Playing Russian Roulette with the Natural Gas Pipeline Grid

By Toby Mack The approach of winter brings another round in the deadly game of Russian roulette with inadequate natural gas pipeline capacity. An increasingly likely human and economic catastrophe will result if countless homes and businesses go cold and dark when the inevitable extreme cold weather event hits, with the U.S. Northeast being most vulnerable. Energy analyst and author Robert Bryce brings this picture into stark relief in a recent Substack piece entitled, “Bone-Chilling”. He reports how last Christmas, “the U.S. narrowly averted an energy disaster that would have decimated New York and killed thousands.” We summarize and quote liberally from his report below and recommend you read the whole post. Bryce shares that earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) jointly issued their final report on Winter Storm Elliot that hammered the northeastern U.S. late last December. Bryce: “In bone-dry language, the report, ‘Inquiry into Bulk-Power System Operations During December 2022 Winter Storm Elliott’, explains how the gas pipeline network in New York nearly failed last Christmas when temperatures plummeted during the bomb cyclone. Freeze-related production declines, combined with soaring demand from power plants, homes, and businesses, led to shortages of gas throughout the Northeast. The lack of gas, as well as mechanical and electrical issues, resulted in an ‘unprecedented’ loss of electric generation capacity totaling some 90,000 megawatts. READ FULL ARTICLE >>