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How Local Utilities Gamed the Natural-Gas Market – On 37 cold days, when demand was high, unused pipeline space resulting from the scheduling changes represented about 28% of the daily capacity typically used by gas-fired generators. Eversource and Avangrid, routinely booked large gas deliveries, then cut orders sharply at the last minute. Yet nine other gas utility companies taking gas from Algonquin didn’t cancel at the last minute. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is reviewing the findings, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to open an investigation on the matter, and both the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Massachusetts Public Utilities Department are launching inquiries of their own. Here’s the key – the utilities are now using these peak periods of demand, when the pipeline was 29% empty, to lobby for a new pipeline that will be paid for by consumers and guaranteed to be used. Research from around the country will probably show us the truth of the situation.
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