As colder months draw closer, New England finds itself in a big pickle and that means a natural gas shortage. Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news from the region and its six states faced with the likelihood of rolling blackouts this winter. In an ironic twist, New England’s plight comes as the U.S.—the world’s largest gas and LNG producer—continues to break volume records.
But New England is an island unto itself whose residents have opposed building any new pipelines that would ensure a steady flow of gas to fuel its power plants, and the limited capacity on the pipelines it does have is not enough to meet demand during extended severe temperatures. Instead, New England depends on foreign LNG imports—the only place in the U.S. to do so—and paying skyrocketing global prices. The nation’s shipping rules prohibit LNG deliveries between American ports by foreign-flagged tankers and the U.S. doesn’t have American-flagged LNG vessels. For now, New England relies on gas supplies from Trinidad and Tobago to fuel half the region’s power plants. In advance of a looming big chill, the CEO of New England’s electric utility has personally requested the President use emergency powers to stave off any possible interruptions to the grid. Guess we’ll see how this plays out.