In 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature blocked financing for natural gas infrastructure in New England, citing benefits for consumers and the environment. “But nearly the opposite has happened instead,” the Boston Globe editorial board writes:
And now the damage — environmental and financial — is starting to pile up.
The environmental toll this year has been eye-popping: Greenhouse gas pollution exploded during this winter’s cold snap, leading generators to burn 2 million barrels of oil, forcing the region to rely on imported Russian gas, and sparking a mini-revival for the region’s moribund coal industry. In January New Hampshire burned more coal than New York, according to federal statistics.
All that extra pollution was also expensive. Energy cost totaled more than $700 million compared with the same period last year; if past cold winters are any guide, that premium will trickle down to consumers’ electric bills next winter.