Overreliance on Gas, Offshore Wind Delay Burning New England

Chart via OurFiniteWorld.com

Natural gas has been pitched as a “bridge fuel” by those who don’t want to transition New England’s electricity supply from dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil to clean energy sources like solar and wind right away.

But the toll on the natural gas “bridge” has suddenly gone way up. That’s not surprising since, as the chart shows, natural gas has always been subject to wild price swings. With New England now more dependent on natural gas than ever, supply has struggled to keep up with demand. As the New York Times’ Matthew Wald reports, that’s sent New England electricity prices spiking sharply this winter:

The six-state New England region and parts of Long Island are the most vulnerable now to overreliance on gas, a vulnerability heightened by a shortage of natural gas pipeline capacity, but officials worry that similar problems could spread to the Midwest.

We are sticking a lot of straws into this soft drink,” said William P. Short III, an energy consultant whose clients include companies that move and burn gas. “This is a harbinger of things to come in New England, as well as New York.”

But natural gas companies aren’t interested in selling it to New England at a discount. They want to export it to get top dollar on the international market:

Several companies want to liquefy and export gas from the continental United States because of the shale gas glut, and the events in New England could affect that debate. Opposition has come mostly from domestic industries that use the gas. A spokesman for Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said Mr. Wyden saw the price gyrations in New England as a reason to “look before we leap ahead with unfettered exports of gas.”

The natural gas price spike shows that while natural gas may be cleaner burning and at times cheaper than coal, it’s still a bad idea to put all our eggs in one fossil fuel basket. The more we can diversify our energy sources with modern, clean energy sources, the more insulated we’ll be from price spikes. (Plus there are plenty of questions about the health and water impacts of natural gas fracking.)

Today, there’s not one offshore wind turbine harvesting wind energy off the Atlantic Coast. Not one! Wind may cost a little more to build up front, but Mother Nature isn’t going to threaten to export our breezes to Europe unless we pay exorbitant prices.

It’s been 12 years since Cape Wind was first proposed and our regulators have let big mansion money on the Cape tie it up in regulatory knots. Let’s build Cape Wind now – and a lot more offshore wind to follow.



44 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Hi greenmiles- Does part of the energy diversification include

    Nuclear power? Plymouth has an aging power plant that pays millions of dollars to the town, a good neighbor, and electricity 24/7, unless refueling, of course. Would it not make more sense to build a new, modern Pilgrin II since the infrastructure is already there and the town would be receptive. Just thinking of the jobs that would be created, be like a 10 year economic boom.

    I would suggest clean coal is part of the solution to wean ourselves off oil. I have oil heat and was disgusted by the high prices and knowing my money was going to Chavez or Middle East. So I have installed a coal insert and burn clean coal/anthracite coal. It’s low sulfur, and fuel is from PA, so 100% American. I have used just 30 gallons of oil since Sept. It is a young persons fuel since it comes in 40 pound bags and buy it by the ton. But man, it keeps your home warm.

    • Do you fart at dinner parties too?

      Plymouth is the same model reactor as the catastrophically-failed Fukushima plant. No, it would not make more sense to build a “new, modern Pilgrim II” — first because there is no such thing, second because the same money invested in conservation yields far more reductions in carbon footprint, third because the US is already unable to deal with nuclear waste from the plants we already have.

      Your “clean” anthracite coal emits far more CO2 per unit of energy released than any conventional alternatives, including natural gas.

      Your loud trumpeting of your proud decision to burn coal — especially on a thread discussing a transition away from carbon-emitters — is as rude as farting at a dinner party and then vomiting in the punch bowl.

      You leave me with the distinct impression that you are intentionally striving to be as offensive as possible — and succeeding.

    • Wow. Just wow.

      Pre-existing nuclear power is low [not no] carbon and relatively cheap. New nuclear, on the other hand, is extremely expensive. Even with the land there. Even with the transmission infrastructure already there. How expensive? So much so that it would be cheaper to generate the electricity with solar panels than it would with nuclear, and then — hey! — you don’t have all that nuclear waste or risk of a massive accident. I select solar panels because, in general, they’re more *expensive* than wind, hydro from Canada, or energy efficiency — and they’re still a wiser investment than nuclear.

      As for coal — there is no such thing as clean coal. You don’t burn clean coal. You’re burning incredibly dirty coal. The emissions from your coal are, per pound, far worse than most electric power plants. You’re not scrubbing for particulate matter. You’re not capturing mercury emissions. You’re not filtering for SOx nor NOx. You’re just whistling in the dark man. As much as you suggest that you’re wearing lovely purple robes, you’re naked. Absolutely naked.

      • Storm- I don't burn bituminous coal

        Thats the “dirty” coal that power plants use snd why they need scrubbers. Anthracite is like a rock and why the burn lasts so long. Many people heat with natural gas and oil. From what I know, solar panels don’t provide heat, just electricity. So to keep the family and dogs and kitty warm, I need a fuel source and I would rather burn anthracite coal than oil. It’s cheaper and I can go to work all day and when I get home at night, it’s 80 degrees in the living room. My only concern is my basement gets cold since the furnace is idle.

        The smoke coming out my chimney is clear, it’s not black. Not 100% sure if we are talking about the same type of coal. Again, money stays at home ( helps economy) and no fracking. I know people who froze b/c they lost power during the last storm. If I lost power, I still have heat.

        • Tom-what do you heat your home with?

          Gas, oil, wood? Electric heat? You rather I burn oil?

          • Natural gas

            I heat with natural gas — with a tiny footprint compared to anthracite.

          • Oil instead of coal?

            Home heating oil is probably better. It’s got about 2/3 of the GHG emissions for a complete burn, and (I think!) a well-tuned oil boiler has far less criteria air pollutant emissions per Btu of useful heat.

            Depending on where you live and the details of your home, an electric air-source heat pump could be installed which would be a big environmental step forward, perhaps energy bill savings too. Natural gas isn’t as good, but way better than oil and coal. Wood is a funny one. Neutral GHG emissions [roughly speaking], but the particulates are really, really high. Electric resistance heat is really expensive, and in New England has about the same GHG emissions as coal burned at a power plant*, albeit without all the SOx and PM emissions that coal does. So yeah, electric resistance heat would be better than coal heat.

            * This is because gas at a power plant is about 50% efficient, whereas at a home is high 90s% efficient. So, you’ve got twice the GHG emissions with electric heat than you do with local gas heat. Know what else has twice the GHG emissions as gas at a power plant? Coal at a power plant.

        • No clue

          Anthracite is just another form of COAL. It is not clean. CO2 is clear (soot is
          black), making your claim that burning anthracite is “clean” because “the smoke coming out my chimney is clear it’s not black” utterly false.

          Oh, and his handle is “stomv”. No “r” in it anywhere.

        • All coal is dirty

          as mentioned below. As for heating — strictly speaking, one could use solar panels to provide heat by using electric resistance heating, but it would be extremely expensive relative to other options. One could also use an (electric) air-source heat pump, though even modern New England-centric designs still can’t provide 100% of needed heat in sub-freezing weather.

          If you gave a crap about GHG, NOx, SOx, PM, or Hg emissions, you simply wouldn’t ever use coal in your home. Ever. If you wanted to have a really low environmental footprint for your home’s heating and cooling, you’d do the following (in this order, but multiple steps can be done at the same time to save money during installation):
          0. Move to a smaller home which is otherwise efficient for your lifestyle
          0.5. Lots of sweaters and blankets and curtains
          1. Air seal the basement and attic
          2. Air seal the rest of the home
          3. Insulate the attic and basement
          4. Insulate the rest of the home
          5. Install zone-based programmable thermostats
          5.1. Configure them correctly
          6. Install an electric air-source heat pump
          7. Because that isn’t enough on the coldest days [or if you can't do it for whatever reason], install a high efficiency natural gas condensing boiler

          I include 0 in the list because it is a legitimate way to reduce your energy footprint substantially. It’s rather drastic, so it might not be the right answer for most folks at any given time, but strictly speaking it is the most efficient way to reduce your carbon footprint — heat and cool less space. I put in one half because if you load up the blankets and sweaters, you’ll be warm — and go turn down the thermostat 3 degrees. Costs nothing, saves $10s ($100+?) a month.

          • Stom - here is what I found on a blog comparing my coal with heating oil

            coal compared to oil:
            co2 emissions are heavier (co2 isn’t technically a pollutant)
            nitrogen compounds are less (oxides of nitrogen causes acid rain & smog)
            sulphur dioxide is less (causes acid rain) although it is being removed from oil more aggressively
            co emissions are heavier (co is a poisonous gas)
            water vapor is much less, near zero (while not technically a pollutant, it is a greenhouse “gas” and may be a bigger culprit in global warming than co2, if that theory is correct.)

            Study below. I can’t follow all the data. I appreciate your knowledge on the topic. Please be advised the cost of my anthracite coal is equivalent to paying $1.70 or so for heating oil, plus the heat is much better from coal and again, creating U.S.A. Jobs jobs jobs, my money stays in-house sort of speak. On cold days like today, I use a 40 pound bag, approx $7.00 a bag. They don’t frack the land to get the coal either. I truly believe people should be encouraged not to use oil and more anthracite, so we don’t send our sons and daughters off to a senseless war to be killed. I can’t think of a more patriotic thing to heat with.


            • Strip mining is WORSE than fracking

              Nearly all anthracite coal is harvested using strip mining — in many cases, removing entire mountaintops. That’s because underground mining is so dangerous. For example, an underground anthracite mine in Centralia PA has been burning since 1962 — it is impossible to extinguish.

              The Centralia Mine Fire — still burning since 1962

              The ravages of strip-mining are unimaginable unless you’ve actually seen the devastation. Pictures offer a clue, but fail to convey they enormity of the destruction (in the same way that pictures of the Grand Canyon are pretty, but have nowhere near the impact of the real thing).

              Strip mining in Centralia, PA

              Aerial view, mountaintop removal

              Another mountaintop removal

              Maybe you find the total destruction and desecration of entire mountain ranges patriotic — I don’t.

              • And the pictures don't show

                The pictures also give no hint of the destruction that strip-mining causes downstream.

                Federal government scientists say a “growing body of evidence” shows that mountaintop removal coal mining is destroying Appalachian forests and dangerously polluting vital headwater streams.

                In a new report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlines the results of dozens of scientific papers published over the last decade about the controversial mining practice.

                While EPA scientists focused on direct damage to streams that are buried and on pollution downstream from valley fills, the 119-page report also warns that damage to ecologically important forests is greater than some routinely cited statistics suggest.

              • Two can play that game

                How would you like if I put pictures of U.S. soldiers hurt or killed in the Middle East? The money we send to countries who treat women worse than pigs. At least the people moving the dirt around in your pictures are Americans, feeding and clothing Americans. The money I spend on anthracite wont come back and bite me.

                If I had to choose between gas or oil, sure I would prefer gas. But look a few years ago at the prices and I believe greenmiles and others wants to have the high prices again.

              • Tom, how could you possibly

                show Dan the effects of a policy? You’re going to affect his sense of self!

                • Exercise in self-control

                  I’m working really really hard to have no further interaction with him on this thread.

                  • Every single one of us...

                    …should work very hard at not replying to Dan’s garbage. Downrate and ignore – DFTT, and maybe he’ll go away.

                    • Unlikely. He's on a mission

                      to show himself how much smarter he is.

                    • More likely he seeks control

                      Trolling is usually about narcissism and control, the content doesn’t much matter. It’s a little bit like rape is about power, not sex.

                      This is assuming he’s not a paid sock-puppet on the payroll of some right-wing organization (I’m thinking of the various escapades of Mr. Fehrnstrom, Marc Morano, and the many climate change denier foundations).

                    • I agree.

                      I get the feeling he thinks persuading people is a mission to enlighten the rest of the world.

            • You did read the study, right?

              1. CO2 is most certainly a pollutant, by all standards. The EPA formalized that for US policy in 2009. Just because some amounts of it are good doesn’t mean that more amounts of it are better. Repeat after me: CO2 is a pollutant, and we must reduce our emissions of CO2 on Earth or we will face substantial negative climate consequences.

              2. You did read the study, right? Comparing coal to oil:
              Page 3 uses 10^3 gallons of oil, which is 140 MMBTu. Page 6-7 uses tons of anthracite, which is 25 MMBtu. This means that to compare the emissions used for heat, you’ve got to multiply every pollutant on the anthracite table by 5.6 to tabulate the amount of pollutants on an equal heating basis. I presume that you didn’t do that, did you?

              Doing that, we get:
              coal emits 308 times more CO than oil*
              coal emits 14/15ths as much NOx as oil (almost equal)
              coal emits over 5 times as much SO2 as oil
              coal emits 80 times as much VOCs as oil
              coal emits over 51 times as much PM10 as oil
              coal emits over 4 times as much PM2.5 as oil
              coal emits 1/3rd as much PM condensible as oil
              coal emits 1.4 times as much CO2 as oil

              * the report pointed out that it may be 10-100 times higher than this if the coal boiler is operated improperly

              So look, coal is terrible from an emissions standpoint as compared to oil. Just terrible. There’s nothing patriotic about using a heating source which fouls up our air and water far more than other sources.

              You’re right to be interested in reducing your heating oil consumption. You’re wrong to do it with coal. I encourage you to revisit the list I made above [0-7] to find ways which reduce oil consumption and don’t spew far more nasties in the air than oil.

              • Stomv- follow-up question

                No I did not read the study, my eyes glossed over, why I asked you figuring you would understand it better.

                Does the math change when you figure a ton of anthracite used to heat my home would take like 110-150 gallons of oil heat to do the same thing?

                • With due respect dan

                  those numbers (2000 lbs vs. 110-150 gallons) is pulled straight from your arse. If your eyes glazed over at units of each heating fuel in the study, I have a hard time believing that you did an honest measurement, nor corrected for heating degree hours.

                  But let’s go with your example, and assume the worst for oil — 150 gallons. 150 gallons of oil is 21 MMBtu. One ton of coal is 25 MMBtu. If it takes one ton of coal to replace 150 gallons of heating oil, then the environmental impact is worse for coal than described above, by a factor of (25/21) ~= 20% worse. Why? Your oil furnace/boiler is more efficient at converting BTUs of combustion heat to useful heat than your coal apparatus. This isn’t surprising — burning lumps of solid is generally far less efficient than burning a gas or a fine mist of liquid (what an oil boiler/furnace does).

                  So, according to your own numbers [which are sketchy, let's be clear], your use of coal instead of oil is roughly 20% worse than I described above.

                  Dude, it’s a bad thing. Let it go. If you want to choose a less-bad heating solution, install an air-source heat pump and supplement it with the oil boiler.

    • I can answer that in 11 words

      Nuclear is wicked expensive. There’s no such thing as clean coal.

  2. On New England and natural gas

    There’s no question, the use of natural gas in New England is up — over 50% of our electricity comes from natural gas. It’s also true that the price of natural gas has been volatile in recent history. Indeed, fracking is a concern too.

    The flip side is: coal made up something like 3% of our fuel mix Jan-Nov 2012. 3%. That’s remarkably small. We’re getting nearer and nearer to zero. That’s a good thing — and every MWh we generate with natural gas instead of coal is a MWh generated closer to our environmental values.

    Of course, every MWh generated with solar or wind, or not needed due to energy efficiency, is even closer to our environmental values, so I don’t mean to suggest that greenmiles is on the wrong track. But look — in 2012, oil and coal made up under 4% of our electricity generation [IIRC], whereas it wasn’t that long ago when it made up 20% or more. So, we’re making real progress in New England. Building some offshore wind in the 100s of MWs at a time would be another great stride forward.

    We’ve got good energy efficiency programs in much of New England [and the best in the USA in MA]. We’ve got RPS policies in five states which mean we get about 1% more renewables on the system each year. We’ve got solar programs in CT and MA which are doing well. There’s no doubt — we’ve got a long way to go, and we’d better work hard soon or we’ll never get there.

    As for natural gas supply, the article is junk. It’s pretty simple. There’s two kinds of natural gas delivery — firm, and economy. Firm means that you’re *guaranteed delivery*. It’s what we use to heat our homes [in aggregate], and it’s what industrial sites use to make sure they’ve got gas for their chemical, heating, or other gas processes. Power plants, however, don’t buy firm. They buy economy. They pay a little less for the gas, but it means that they’re not guaranteed delivery at the times when all those who have firm are taking as much as they’ve been allocated. If the power plants in New England were required to carry firm gas contracts, there’d be a market to build more pipelines [from PA, loosely speaking], and those pipelines would get built. Since the merchant power plants aren’t required to carry firm gas, they’re not guaranteed delivery, and on the really cold snaps [especially during the work week], there’s a small non-zero chance that there won’t be enough gas to go around. For those few hours, a whole lot more coal and oil gets burned, and we import as much electricity as possible from NY and Canada as we can.

    • common sense reply thank you

      I work in a manufacturing firm, the lowered cost of natural gas will help make us more competitive. You need energy to make goods & services and the less expensive the more competitive you are with other countries.

      Not to be a crank – tell me if I’m wrong – but Solar and Wind must typically be paired with single stage natural gas power plants which are not very efficient.

      • Since you're not being a crank

        Solar and Wind must typically be paired with single stage natural gas power plants which are not very efficient.

        No: neither solar nor wind must typically be paired with single stage natural gas power plants.

        • Wind backup ?

          Funny a site engineer for a California wind company told me that – I understand single stage gas plants are more responsive to load changes – but doesn’t mean that are the only source of power. You do need fast response load backup – might be the only source in his area.

          I’m amazing about how labor efficient and clean gas powered power plants are – got a tour a few years back of a 300MW gas plant – there are more people working at your local CVS (actually 3) than at this plant – impressive.

          • Ha ha!

            So funny.

            Look, I’m working on a project right now for the state of California to help them integrate 33% renewables into their grid by 2020. Single stage gas plants are responsive to load changes [they have high ramp rates], but so does:
            * pumped hydro
            * reservoir hydro
            * demand response
            * chemical batteries
            * flywheels
            and a host of other things. California has all of these things (except flywheels) in different amounts, all across California. There’s no such thing as “pairing” a fossil unit with an intermittent unit, or any other unit. Pairing doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. You’ve got a grid, with 100s (in the case of CA, 1000s) of generators, and millions of users. You run the entire system in aggregate. When the wind dies down (or the sun goes down), you ramp up a number of other units, some a little bit, some a lot, depending on how much head room they have.

            When a coal plant blows a transformer, you could have to make up 800MW of generation within minutes. That’s a whole lot more ramp than most parts of the country need for wind or solar, and it’s less predictable. This problem has existed for decades, and low and behold, it’s been solved! When they do right, nobody remembers it seems.

            Will California build more single stage gas plants? Yip. They’ve got growing load, growing intermittent renewables, and a number of very old oil and gas steam turbines which will be retired. They’re also preparing for the retirement the SONGS nuclear plant (been broken since 1/2012), the potential retirement of coal plants like Colstrip in Montana and some plants in NV/AZ, etc. Throughout this process, the CO2/MWh will continue to go down.

            So, I stand by my answer. Generation units are never paired in systems bigger than personal islands, and that’s certainly true in California.

            • Not paired

              But does wind power get the same penalties as other sources. If they do – then it would make sense for them to pair with a alternate source.

              I know if a coal or gas plant goes off-line when they have committed to provide energy there are some very expensive penalties. So I assume this is not the case for wind ?

              Interesting article on EROI which is something I’ve always wondered about – actually wind seems to provide a reasonable return – solar not.

              This is what scares me.

              In a 2009 paper [PDF], Hall and his colleagues estimated that energy supplies with an EROI of at least 12 to 13 were required to support the trappings of modern developed nations, such as higher education, technological progress, and high art. Oil and gas production in the United States may have already fallen below that threshold, the paper says, and global production appears to be following fast.

              • There are 100s(?) of balancing authorities...

                in most large RTOs (ISO-NEW, NYISO, PJM, MISO, ERCOT, CAISO), generators get capacity payments based on MW of nameplate. Doesn’t matter if the unit is dispatched for 1 hour or 8760 in a year, they get the same capacity payment. PJM is typically north of $150/MW/day. A 600 MW combined cycle plant therefore pulls in $33M just for being available, even if not dispatched. A 600 MW wind farm, however, gets about 1/10th of that [depending on the RTO], because the wind capacity credit ranges from 5% to 13.3%. PJM is 13%. The 600MW wind farm doesn’t get $33M, it gets $4M.

                Is that penalty enough?

                There’s no such thing as pairing because there are 100s of generators, and we can turn all their knobs at the same time to achieve a number of simultaneous goals [supply meeting demand in different time intervals, voltage and frequency regulation, etc]. Intermittent resources don’t get full nameplate capacity payments — that is, essentially, their penalty for not being dispatchable.

                • But they don't get penalized because the are classed as intermittent

                  I do understand now.

                  A large 600MW plants get a payment of 33M for being available and the equivalent wind farm about 10% of that.

                  But if the 600MW goes off-line when they are supposed to be on-line they get penalized the peak cost of replacement power which I would assume is maybe 50K -100K an hour ?

                  The concept of pairing – is essentially capacity – you need enough base load capacity built into your grid to offset your intermittent generators

                  Where does this base load capacity come from ?

                  pumped hydro – we aren’t going to be able to add capacity – great idea – and we got a big one in Western Massachusetts.

                  reservoir hydro – we are removing dams

                  demand response – not sure what this means ?

                  chemical batteries – I don’t think you are going to get 400M of batteries

                  flywheels – that’s a big flywheel – Beacon went bankrupt

                  it all comes back to Natural Gas and base nukes.

      • High energy prices = high unemployment

        Roarkarchiteck made a profound comment about working for a mfg. company and how low energy costs helps them be more competitive. But many here, probably Ed Markey as well, wants to increase natural gas prices.

        Anyone remember Haverhill Paperboard? 100 year old company closed in 2008, primarily due to the high cost of natural gas at the time. They moved to So. Carolina.

        People ought to look at the collateral damage, jobs, when you promote high energy prices. That is why Cape Wind makes no sense, it’s the most expensive energy source when we need to look at ways to drive prices down, so roarkarchitect and I get to keep our jobs.

        I was on Route 3 last night and the turbine wasn’t even spinning, just flashing a red light. I do believe this source needs a backup since its not reliable.

        • Blaming wind for high cost of natural gas?


          Look, new wind is already cheaper than new natural gas and new coal, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. And saying wind isn’t viable because one turbine wasn’t spinning in one place is like saying global warming isn’t happening because it’s cold today where I live. Let’s put turbines & solar panels in lots of places and let a smart grid send the juice from places where it’s sunny & windy to places where it’s not.

          • Greenmiles- that is not what I said or meant to say

            Many, including yourself, are pushing for higher energy costs on natural gas so the “green” energies become more viable. What I am telling you is if you pursue this policy, expect job losses in sectors of our economy that are reliant on lots of energy.

            Exhibit A is Haverhill Paperboard. They were using $30,000 a day in electricity and finally, in 2008, cried uncle, and closed shop and moved to So. Carolina. This was a 100 year old company that let go almost 200 workers. But if a teacher gets laid off, all hell breaks loose, yet the plant workers are treated as if they are “obsolete. Yet, you, and Gov. Patrick are pushing Cape Wind, which generates electricity at 3X the cost of other sources of energy.

            Land based wind is cheap, but ocean based is astronomical in costs, from the little research I have done. I don’t pretend to know as much as some here, clearly not as much as you, but I want to drill down on the facts and consequences of policies being advocated here.

            • How much does flooding Boston cost?

              Last fall, Hurricane Sandy flooded large parts of Manhattan. The insanity your comment promotes guarantees that large parts of Boston will flood — we are in a climate power-dive with the CO2 throttle wide open.

              Battery Tunnel flooded in Manhattan

              Subway flooding in Manhattan

              Exhibit A is the Big Dig: how much do you think it will cost Boston if ALL the tunnels of the Big Dig are flooded like the Battery Tunnel?

              Exhibit B is the MBTA: ALL the MBTA tunnels are connected at Park Street. How much do you think it will cost Boston if ALL the MBTA tunnels are flooded like the Manhattan subway?

              Perhaps you might “drill down” on some of the “facts and consequences” of the policies YOU are advocating here.

        • Doesn't add up

          I’m not arguing that Haverhill didn’t move, or that their costs aren’t lower in SC. But the price differential for natural gas isn’t that substantial from MA and SC. It exists, but it’s not substantial.

          My bet is that cutting wages and getting property tax sweeteners were worth a whole lot more than the basis differential on delivered firm gas.

          • South Carolina uses nuclear and coal for most of its energy

            So when natural gas became very expensive, Haverhill Paper had to move.

            • coal is the most expensive energy there is...

              [new] South Carolina uses nuclear and coal for most of its energy(0+ / 0-) View voters

              So when natural gas became very expensive, Haverhill Paper had to move.

              … but we keep shuttling to costs of coal waste storage (cause we store our waste in the atmosphere) unto our children. The price of natural gas, solar and wind are not too high, the price of coal is artificially low.

              Super-Franken-Mega-storm Sandy could just as easily have hit Charleston S.C. as New York and Haverhill PaperBoard would have been screwed.

            • Ah, you're arguing industrial electric rates

              I thought you were referring to natural gas that Haverhill Paper was using as an industrial input or for fueling a process.

              I have no sense for how much electricity a factory like the one in question uses electricity. I wouldn’t have guessed that it was a substantial input relative to a number of other things, but I could be wrong. There’s no question that industrial rates for SC customers have been (and remain) lower than they are in New England. I’d add though that New England’s prices are falling, and SC’s are due to skyrocket. I don’t know that the two will cross, but they’re definitely moving in opposite directions.

  3. The battle against windpower has high costs

    The battle against wind reduces the supply of energy and increases reliance on all other energy sources with their many shortcomings.

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