As winter temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast dip into Polar Vortex territory - single digits and below - most of the country is enjoying cheap, reliable and plentiful supplies of clean-burning natural gas to heat and electrify their homes and power their workplaces.
But not so Boston and surrounding areas of New England, whose citizens are on the receiving end of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's crusade against new pipelines through his state that would supply Marcellus natural gas to the energy-starved region. His Boston victims' gas bills this week were an astounding 1,000% higher than most of the rest of the country.
According to Natural Gas Intelligence, which tracks natural gas pricing at the major trading points throughout the country, natural gas at the Algonquin City Gate (which serves Boston) was priced at $33.00 per million BTU on December 26, while the rest of us were paying under $3.00. Here are other December 26 Algonquin numbers that will astound. Price change from the previous day up 202%; from the previous month up 943%; from the previous year up 593%.
The reason New England's natural gas customers are the Governor's energy hostages: to get natural gas from the prolific Marcellus Shale to New England you need pipelines through New York. But Governor Cuomo and the regulatory apparatus he controls have so far blocked construction of at least four new or expanded-capacity natural gas pipelines through his state, among them Access Northeast, Constitution, Northern Access, and Diamond East. Together these projects would supply over 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to New England markets - enough to put its consumers on an equal energy-cost footing with the rest of America.
Those who are suffering the effects of the Governor's blockade - particularly lower-income households - are paying the price of his policies.