The Real Cost of Pipeline Obstruction to the Northeast

DRBC fracking ban - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The real cost of pipeline obstruction to New York and New England is becoming ever more clear in natural gas spot prices as compared to the Midwest.

It gets more clear ever day; pipeline obstruction  is imposing an extraordinarily heavy cost of the middle class residents of New York and New England. The crisis is coming, as I noted here the other day, but the pain is already here. One only needs to look at daily spot prices for natural gas during this cold January. Northeasterners are paying four and five times what they need to pay as a result of pipeline obstruction.

NGI Data puts out daily natural gas price information and graphs it by location. The graphs coming out with respect to New York and New England look like the world’s greatest roller-coaster or, perhaps more accurately, the landscape silhouette of some distant moon with rapidly raising mountain peaks. They provide a whole new definition of volatile.

Take, for example, these three average hub prices in the Northeast as of this morning:

Transco Zone 6 (New York): $19

Algonquin Citygate (New England): $14

Northeast Regional Average: $14

Now, compare these prices to Midwest gas prices, where it’s also cold:

Chicago Citygate: $3.50

Michigan Consolidated: $3.50

Midwest Regional Average: $3.50

Northeast gas prices are four and five times those in the equally cold Midwest. The difference is the pipeline infrastructure the Northeast lacks to get plentiful Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to Northeast markets that desperately need it. When demand is high and supply is constricted by pipeline obstruction, the result is inevitable. Natural gas and electric prices go up dramatically and utility costs have to eventually be reimbursed by ratepayers.

pipeline obstruction

Notice New York and New England are still paying pre-shale revolution gas prices during colder months because pipeline obstruction has prevented their access to the bounty of that shale revolution, even though it happened next door.

It’s a huge unnecessary tax being imposed on the middle class in the name of green political correctness and making wilderness playgrounds by a gentry class that never feels the pain. More than that, it’s a huge disincentive to economic development and job creation, creating a vicious cycle of decline with ever fewer people with ever less money to pay ever higher bills. Yet, natural gas achieves the biggest reductions in emissions with the greatest economic efficiency.

What’s the matter with New York and New England, anyway?

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6 thoughts on “The Real Cost of Pipeline Obstruction to the Northeast

  1. Tom, where is the uproar from people themselves. They can’t all be NIMBY’s. Are they in a black hole where they don’t know how badly they’re being taken advantage of by their own lawmakers? Very puzzling.

  2. Tom, the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced they should be left to their own devices. Yes, there is some political corruption and unconstitutional bidding being made but at the end of the day, it mostly affects them, not me. I can’t vote in their states. They can. They voted for this and the consequences are of their own doing. Do I feel sorry for the rural communities that stand to benefit from ROWs? Yes. Do I feel sorry for people that struggle to pay their gas bills? Yes, conditionally. I do as long as they didn’t vote for it or support organizations that obfuscate it. Our family leased. We’ve fought them in court here at home and won. The gas is getting to markets anyway through Rover, Dawn Hub, and Mariner. At the end of the day, they can buy their Russian gas or domestic gas at greatly inflated prices, and they will be the ones to bear the consequences of it.

  3. The pipeline crisis in the NE is not The Problem. It is a symptom. The Problem is a national epidemic of massive and destructive group insanity. You may laugh all you want to about what I just said but here is a list to consider:

    New pipeline obstruction.
    Gender neutral bathrooms.
    Gender neutral taught in public schools.
    Climate change taught in public schools.
    Anti Christian fervor.
    Prevailing massive progress ideology in higher education.
    Fake News.
    A war on whites.
    A war war on masculinity.
    Open borders.
    Corruption by Big Corporations infusing progressive ideology into all aspects of American life.

    The war is on a massive scale and THEY are winning – one kid at a time.

    A one party national government made to look like a two party system.
    Smoke and mirrors elections that simply do not work.

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