Winter is coming, energy is expensive, and there is a limited supply. On top of that, Russia halted most of the natural-gas exports increasing the demand for natural gas all over the world.
New England states are facing blackouts because they are struggling to import enough natural gas to get them through the winter.
ISO New England Inc, the region’s power-grid operator, is warning that several cold snaps could cause rolling blackouts in the middle of winter.
Vamsi Chadalavada, the grid operator’s chief operating officer told the WSJ: “The most challenging aspect of this winter is what’s happening around the world and the extreme volatility in the markets. If you are in the commercial sector, at what point do you buy fuel?”
Part of the problem causing the potential blackout is the Jones Act. There is a shortage of American vessels that can transport natural gas, and the Act doesn’t allow foreign-flagged vessels to transport USA exports to domestic ports.
New England does not import American LNG because the Jones Act, which limits how cargo is transported by sea, bans foreign flagged ships transporting goods between US ports.
A shortage of American owned vessels means the region is forced to buy LNG from outside the US.
The act was designed in 1920 and is designed to help promote US ships which have to be run, owned and created by American crews – of which there are a shortage.
However, this means that although the US is one of the world’s biggest LNG producers it can’t ship the gas around the country.
If Biden had any foresight (he doesn’t), he would waive the Act to help the Northeast states out, but he’s stayed mum.
Exacerbating the problem are the region’s green energy policies. States in New England shut down their “evil” power plants but never replaced them with operational renewable energy facilities to cover the production deficit.
Governors have begged US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to waive the Act so they can get relief, but so far, it’s fallen on deaf ears.
By the time we get to mid-January, when old man winter sets in the Northeast could be trapped in a full-scale energy emergency.