyone to go solar yet these hippycrites have failed to go solar them selves. My guess is because todays young relocate so many times they don’t want to pay for a solar system that devalues as fast as a new car

  5. Natural gas sourced from the USA is the best solution for energy efficiency. Ian Harker, one of the best college professors I experienced, promoted appraising environmental impacts by total energy used from beginning to end use, would have endorsed CH4 from fractured wells moved by pipeline because of lowest energy use and least harmful impacts. What do the fractivist “useful idiots” have as evidence supporting their low self-esteem approach… If they support “Agenda 21” population reduction as a way to save energy and the environment, they should put their ass where their mouth is, and volunteer for euthanasia to bring about their “sustainable development” agenda. Then they could volunteer their corpse to produce methane to fuel the lives of their “Anti” buddies. I for one think that conversion to maximum use of CH4 to fuel our lives is the best answer, as CH4 is renewable from conversion of organic waste in a simple bio-digester with virtually no negative impact. Solar and wind will improve as technology matures, but still need to improve technology-wise.

    Remember that you reap what you sow, and the “Law of unintended consequences” can be a bitch when it bites you on the a$$…

  6. Pingback: Natural Gas Can Be A Lifesaver | Natural Gas NowNatural Gas Now

    • Philip, never in a closet – those emissions will kill you. Only in my stove and hot water heater. Again, what has that to do with anything? I use gasoline and diesel, but that does not mean I approve of the Macondo blow out or the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

      Just checking, bit do you suggest I do not have a right to speak out?

  7. Cliff thanks for your response. Lets see, you use gasoline, diesel and natural gas. All three have to be drilled for and delivered through pipelines. Sounds like all the symptoms of an absent minded environmentalist.

    • Phillip,

      Why don’t you look at the cause of why we’re stuck on those choices.

      It couldn’t have anything to do with the literal STRANGLE hold on the market that the fossil fuel industry has had since the Rockefellers and Morgans were making 100 year ties with the middle eastern sheiks. It couldn’t have anything to do with Prohibition in this country just SO CONVENIENTLY including all alcohols even though only ethyl gets you drunk while methyl can power vehicles.
      Or anything to do with the marijuana tax act including INDUSTRIAL HEMP containing practically 0% thc (You would literally have to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole IN AN HOUR to get high off of it) thanks to Henry J Kissinger even though Henry Ford fought both (See above comments if you actually want to educate yourself)

      It also couldn’t have anything to do with American Standard Oil being the first company broken up as the first monopoly because they were doing these things to the competition on top of forcing any newcomers out of the market.

      You really need to wake up and follow the money. Stop being a blind sheep. it’s a bbaaaaaaaad thing to be 🙂

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