"Green" Northeast Resorted to Burning Oil To Generate Electricity As Temperatures Plunged Last Week

The supposedly “green” Northeastern United States appears to have resorted to burning oil to generate electricity as temperatures in the region plunged and electricity costs in the area spiked in the days following Christmas.

That is according to data provided by the regional transmission organization serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont and analyzed by a Northeastern blogger who is a self-declared proponent of nuclear energy.

Ed G via Flickr Creative Commons image 114454339_80eb73c7b0_o

Nuclear energy, which is carbon emissions free, has had a waning presence in the Northeastern U.S. in recent years.

In particular, Vermont was formerly host to the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which nuclear energy proponents say could have helped avoid reliance on an environmentally unfriendly fuel source in this kind of weather event.

That plant was closed several years ago, amid pressure from anti-nuclear campaigners and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Supporters of Energy Secretary and former Gov. Rick Perry’s grid resilience plan are pointing to the oil-burning trend in the Northeast to underline the risks of over-concentrating electricity-generating capacity with renewables, or natural gas.

Proponents of aid to the coal industry have similarly pointed out that coal has become a backup fuel in view of New England’s main sources of energy failing to deliver at affordable prices.

Perry’s energy plan has taken fire from environmentalists for seeking to boost nuclear and coal.
In defending the plan, Energy Department personnel have cited the 2014 Polar Vortex, a previous cold snap in 2013, and the fact that nuclear came to the rescue when the Northeast’s over-reliance on natural gas created a pricing trap.
Opponents of the plan have argued that the 2013 experience is no longer relevant, given changes in energy supply and electricity generating capacity. However, as recent events in New England show, that may not be quite right– and progressives may have undercut one of their primary missions, cutting CO2 emissions, with their long-held anti-nuclear stances that have led to the closure of cleaner nuclear plants and the reliance on oil and coal during this frigid period.