When cold snaps hit, we all turn up our heat — using more energy than normal to both heat and power our homes. But where does this “extra” energy come from?
Well, the smart folks who control our energy grid prepared for this. They plan to have surplus power available to get us through even the coldest winter days. It’s New England after all. Cold winters aren’t new, and they shouldn’t scare us.
But even though we have enough energy already, Big Gas still wants your money. So every winter the gas industry tries to scare us, claiming there isn’t enough gas during cold snaps to heat and power our homes. Their solution? More fracked gas and new, expensive gas pipelines.
But we don’t have to buy into their propaganda.
We have all the power we need without new gas pipelines. We do use more oil for heat and power when it’s cold (which is worse for our climate and our pocketbooks). But if you look at overall trends, we’re still decreasing both emissions and costs year over year.
Really, it’s clean energy like solar and wind — especially offshore wind — that will help keep energy prices down and meet winter demand.
New pipelines won’t keep us warmer and won’t save us money. In fact, we’ll be paying for them for years to come — even after they become obsolete. It would be foolish (and expensive) to build a new gas pipeline instead of investing in clean energy.
Don’t let Big Gas scare you. New England doesn’t need new fracked gas pipelines.
[An earlier version of this post ran in January 2019]