Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sticker Shock?

Many people have written about the pros and cons of building the Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline known as Northeast Direct or NED.  Our Governor, in her inaugural address on Thursday talked about bringing more affordable electricity prices to New England because of better access to Natural Gas.  She didn't mention the NED project explicitly, but we can assume that she had it in mind.
I have a question.
What's the plan? 
Building a transmission pipeline and claiming it will deliver cheaper electricity is like promising a new car and then showing the customer four tires.  What's the price for the rest of the car?  What does it look like?  What new Natural Gas fired electricity generating plants are being proposed?  Where will they be sited and who will pay for them?  It won't matter later because we will be committed once we build the pipeline.  We'll pay any price they ask.
I have another question.
No matter how inexpensive Natural Gas is, it can't beat the fuel price of solar, wind, hydro, energy efficiency and weatherization programs.  The "fuels" for those are free.  With weatherization and energy efficiency programs, customers see lower energy bills immediately.  They don't have to wait until they finish paying for a $3 Billion dollar pipeline and the many Billions of dollars required to build the infrastructure to take advantage of it. Why aren't we investing those dollars in systems that use free fuel? 
I think we all know the answers to both of those questions. 

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