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Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – June 9, 2018

Tom Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

Mariner East Pipeline Property Owners Worried About Home Values, But…

I love the way Andrew Maykuth, writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer tells a story. His reporting is always quite balanced and very personal. He penned a lengthy article the other day about the speculated impact of the Mariner East 2 pipeline on home values along its route. I say speculated because a careful read of the story indicates all there is; speculation home values will go down tomorrow as a consequence of construction today. Here are the excerpts that caught my attention:

The project has unsettled the residential real estate market, as some fearful homeowners sold out ahead of construction, and some buyers moved in unaware of the forthcoming disruption. Many who remained are basically stuck until the dust settles, uncertain of the value of their homes.

“I’m scared of it,” said Kate White, 57, whose house on Lenni Road in Middletown is less than 10 feet from the pipelines. “I would love to move, but who would buy my house now?”

Many homeowners said they were aware their property contained an easement for an 87-year-old Sunoco fuel pipeline, but did not know that it was refurbished in 2014 as the Mariner East 1 to transport gas liquids from the booming Marcellus Shale region.

This is classic Maykuth, subtlely inserting a key point in such a way that you end up reading it a second time to be sure it was correct. In this instance, we learn construction occurring today that is causing so much alarm over the future also happened before and did nothing to impact home values. Construction impacts are so temporary as to be quickly forgotten, which is exactly what happens with pipelines. Once they’re in the ground, no one thinks about them. In fact, one of the pictures in his story shows construction behind War Trophy Lane as an example of the disruption from pipeline construction but this is what it looked like before and will look like again afterward:

Screen Shot 2018 06 09 at 6.33.51 AM 512x303

This is the typical pipeline post-construction and we can’t show enough pictures like this because memories are even shorter than we thought, apparently.

 Say It Ain’t So!

From our friends at the Institute for Energy Research:

Natural gas prices in some parts of the Northeast (New England, New York, and New Jersey) increased by 60 to 70 times their normal rates because of the lack of pipeline capacity in the region. Natural gas is used in the Northeast for generating electricity and heat, providing over half of the power in the region.

Natural Gas NOW

Due to a lack of pipeline capacity, heating oil was forced to make up about 35 percentof New England’s electricity this past winter, raising electricity prices. Annual residential electricity rates in the Northeast are over 50 percent higher than the national average–about 19 or 20 cents per kilowatt hour, compared with the national average of 12 to 13 cents.

These are the fruits of Massachusetts and New York State energy politics.

The EnviroPolitics Blog brings us this:

Exelon is projecting it will cost $1.4 billion and take 60 years to formally shut down its Oyster Creek, the nation’s oldest commercial nuclear power plant scheduled to cease operations by the end of October.

In a post-shutdown decommissioning report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the company will begin the shut down and defueling of the 645-megawatt plant in Lacey Township on September 17…

Natural Gas NOW

In its post-closure plan, Exelon projected that the bulk of its decommissioning costs — $1.1 billion — will involve dealing with radiological components of the plant. Approximately $290 million will go for spent-fuel management, and another $60 million for site restoration, not expected to be finished until September 2078…

Oyster Creek announced earlier this year it would shut down by the end of October, earlier than it previously agreed to close the plant under an agreement with former Gov. Chris Christie. That agreement, following years of efforts by environmentalists to close the facility, called for the facility to shut down by the end of 2019.

The plant began operation in 1969, and its license to operate would have expired in 2029. Nuclear plants throughout the nation have been retiring prematurely, largely because they have found it difficult to compete against cheap natural-gas plants.

So, can you tell us again why Gov. Phil “the Panderer” Murphy has decided to subsidize nuclear energy and fight natural gas that requires no subsidies and doesn’t take a lifetime to shut down? I’m not opposed to nuclear, but…

The post Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – June 9, 2018 appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

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