Massachusetts’ past reliance on Russian natural gas to keep citizens warm in the winter could cause some damage to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose presidential campaign is tied to the anti-fracking movement.
Warren is introducing a bill Wednesday with fellow Massachusetts Democrat, Sen. Ed Markey, that would block construction on ports that export natural gas. She is pegging her campaign to ending oil as her state recovers from an energy crunch that tossed Massachusetts into the cold in 2018.
Massachusetts and New Hampshire blocked financing in 2016 for the $3 billion Access Northeast Pipeline, a gas line that would have helped the state weather an energy crunch in 2018. The state’s decision to rely on green energy instead hiked gas prices and forced it turn to Russian imports.
New England’s energy grid struggled to keep up with energy demand in December and January of 2018 when frigid temperatures hammered the region. Boston received a shipment of natural gas from an export terminal owned by Novatek — one of the Russian energy giants sanctioned in 2014.
Massachusetts’ lack of pipeline infrastructure forced the state to rely on coal production during the cold snap, which caused energy prices to pitch upward. (RELATED: Here’s Why Russia Is Delivering Loads Of Natural Gas To This Deep Blue State)
“We wouldn’t have seen any widespread outages absent coal,” Kevin McIntyre, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency, told senators during a January 2018 meeting assessing how the grid responded to a recent spate of snowstorms.
“[C]oal was a key contributor,” McIntyre added. “It wasn’t exempt from operational problems — there were some issues, as I understand it, with frozen coal piles in certain sites and so on. But it was, no question, a key contributor.”
Warren is no stranger to campaigns against Massachusetts’ pipeline infrastructure. She asked federal regulators to rescind its approval in 2017 of Enbridge’s Algonquin Gas Transmission, a $452 million project that would replace existing pipelines in New York and Massachusetts.
Warren is even supporting a ban on hydraulic fracturing, a method of drilling that involves spraying high pressure water and sand underground to make tiny fractures in rock to release gas, which can then be liquified.
She proposed a plan in June to spend $2 trillion over a decade to create one million green jobs.
Warren’s campaign has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about her state’s past record struggling to meet energy demands following her state’s moves against pipelines.
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