By: WMUR – The CEO of utility Eversource said Monday he wrote a letter to President Joe Biden because he has serious concerns about New England’s ability to weather a harsh winter.
Eversource CEO Joe Nolan said supply issues mean New England might not have enough natural gas to heat the region’s homes in the event of a cold winter.
He said global fuel prices have climbed because of the war in Ukraine and Russia’s decision to shut off gas to Europe. He said that caused a worldwide scramble for natural gas, particularly liquified natural gas carried on tanker ships, which New England relies on during the coldest months of the year.
Nolan wrote a letter to Biden last week, saying he’s deeply concerned about the potentially severe impact a winter energy shortfall would have on people and businesses in New England.
“It’s a very, very important time, very challenging time for the people of New England, and I want everyone to know that I worry every day about our 4.2 million customers, and I’m going to be sure that we have what it takes to deliver great service to them, and that was really the reason for sending the letter to the president,” Nolan said.
Nolan mentioned the federal government has emergency authority, like the use of the federal Power Act, Jones Act, Natural Gas Policy Act, and Defense Production act.
“The president did this when Puerto Rico suffered devastation. He was able to provide relief through the Jones Act that allowed foreign vessels to be able to move in and out of American ports with the necessary supplies,” Nolan said. “This is no different.”
Nolan said Eversource has ramped up investments in clean energy resources.
“But right now, we are in a very fragile state,” Nolan said. “We’ve got a couple of years of transition and we’ve got to be sure we can bridge that gap and get to the promised land that is clean, reliable, renewable energy.”
News 9 has reached out to the White House for comment but has not yet heard back.
New Hampshire Consumer Advocate Don Kreis agreed if there’s an extended cold spell, there’s a possibility there won’t be enough natural gas to run all the region’s plants.
“This is not a cause for panic or great concern, there are things we can do to make sure the lights stay on,” Kreis said.
Kreis suggests bundling up to be as energy efficient as possible and to be mindful of how much energy is used in the early evening when demand is high.