Record Cold in New England, As Natural Gas Comes to The Rescue Again


By Paul Homewood

It was a bit chilly in New England yesterday!

Fortunately for New Englanders, there was plenty of natural gas to keep them warm and the power grid running:

The fossil fuels that Joe Biden has promised to eliminate from the grid by 2035 supplied 65% of New England’s electricity at 8.00pm on Friday night. The wind and solar that he thinks the US can run on only manged a paltry 4%.

I’ve said and before, and I’ll say it again. If Biden gets his way, how many millions of Americans are going to die as a result?

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Rud Istvan
February 5, 2023 10:05 am

I have a college roommate who is now a retired state park custodian in central Maine. When he went out to get the newspaper yesterday morning, the temperature was -40F. His home is heated by propane, and they were fine. He emailed the temp and a picture of him bundled up to all us roomies yesterday.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 5, 2023 12:00 pm

That’s cold!

It’s not going to last long this time. That cold air is headed east, away from them, and they will warm up quick.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 1:42 pm

The fossil fuels that Joe Biden has promised to eliminate from the grid by 2035 supplied 65% of New England’s electricity at 8.00pm on Friday night. The wind and solar that he thinks the US can run on only manged a paltry 4%.
One thing is for certain. If Wind and Solar could only supply 4% of the local demand at that time, to replace demand would require greater than a 2500% (25 times) current available Wind and Solar capacity.
If combined Wind and Solar provided 25% of capacity on a good day, to make demand on an unfavorable weather day would require greater than 600% installed capacity availability.
So…how much of the local capacity is from Wind and Solar? >25% or significantly 25% then significantly greater Overcapacity would be required

Reply to  Bryan A
February 5, 2023 4:33 pm

to replace demand would require greater than a 2500% (25 times) current available Wind and Solar capacity”

That’s only possible if the wind is blowing and the sun is actually shining in New England.

New England is not a good place for solar.

Then there is the problem of nameplate alleged electricity produced versus what is actually produced.
A 2500% increase in produced electricity likely requires 10,000% installed capacity.

That is, if New England has sufficient land for that amount of wind farms…

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  ATheoK
February 5, 2023 5:05 pm

IOW, it’s not possible. 100% backup of actual power needs still need to be backed up by something else.

Reply to  ATheoK
February 6, 2023 8:11 am

That is, if New England has sufficient land for that amount of wind farms…”

We might…if cut down all of the forests. Kind of defeats the purpose.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bryan A
February 5, 2023 5:03 pm

Doesn’t even work that way, you’re still playing their game by suggesting they can “overbuild” their way out of the intermittency herd of elephants in the room.

It doesn’t matter if they build 100x what is necessary. When the wind doesn’t blow and the Sun doesn’t shine, all that “overbuild” still requires 100% of power needs be provided by something else.

Overbuilding doesn’t solve the problem, it just doubles down on idiotic and makes the grid EVEN MORE unnecessarily expensive and unreliable.

Bryan A
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 5, 2023 6:16 pm

It also creates an Oversupply issue when weather is optimal. If every place has installed 600% overcapacity to meet Bad Weather requirements they every place will have an eventual 600% overcapacity with no place to send it during optimal weather.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 5, 2023 10:59 pm

Bird and bat shredder number one is overbuild/

Solar panel number one is overbuild.

No grid engineer with sense adds unreliable sources of power to a grid where reliability is the primary goal.

The target is 99% reliability.

Reliability is down to 98.6%, the last time I looked at the data. That means about 5 days a year, on average, with less than 24 hours of electric power.

More windmills and solar panels will decrease the 98.6%.

The only possible goal for (result from) more windmills and solar panels is to ruin electric grids.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Bryan A
February 5, 2023 10:53 pm

“he thinks” is a phrase that shuod not be used when discussing Jumpin’ Joe Bidet

Reply to  Bryan A
February 6, 2023 8:16 am

Wind would have not met the needs in New England because most, if not all of the wind turbines would have been shut down due to the high winds. The last thing anyone needed would be wind turbines destroying themselves, flinging off turbine blades because of the high winds/wind gusts. I would also have to wonder how robust the turbines would be with temps well below zero (F). How brittle would turbine blades be at those temps?

Caleb Shaw
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 2:17 pm

I drove up to Maine into the teeth of the blast, and am as thankful as can be for fossil fuels. The car was warm and cozy, as was my son’s apartment in Portland, even as the walls shook with the blasts of a gale with -36 degree windchills. My granddaughters could toddle about nearly butt naked. Viva la fossil fuels!

In my younger day I worked outside in such awful weather, and know how dangerous it is. Lot’s of hippies moved up to Maine as part a back-to-nature idealism, in the 1970’s, and after the ice-age-scare winters in the late 1970’s a lot decided nature sucked and fled back south. Sorry to sound like an old codger, but a one day shot of arctic air is nothing like it was back then.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 5, 2023 2:47 pm

“…yesterday morning, the temperature was -40F. “

That’s strange. I read that it was -40C. Which one was it?

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 5, 2023 3:18 pm

(-40°C × 9/5) + 32 = -40°F

Reply to  drajrobb
February 7, 2023 5:13 am

Dad taught me these. Much easier to remember.

(°C + 40) × 9/5) – 40 = °F

(°F + 40) × 5/9) – 40 = °C

Yes, there’s an infinite number of equations.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 5, 2023 3:32 pm


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 5, 2023 5:19 pm

Did you forget the smiley face?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 6, 2023 7:15 am

Yeah, the poster obviously knew the answer.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 5, 2023 6:48 pm

Please don’t down vote me but we had a beautiful 75 degree day here in Phoenix. So that’s where the cold weather went.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 5, 2023 8:37 pm

Lucky for him it’s didn’t stay minus 40 for long. Propane won’t evaporate much at and below -40.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 5, 2023 10:51 pm

Anyone who went outside at -40F to buy a newspaper is one tough dude.

One time I skied down a hill at -10F to watch a ski race from the bottom of another hill. I got to the bottom of the first hill, and I was so cold (even with a full face mask on), and my lungs hurt, so I went back up on the chairlift to the lodge, stood in front of a large fireplace, and never saw the race. It was done, but cut short — the racers were also too cold.

Allan MacRae
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 7, 2023 10:36 am

“I blame global warming!”
I’ve worked outdoors at Ft McMurray at minus 50 – don’t recall if that was minus 50 C or F – when it’s that cold you don’t care.
We left our trucks running all day and all night – never shut them down. Fill-em-up while running and carry on. How very un-green!
I recall that strange sensation when you inhaled, and the boogers in your nose froze.
Usually there is very little wind at that temperature – smoke (water vapor) from the chimneys went straight up in parallel columns.
When you walk, the snow squeaks at a higher and higher pitch the colder it gets – at minus 50 you can barely hear it – at minus 60, probably only dogs can.
When you take a piss, it steams and freezes in mid-air, forming pissicles – beware frostbite and frozen mitts.
We were tough in those days – no “safe spaces” nonsense. What happened since then to make people so soft, so soft-headed, and so crazy? Spend an entire work night outdoors at minus 50 degrees and you’ll never complain about global warming.

February 5, 2023 10:23 am

Here in N.CA where PG&E charges us the highest Nat. Gas prices on the planet … we can’t afford to set our furnace warmer than 61deg.F … thankfully our lows have only been 29deg.F … not -41deg.F

i suppose I should feel good about myself for subsidizing the cost of East Coast Nat. Gas. You’re welcome.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  kenji
February 5, 2023 1:14 pm

Condolences re. being a PG&E customer. However, the ineptitude of your politicians and utilities in no way subsidizes natgas customers in the North East US, or anywhere else for that matter.

Reply to  kenji
February 5, 2023 2:39 pm

Why are you subsidising gas in another part of the country. PG&E are a private business they dont work like that
Blame ‘the market’

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Duker
February 5, 2023 4:54 pm

‘PG&E are a private business…’

Not quite. They are a regulated utility – they’re only allowed to stay in business as long as they do what their progressive masters want them to do.

February 5, 2023 10:28 am

New England is probably less committed to natural gas home heating than any other part of the country, especially its rural areas. The fuel of choice there even now is oil and sometimes propane.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  nailheadtom
February 5, 2023 1:17 pm

New England geology, outside of the Newark Terrane, presents a serious obstacle to laying gas pipelines, hence the preponderance of liquid fuels and firewood for home heating.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank from NoVA
Reply to  nailheadtom
February 5, 2023 2:33 pm

Electricity also comes from interconnectors from Hydro Quebec, who also have bought dams in new England
This point is missed in the headlines which only refer to local ‘generation’

Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 10:29 am

At 6am on Saturday it was -9F (-23C) in my town in northern Connecticut, with the wind chill according to the Weather Channel at -29F (-34C).

I shudder to think what would have happened if we had lost power in the midst of that. As of this morning there were still more than 1000 homes without power due to the high winds that took down power lines. In the future, with our idiots in Hartford forcing us to rely on offshore bird shredders and slaver panels displacing farmland, it won’t require high winds to shut off our power.

Frankly that’s something to be legitimately alarmed about!

Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 11:02 am

Thinking of moving house?

Rich Davis
Reply to  mikelowe2013
February 5, 2023 12:09 pm

At least I need a generator

Gunga Din
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 6, 2023 7:29 am

Something that might be worth looking into would be a whole-house backup generator that runs on natural gas.
(Disclaimer, no, I don’t have one myself.)

Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 11:32 am

Do people there really say “packie run”?

Rich Davis
Reply to  QODTMWTD
February 5, 2023 12:07 pm

So, the packie is the “package store” aka liquor store (pronounced likkah stowa) where the beeuh and wine comes from. But that’s not a CT phrase, I know that because I was bonn in Bawstun.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 12:46 pm

it’s not uncommon across Wokeachusetts

Caleb Shaw
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 2:21 pm

It was very sunny and very windy as the arctic outbreak blasted. Can you imagine if it was cloudy and calm? 4% is better than 0%.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 7:31 pm

Meanwhile, I worked out in my yard earlier today. Shorts and tee shirt. No need for heat or cooling in the house. As a former Nutmegger, I am a 32 year climate and state income tax refugee.

Reply to  Rich Davis
February 6, 2023 8:45 am

Should humans live North of DC in the US anymore?

February 5, 2023 10:38 am

Cold winters are caused by Climate Change. Warm winters are caused by Climate Change. Cool Springs, Summers and Autumns are caused by Climate Change are are warm Springs, Summers and Autumns. Climate Change is all things in all situations. It’s magical.

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Shoki
February 5, 2023 11:37 am

You left out normal springs, summers, autumns, and winters.

Reply to  Shoki
February 5, 2023 11:54 am

There’s nothing climate change doesn’t cause these days.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Walter
February 5, 2023 5:10 pm

Unless it’s “good.” Then the dotted line to “climate change” will never be drawn.

Reply to  Shoki
February 5, 2023 12:11 pm

It’s a theory that can’t be falsified.

Reply to  Marty
February 5, 2023 4:08 pm

It isn’t even a theory, it’s a belief system.

Reply to  Shoki
February 5, 2023 4:14 pm

I’m constipated, must be climate change.

Reply to  0311
February 5, 2023 9:39 pm

Thats strange the whole pile of rubbish gives me diarrhoea, to put it politely

February 5, 2023 10:53 am

Hydrocarbon, organic, and reliable. Renewable… Fischer–Tropsch.

February 5, 2023 10:57 am

Short-term record sometimes, proxies in lieu of, inferential methods when [politically] convenient.

February 5, 2023 11:00 am

Unfortunately, it will take a calamity of enormous proportions to convince some of those technically-illiterate polticians that fossil-fuels are the best reliable energy source by a country mile. Thousands of deaths with excruciating pain may do it. But I’m not 100% sure!

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  mikelowe2013
February 5, 2023 12:17 pm

Any renewables salesperson if/when asked will say
You don’t need fossil fuel all you need are the renewables I can supply.
Gullible politicians guided by green advisors will buy the renewables Only later will the population freeze to death. The salesperson and politicians will be in retirement in Florida

February 5, 2023 11:17 am

Not long ago I was involved in the replacement of boilers serving a middle school in the northern US. Dual fuel boilers fired with either gas or oil were removed and replaced with state-of-the art condensing gas boilers and the oil tanks and lines were removed. To my mind all public buildings should be equipped with similar dual fuel boilers, even including coal, to take advantage of changing price differentials and insure against supply failures. It seems that would be a common sense thing to do.

Smart Rock
Reply to  nailheadtom
February 5, 2023 2:31 pm

Common sense is soooo twentieth century! Now we have feelings. And models.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 5, 2023 3:28 pm

But what do we do if we “feel” we’re paying too much for the model? And she still won’t go away?

It doesnot add up
February 5, 2023 11:19 am

National Grid’s Net Zero Enablement Plan achieves the Commonwealth’s 2030 and 2050 climate goals, through a decarbonized and integrated gas and electric system that:

• Eliminates fossil fuels from our gas supply by pursuing delivery of fossil-free gas such as renewable natural gas (“RNG”) and renewable hydrogen through our network to all our customers. Over time, we will transition to 100% fossil-free gas (“renewable gas”), achieving a zero-fossil gas system by 2050 at the latest.

• Provides more resilient energy supply for Massachusetts with continued use of the gas pipeline network, a system which would require at least a doubling of today’s electric capacity to fully electrify the heating service it currently provides, is underground and storm resistant, has built-in storage, and will be 100% renewable gas by 2050.

Renewable gas? It’s a gas gas gas!

Reply to  It doesnot add up
February 5, 2023 4:12 pm

Renewable gas is a codeword for hydrogen made by electrolysing hydrogen using spare wind & solar power. Nobody has demonstrated an industrial scale capacity, but that doesn’t stop the toxic green activists from talking it up like it was an established technology.

Reply to  Hivemind
February 5, 2023 11:13 pm

When asked why there were no successful pilots projects. lefty scientist Englebert Lipshitz, Ph.D., said: Pilot projects, PILOT PROJECTS, We don’t need no stinkin’ pilot projects.”

Dr. Lipshitz explained that it worked “perfectly” in his complex computer model (“so complex that even I can’t doublecheck the results”).

Lipshitz also said: “Why waste time and money on a pilot project, when there is a climate emergency in progress, and we are trying to save the planet?”

Henry Pool
February 5, 2023 11:34 am

Story tip

Maybe the cold has something to do with this mystery on the sun?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Henry Pool
February 5, 2023 12:25 pm

Don’t worry, Brandon will have it “Successfully taken down‘ sometime soon.

Ron Long
February 5, 2023 12:32 pm

Some sources are claiming a new low temperature wind chill record, for Mt. Washington, of minus 108 deg F, and actual temperature of minus 47 deg F. In 1967 Alaska mountain climber and guide Ray Genet, and some friends, tried to climb Mt. McKinley (aka Denali) in the winter, and recorded a temperature, inside of their tent, of minus 148 deg F. The recorded temperature was extra interesting as the thermometer only went down to minus 148 deg F, wonder how cold it really was? Wind Chill outside the tent? Don’t go there.

Reply to  Ron Long
February 5, 2023 5:16 pm

Today’s headline in my local newspaper; “Mountain has record minus 108 degrees”. Of course one wouldn’t know it was a wind chill value they were referring to unless one read the article.

About halfway through the article there was this statement; “The current method to measure wind chill has been used since 2001”.

The NWS changed the wind chill measurement method back in 2001, The New and Improve Wind Chill Index.

I wonder if the the “new record” is based on 22 years worth of data when the measurement method was changed in 2001?

William Howard
February 5, 2023 2:13 pm

It gets even more absurd as most of the NE gas has to be imported from Russia or OPEC since NY will not allow pipelines CEO’s the large shale gas in Penn

Reply to  William Howard
February 5, 2023 2:30 pm

No it doesnt . LPG tankers can come from the US Gulf coast terminals
There are approximately 1,000 miles of interstate transmission lines in Massachusetts. They are owned and operated by three companies: Algonquin Gas Transmission Company, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, and Maritimes and Northeast Pipelines Company. Most of these lines are between twelve and 24 inches in diameter. They usually operate at pressures between 400 and 750 pounds per square inch (“psi”).’ State government

They probably need more pipe lines but they do have them, just not apparently from the Pennsylvania gas fields

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Duker
February 5, 2023 3:41 pm

LPG tankers can come from the US Gulf coast terminals

I suspect you mean LNG rather than LPG.

Only if they are US-built, US-crewed and US-flagged — See Merchant Marine Act of 1920, AKA “The Jones Act”. This is why LNG imports into Boston come from Trinidad and Tobago rather that US gulf coast ports.

From this source, I am unable to determine how many Jones Act compliant LNG/LPG ships there are as they all roll up under the generic type “tanker”, of which there are 56. LNG tankers are specialized to keep the liquified natural gas from boiling off.

The US merchant marine fleet is pathetic — 178 total ships.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 5, 2023 6:02 pm

The US tanker fleet was primarily designed for crude oil to shift ANS from Valdez to the USWC and via Panama to the Gulf Coast in the days when almost all crude export was banned. It’s been a while since the production was big enough to make it to the Gulf, although now the Gulf itself is an export source thanks to shale oil – with much of that now headed to Europe on non Jones Act vessels. Additionally there are product tankers, some used for bulk chemicals rather than oil. These are more numerous, and mostly rather smaller.

Last edited 1 month ago by It doesnot add up
It doesnot add up
Reply to  Duker
February 5, 2023 3:54 pm

No they can’t unless they are US flag vessels in accordance with the Jones Act. There are no US flag LNG carriers. So everything landed at the Everett Terminal in Boston is imported. Historically, much of that has been from Trinidad.

However, the reality is that there are existing pipelines from Canada and across New York whose capacity has been expanded by adding compressor stations. So although New York refused to grant permission for new lines, in fact supply has been increasing, and imports decreasing. Some recent projects are listed here:

Of course when demand spikes the pipelines are no longer adequate, and Boston must pay full import parity for gas.

Last edited 1 month ago by It doesnot add up
Tom Abbott
Reply to  It doesnot add up
February 5, 2023 5:35 pm

Good information. Thanks.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  It doesnot add up
February 6, 2023 3:12 pm

Chart of US LNG import, showing how they have dropped away as shale gas has taken over, with even Boston not having to import much these days.

US LNG Imports.png
Smart Rock
Reply to  William Howard
February 5, 2023 2:40 pm

And there’s shale gas across the border in Quebec, but no one is allowed to drill for it, because… Just because.

Reply to  William Howard
February 5, 2023 11:21 pm

A small amount of LNG, oil and oil related products came from Russia pre-2022, but probably are zero now. I can’t account for any energy products that were produced in Russia, but got to the US indirectly though another nation. Probably not much.

99% of US natural gas imports are from Canada:
Natural gas imports and exports – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 6, 2023 8:59 am


Matt Kiro
February 5, 2023 3:34 pm

The governor of MA made arrangements for the major train station in Boston to stay open all night for the homeless to have someplace to stay. Somehow they never have to do this on days over 100 degrees F.

February 5, 2023 3:36 pm

Gas in yellow? Your color scheme is soooo wrong.
That’s how you do it:
comment image

It doesnot add up
Reply to  niceguy12345
February 5, 2023 6:10 pm

Note the negligible contribution from wind, and the reliance on imports when once France would have been the exporter. Hydro and interconnectors are the balancing sources.

February 5, 2023 3:43 pm

During colder periods in New England, it is standard procedure to divert nat gas to building heating, and for dual-fuel, combined-cycle, gas-turbine power plants to use fuel oil, instead of nat gas.

New England is fortunate to have, till now, adequate fuel oil and nat gas storage capacity near power plants, to ensure continuous electricity service, 24/7/365, year after year.

If heat pumps and EVs increase, that storage capacity needs to increase as well.

Relying on Quebec for hydro electricity would be extremely unwise, regarding reliability of supply.

February 5, 2023 5:51 pm

Global warming causes global cooling, they keep telling us. Then they wonder why most people pay no attention.

February 5, 2023 6:03 pm

Cut them off at the knees for all the policy damage they’ve done.

February 5, 2023 10:45 pm

This is the first article I read today and the first one recommended on my daily list of good climate and energy articles. The most interesting fact is this was on a UK website, not a US website. That’s why I read many foreign websites every day, from the UK, Australia, Canada and Germany. They are more honest and more accurate about what’s happening in the US, on every subject, than almost every US website (this website is a rare exception — always honest and accurate, of course)
Honest Climate Science and Energy

Massive “climate change” in Michigan in the past two days.
People are heading to Alaska to beat the heat.
February 3 at 8 degrees F — the low at 10.53pm
February 5 at 44 degrees F. — the high at 12:53pm
+36 degrees F. of “warming” in two days

And leftists tell us to fear a prediction of perhaps +2 degrees F. warming in the next 100 years, that will probably be yet another wrong prediction, after we somehow managed to survive +36 degrees C. of warming in the past two days?

I was outside for a little while when the wind chill was below zero on Wednesday, and I prayed for warming, not that I often pray, as an atheist.
Two days later it was 36 degrees F. warmer.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 6, 2023 5:21 am

Saturday morning here in the UP it was a balmy -18 F.

Tom Abbott
February 6, 2023 5:45 am

It looks like the bitter cold air that froze the U.S. northeast just a day or so ago, is now swinging around the globe and is creeping up on the UK.,43.23,264/loc=-1.969,53.258

Meanwhile, the U.S. is going to experience warm weather for the next few weeks as the jet stream keeps bringing in the milder Pacific ocean air.

February 6, 2023 7:35 am

The three new record temperatures cited above are only for the date of February 4. The -9 cited for Boston does not break their alltime record low of -18 set on 2/9/1934. The -8 cited for Providence does not break their alltime record low of -13 set on 1/23/1976. The -11 cited for Binghampton is a lot less cold than their alltime record low of -28 set on 1/17/1893.

Reply to  donklipstein
February 6, 2023 9:18 am

I came from there. I ask sometimes why any of us/them stayed.

February 6, 2023 8:35 am

Much of residential New England uses “oil heat” with a giant tank in the basement.

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