April 25, 2016

IT KEEPS THE PROLES IN THEIR PLACE: NIMBYism and Green Bias Keeps New England Power Rates High.

New England should be benefiting a lot more from the U.S. shale boom than it currently is. The Marcellus shale is one of the most productive formations in the country, and fracking has unleashed massive new quantities of natural gas from the basin, situated in Pennsylvania and southern New York. Despite its proximity to this new gusher of gas, New England electricity is expensive, in large part the result of a dearth of necessary pipeline infrastructure.

One company especially keen on constructing a new pipeline spur through Massachusetts and New Hampshire just scrapped the $3 billion project this week, bowing to stiff Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) and environmental opposition. . . .

NIMBYism is a perennial problem for any sort of infrastructure planning, but often it can be overcome by offering affected landowners financial compensation. The green opposition, however, can’t be reasoned with. Never mind that the natural gas being piped in directly competes with coal, and does so while emitting half the greenhouse gases and far fewer of the localized pollutants. Never mind that the natural gas not finding its way to New England will be consumed elsewhere—either in a different region of the United States, or thanks to our fledging LNG export industry, abroad. These facts don’t matter to the environmentalists that helped sink this pipeline. The only fact that does matter to those greens is that this pipeline would be transporting a fossil fuel. The horror!

All the way back to its beginnings in the Storm King era, environmentalism has been a way for rich people to wage war on the poor and middle class.

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