Spectra Energy of Houston, here. has proposed a $500 million expansion of the existing Algonquin (Natural) Gas Transmission pipeline. The goal is to augment the carrying capacity and to accommodate new supplies generated from the development of shale gas from the Marcellus formation that stretches from Kentucky to upstate New York.
According to reports in the Boston Globe the existing pipeline at various times already runs at capacity.
Spectra says that it will cost $150 million a year to maintain and operate the expansion as well.
Spectra is seeking commitments from customers, New England governments and utilities and Connecticut must step up to support this and other natural gas infrastructure improvements.
In Massachusetts Barbara Kates-Garnick, the undersecretary of that state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs says “It is very important that we continue to expand the gas system in Massachusetts.” Ms. Kates-Garnick understands the expansion of natural gas supplies will fuel the New England economy and help “green” the environment.
Some utilities and government officials however
appear concerned that low cost natural gas will derail some of their renewable energy plans or perhaps shift New England’s high cost energy profile at their expense.
They may be joined by others with a knee jerk anti-carbon fuel reaction to expanding order ambien use as well.
To those with environment concerns we would point to a 27% drop in coal shipments at rail line CSX as a result buy valium online power generators shifting away from dirtier higher cost coal as a result of increased gas supplies.
To those concerned with a growing economy, Gordon van Welie, chief executive of ISO New England, the organization that manages the power grid, told the Globe “New England is the closest it has ever been to a cheap fuel”.
This new low cost fuel will provide new opportunities to build the national and regional economy. In spite of that drop in rail traffic an optimistic CSX executive told a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in April that “we’re finally seeing opportunities to export chemical products off the East Coast.”
It has been decades since Connecticut and New England have had the benefit of low cost energy, yet it was low cost waterpower that originally provided New England communities and business the ability to thrive. But as energy prices rose in the 1970s much of the New England economy has stagnated and industries needed for a diverse economy to more fully employ the population, faltered
Spectra’s proposal also promises that in many parts of Eastern Connecticut, home heating and business costs can significantly decline.
It is imperative that the gas infrastructure be expanded to maximize the opportunity of low cost and clean energy. Connecticut cannot allow capacity restrictions to be buy valium new source of slow economic growth and higher energy prices in the region.
We urge Governor Dannel Malloy to lead on the
expansion of natural gas infrastructure. He can start by having his DEEP commissioner Dan Esty develop an evaluation of how the new natural gas paradigm can impact Connecticut’s air, water quality and our employment and economy.
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