Fox Business reported on May 31, 2017 that the last coal-burning power plant in New England had been switched off in Somerset, MA. The Brayton Point Power Station has burned coal since 1963 along Mount Hope Bay in Somerset, near the Rhode Island border. It generated controversy for almost as long, with residents, fishermen and environmentalists decrying the damage that its cooling canals — nicknamed “killing canals” by activists in the 1970s — caused to fisheries.
Ironically this closing was done practically the same day that Trump announced plans to withdraw from the climate change gathering. Brayton Point’s operators completed building giant twin cooling towers in the last decade that could be seen for miles. Yet despite their costly upgrade efforts, a decision was made to close the plant in 2013 over the objections of the local coal unions and those who depended on revenue from the plant operation.
Houston-based plant owner Dynegy said it bought the plant after the decision to close it. It has worked to help the plant’s 170 workers find other jobs. A smaller crew stayed on for the decommissioning process through the end of July. Dynegy spokesman David Onufer said Trump’s election didn’t affect Brayton Point’s outlook because the 2013 decision to shut it down was irreversible. He also said that low electricity prices and the high cost to maintain aging facilities were the main reasons for the closure.
The Bridgeport plant is expected to close by 2021 to make way for a gas-fired plant on the same site. Three smaller New England coal plants operate in New Hampshire Connecticut but they seldom run.
GreenPeace activists — Aliyah Field, John Deans, Chandler McGaw, Lauren Thorpe and Nicholas Simmons —were arrested in 2011 according to a Greenpeace spokesperson for interfering with operations and stringing banners. Sierra Club also got involved along with more than 500 Connecticut residents who asked Gov. Dannel Malloy to reduce pollution from dirty coal plants. The Sierra Club held two events at Bridgeport.
Now, however, either because of simple economics or more because of liberal environmentalists who objected, there is a very real danger that many people in the New England area will be without essential heating during this winter.
“Officials at ISO-New England, operators of the region’s power grid, said energy demands during the recent arctic weather have placed major pressures on energy generators, forcing power companies to rely more on coal and oil to produce electricity,” the Hartford Courant reported this week.
Heating oil delivery drivers have had no choice but to keep working through the cold even as most people are huddled inside and trying not to travel over dangerous roads. The state Department of Motor Vehicles normally limits delivery drivers to 11 hour maximum shifts. But the agency issued an “emergency exemption” on Dec. 28 that “relieves motor carriers from compliance with the Maximum Driving Time Regulations” until Jan. 19.
A shortage of qualified heating oil drivers has also created another dangerous situation. Heating oil companies, like all other trucking-related industries, have been struggling in recent years with difficulties recruiting new drivers. There is also apparently a shortage of qualified drivers that can pass a background check. It seems millennials simply can’t cope with the reality of the work or can’t qualify.
Mitch Gross, spokesman for Eversource, said cold temperatures have “resulted in record-setting demand from Eversource gas customers here in Connecticut.” In Massachusetts on Jan. 1, Eversource saw its third-highest-ever demand for natural gas in that state, according to Gross.
“Energy industry officials have for years warned that inadequate pipeline capacity limits the amount of natural gas coming into New England during peak demand periods like this one. Several multi-billion-dollar proposals for new pipelines have been blocked or withdrawn in the last two years as a result of financing issues and opposition from environmental and consumer groups.” Hartford Courant
In typical fashion, state and federal regulations caused by environmentalist and liberal rants and an out-of-control eight years of regulation writing by the Obama administration has created the last major issue this winter in New England. First, pipeline plans were deliberately stalled or were simply dropped because they couldn’t get traction. Then coal was shut down. The surprise is they still have fuel oil shipped or transported in.
“Environmental limitation on how much, or whether, some oil-fired power plants will be able to generate electricity could become a concern this week and for the remainder of the winter,” explained ISO-New England spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg in an email to Boston station WCVB.
Writing for Scientific American July 2013, LIndsey Konkel explained how “stringent environmental regulations and a steep drop in the cost of natural gas” spurred officials in New England to push away from coal and embrace natural gas.
“In 2000, coal accounted for roughly 18 percent of the region’s electricity generation while natural gas accounted for about 15 percent,” she wrote. “In 2012, just 3 percent of New England’s electricity was generated by coal, while 52 percent came from natural gas.”
While the increased reliance on natural gas isn’t a bad thing, the decreased reliance on coal is. What’s ironic is that liberals have complained about the gas as well.
“Natural gas is killing coal plants, but more natural gas infrastructure may be adverse to health and climate in the long run,” Konkel quoted N. Jonathan Peres, an attorney for the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation.
So thanks to liberals and their inability to look further than the end of their nose, fuel oil and power companies in New England are doing their best to stay calm and not yell “Uncle” while they function despite handicaps. Local communities are struggling to provide heat or risk death from exposure to their citizens.
At this writing, nine deaths have already been recorded and more brutal weather is being predicted to hit soon. USA Todays December 29 headline was “It’s so cold out, a dog froze, sharks died and road salt is useless.”
A quick check of temperatures at roughly 9 p.m. Saturday 1/6/18
Hartford CT 7F Portland ME 4F Boston MA 12F
Isn’t it amazing that state and local officials can pour tons of money into supporting illegal immigrants, do their part to help Obama and the “Deep State” anarchists, find lots of daytime to trash President Trump, file irrelevant and irresponsible lawsuits, warp out in media madness mania, and rant like big dogs about First Amendment rights–
THEY CAN’T FIGURE OUT
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR LEGAL CITIZENS
OR PLAN AHEAD FOR FUTURE ENERGY PROBLEMS OR DISASTERS
Source of story: Conservative Tribune – “New England Liberals Shut Down Coal Power Plants, Now They’re at Risk of Freezing”