Massachusetts Town Votes for Freezing in the Dark

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Brookline passes bylaw banning future use of oil, gas in new buildings

BROOKLINE, Mass. — A Massachusetts town overwhelmingly voted Wednesday night to ban the future installation of oil and gas pipes in future construction projects as well as in renovations of existing buildings.

The bylaw, which passed the Brookline town meeting with 210 votes in favor and just three opposing, would be the first such prohibition in the state of Massachusetts.

“This warrant article is not the whole answer, but it represents a start” in reaching Brookline’s stated 2050 carbon neutral goal, said Town Meeting member Cornelia van der Ziel.

“When you’re in a hole, the first thing is to stop digging,” State Rep. Tommy Vitolo said; this warrant article takes away the shovel, he added.

[…]

WCVB5

This bit of enviro-nitwittery “would require homeowners and developers to use electricity to power all future heat, hot water and other appliances.” Exceptions would be made for “backup generators, restaurant kitchens and medical offices, among other uses”… Expect a run on backup generators at the local Home Depot.

80% of Massachusetts homes rely on fossil fuels for heating… only 15% rely on electricity.

Figure 1. How Massachusetts Households Heat Their Homes (Mass.gov)

84% of Massachusetts electricity is generated by natural gas-fired power plants.

Figure 2. Massachusetts Net Electricity Generation by Source Aug. 2019 (US EIA)

Amazingly, a state so dependent on natural gas is one of the most hostile to natural gas and natural gas pipelines. Massachusetts imports 12% of its natural gas from Vladimir Putin et al…

Massachusetts has three liquefied natural gas import terminals. In 2017, foreign imports into Massachusetts equaled about 12% of the natural gas that entered the state and 7% of New England’s total demand for natural gas.

US EIA

Despite the fact that these tenuously United States are awash in cheap, domestic natural gas, with a growing number of LNG export terminals and their proximity to booming natural gas production from the Marcellus play … Massachusetts still operates three LNG import terminals. Massachusetts is the only State in the nation with three LNG import terminals and no export terminals (FERC).

Massachusetts Limits Gas Pipelines, Imports LNG from Russia Instead
BY IER

APRIL 16, 2018

Environmentalists are winning in Massachusetts by getting natural gas infrastructure projects shelved. Natural gas consumers in the state, however, are losing out because those pipelines would supply natural gas to consumers at a lower cost than imported liquefied natural gas (LNG)—receiving some of that LNG from Russia through the Everett LNG terminal—the only LNG import terminal still operating in the lower 48.

Environmentalists seem to be obsessed with stopping the construction of domestic pipelines in this country, regardless of what they carry, what fuels they displace, and how global greenhouse gas emissions may be affected. Liquefied natural gas results in greater emissions than pipeline gas because cooling the gas to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit and then shipping and regasifying it requires more energy than pumping natural gas through domestic pipelines. Generally, LNG produces 5 to 10 percent more emissions over its entire life cycle than piped gas.

Russian LNG Shipments to Massachusetts

Three years ago Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker proposed an energy policy consisting of 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy, 1,600 megawattsof offshore wind, and an expansion of natural gas pipeline capacity. Environmentalists fought the natural gas pipeline expansion and won, shelving several pipeline proposals. (For instance, officials in Massachusetts and New Hampshire blocked the $3 billion Access Northeast Pipeline.) Environmentalists want to rely solely on solar and wind power—intermittent sources of electricity that need back-up power. As Massachusetts has been shuttering its coal-fired power plants, that back-up power has mostly been supplied by natural gas, raising the price of electricity as cold weather forces different sectors to compete for natural gas.

The shortage of natural gas was clear earlier this year when a cold snap caused prices for natural gas to spike and the purchase of Russian LNG to supply the Everest LNG import terminal a few miles north of Boston. The Russian LNG comes from a new $27 billion terminal on the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic Circleoperated by Yamal LNG—a joint venture among Russia’s gas company Novatek, France’s Total, and China’s CNPC. Novate is on the Treasury Department’s financial sanctions list. However, the LNG shipment does not violate the prohibitions that the Obama Administration imposed four years ago because it is owned by a French energy trader arriving on a French-owned vessel (Gaselys) and consisting of Russian gas as well as gas from other European sources.

[…]

IER

And the cherry on top of the sundae…

Average Residential Price of Electricity by State, August 2019 and 2018 (Cents per Kilowatthour)

State Aug-19 % US Avg Aug-18 % US Avg
1 Hawaii         31.16 234%         32.39 244%
2 Alaska         23.56 177%         22.51 170%
3 Rhode Island         21.76 164%         18.70 141%
4 Massachusetts         21.54 162%         20.80 157%
5 Connecticut         21.29 160%         21.27 160%
6 California         19.86 149%         19.85 150%
7 New Hampshire         19.47 146%         19.32 146%
8 New York         18.39 138%         19.02 143%
9 Maine         17.90 135%         16.91 128%
10 Vermont         16.68 125%         17.96 135%
11 Michigan         16.53 124%         15.40 116%
12 New Jersey         15.79 119%         15.25 115%
13 Wisconsin         14.80 111%         13.99 106%
14 Iowa         14.73 111%         14.18 107%
15 Minnesota         13.91 105%         13.78 104%
16 Pennsylvania         13.83 104%         13.95 105%
17 New Mexico         13.00 98%         13.48 102%
18 Kansas         12.96 97%         13.95 105%
19 Alabama         12.83 96%         12.32 93%
20 South Dakota         12.72 96%         12.62 95%
21 Missouri         12.71 96%         12.92 97%
22 Colorado         12.70 95%         12.43 94%
23 South Carolina         12.56 94%         10.36 78%
24 Arizona         12.52 94%         12.83 97%
25 Illinois         12.51 94%         12.52 94%
26 Maryland         12.46 94%         13.05 98%
27 Ohio         12.45 94%         12.90 97%
28 District of Columbia         12.39 93%         12.56 95%
29 Georgia         12.38 93%         12.60 95%
30 Virginia         12.36 93%         12.27 93%
31 Indiana         12.25 92%         12.53 94%
32 Delaware         12.24 92%         12.21 92%
33 North Dakota         12.06 91%         11.80 89%
34 Wyoming         11.97 90%         11.75 89%
35 Montana         11.91 90%         11.29 85%
36 Florida         11.90 89%         11.33 85%
37 Nebraska         11.83 89%         11.98 90%
38 Texas         11.80 89%         11.27 85%
39 Nevada         11.79 89%         11.40 86%
40 North Carolina         11.71 88%         11.29 85%
41 West Virginia         11.56 87%         11.40 86%
42 Mississippi         11.22 84%         10.84 82%
43 Oregon         11.18 84%         11.12 84%
44 Utah         11.17 84%         10.85 82%
45 Tennessee         10.80 81%         10.85 82%
46 Kentucky         10.62 80%         10.60 80%
47 Oklahoma         10.61 80%         10.87 82%
48 Idaho         10.18 77%         10.48 79%
49 Arkansas         10.08 76%         10.01 75%
50 Washington         10.06 76%           9.93 75%
51 Louisiana           9.57 72%           9.92 75%
U.S. Total         13.30         13.26

Brookline, in a State which already has the second most expensive residential electricity prices in the Lower 48, wants to force its residents to switch from heating with natural gas to heating with electricity generated from Russian natural gas…

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