Natural Gas Under Attack by Grifters After Money and Power
Jim Willis on NGL Pipelines
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
[Editor’s Note: Posts from Marcellus Drilling News illustrate what the war against natural gas is about; grifting after money and power at risk to our energy security and health.]
Everyone is telling the Bidenistas at the Environmental Protrection Agency (EPA) the same thing: Dump the faulty regulations you composed at the last minute that will result in closing most (if not all) of America’s natural gas-fired power plants. The latest group to tell (off) the EPA is the electric grid operators that cover a majority of the residents in the country, including PJM Interconnection, the largest electric grid operator in the U.S., serving 65 million people in 13 states plus the District of Columbia (including PA, OH, and WV). Earlier this week, PJM, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) submitted joint comments against the EPA’s proposed new regulations.
In May, the Bidenistas at the EPA released a hellscape of new regulations (681 pages) aimed at forcing coal- and natural gas-fired power plants to close (see New Biden EPA Regs a “Death Sentence” for Fossil-Fuel Power Plants). The editors of the Wall Street Journal called the new EPA regulations “An EPA Death Sentence for Fossil-Fuel Power Plants,” with the subtitle “The Biden agency’s new rule means the end of natural gas-fueled electricity.”
The country’s local utility companies, represented by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), along with the Attorneys General from 21 states, filed comments this week opposing the regs as written (see EEI, 21 States Unload on Biden EPA re New Gas-Fired Plant Regs). In addition, 39 U.S. Senators have also filed comments opposing the new regs (see 39 Republican U.S. Senators Ask EPA to Withdraw Power Plant Reg).
There is massive, overwhelming opposition to these regulations originally meant for coal-fired plants only. Last-minute political pressure from the Biden White House goaded the EPA to add gas-fired plants too. But the agency hurried and cut corners (see Biden EPA Cut Corners with New Reg to Limit Fossil Fuel Power Plants).
Not only are utility companies, 21 states, and 39 Senators opposed, but so too are electric grid operators representing a majority of the electric users across the country as this RigZone article makes clear.
The joint comments issued by the four grid operators, including PJM may be found here.
Why do we drone on and on about these onerous regs proposed by the EPA? Aside from the Bidenistas attempting a government takeover of privately-run fossil energy, gas-fired power plants are a critically important customer for Marcellus/Utica natural gas. Phasing out gas-fired plants is the beginning of the end for natural gas. It is the line we must now allow the left to cross.
Editor’s Note: The MDN post above was followed by another that, although seemingly unrelated, tells us everything about the mad rush by the cabal of corporatists and climate cultists to replace fossil fuels and, especially, natural gas. They see unparalleled grifting opportunities in forced green energy at ratepayer and taxpayer expense; opportunities to steal our wallets and grow their political power. Jim’s second post shows us the extent to which they are willing to go in pursuing those opportunities on our backs, grabbing massive subsidies while ignoring every safety rule they demand from the natural gas industry.
Here is what Jim had to say about that:
We guarantee that if an oil and gas company announced it was in the process of drilling 90 boreholes 700 feet deep (through the groundwater table) to extract oil and gas in the bastion of liberalism known as Massachusetts, the leftist mainstream media would have a stroke. There would be protests. There would be nutballs gluing themselves together in plastic PVC pipe in front of the drilling rigs to prevent drilling. The news would make the front page of the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the LA Times.
But if the same company drills 90 boreholes 700 feet deep and calls it “geothermal” … nothing. Not a peep from anyone. Even though geothermal pipes that run through the water table pump something far more dangerous than drilling mud. Bentonite (drilling mud) is the same stuff used in kitty litter and toothpaste. It’s completely non-toxic and safe if it leaks. On the other hand, geothermal systems pump antifreeze through pipes. Eversource, the largest utility company in Massachusetts, announced yesterday it is drilling 90 boreholes in Framingham, MA, and will pump dangerous antifreeze through it to heat local homes, businesses, and a community college. Where is the outrage?
We bring you the news about Eversource to make a point. When oil and gas companies drill a shale well, they use multiple concentric pipes, pumping cement between each pipe to ensure NOTHING leaks into the surrounding groundwater. It is one of the safest techniques on the planet.
And yet, when the same type of hole is drilled for geothermal energy through the same water table (around 300-500 feet down) with arguably fewer safety protocols, nobody bats an eyelash about the potential for a pipeline leaking antifreeze into local groundwater.
Methane leaking into groundwater (called fugitive methane) is easy to fix, and it won’t kill you to drink water with methane in it.
It WILL kill you to drink water with antifreeze in it.
You see the hypocrisy, right?
Our point here is not to say that what Eversource is doing is unsafe and will pollute local water supplies with antifreeze (although it could). Our point is that drilling shale wells is *just as safe* if not safer, than drilling and installing geothermal pipes. The argument against fracking that it pollutes water supplies is entirely false.
Pictures that accompany the press release:
Note how close the drilling rigs are located to residential buildings. Certainly not 2,500 feet away, nor even 500 feet away, as is demanded by anti-fossil fuel fanatics of shale well drilling. Why aren’t the kids endangered by these rigs when the rig drills geothermal instead of shale? A hole in the ground is a hole in the ground. It runs through the same water aquifer.
And, note this from the Eversource press release:
Eversource expects its networked geothermal system to be complete and placed in service ahead of the 2023 heating season. As part of the pilot program’s 2020 approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), the energy company will operate its geothermal system for two complete heating and cooling seasons, providing regular updates to the DPU. Using the two-year pilot, Eversource will evaluate whether the technology is a cost-effective option at utility scale to complement or replace delivered fuels like heating oil and propane or natural gas service.
The whole thing is a wild shot in the dark, in other words, at our expense.
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