Eversource CEO Warns New England May Not Have Enough Natural Gas to Last the Winter

"This represents a serious public health and safety threat," Eversource CEO Joe Nolan wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden

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Eversource CEO Joe Nolan wrote a letter to President Joe Biden last week warning of the possibility of power outages this winter if steps aren't taken to expand the country's natural gas supply.

In his letter, dated Oct. 27, Nolan said New England might not have enough natural gas to meet the region's electricity supply if this winter is colder than anticipated.

"ISO-New England, the region’s electricity grid operator, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have acknowledged for many months that New England will not have sufficient natural gas to meet power supply needs for the region in the event of a severe cold spell this winter," he said. "This represents a serious public health and safety threat."

Nolan spoke to NBC10 Boston about his concerns Monday.

"I am worried about a peak day, when we hit a polar vortex," he said. "I do not want be in a situation that they were in Texas or they were in California."

Those states have had rolling blackouts in recent years due to insufficient energy.

"Consumers in New England are already experiencing skyrocketing electricity and gas costs given supply constraints and global price pressures following the Russian invasion of Ukraine," Nolan added. "As the governors of the New England states mentioned in their letter to the Administration on July 27, New England’s energy situation will have significant implications for customers of all types."

He urged Biden to use the federal government's emergency powers to take steps to ensure that adequate fuel resources will be available in the event of a colder than expected New England winter.

“As both an energy company CEO and a lifelong New Englander, I am deeply concerned about the potentially severe impact a winter energy shortfall would have on the people and businesses of the region,” Nolan said.

Nolan says Eversource is in the process of relying on more clean-energy options, but that it will take several years.

Former Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Massachusetts, now the managing director of the Citizens Energy Corporation, says providers should already be focusing on renewable energy options.

"This should have been done a long time ago," he said. "But for far too long, some of the planners there kept kicking the can."

Citizens Energy Corporation promotes renewable energy and helps low-income families.

"The potential for dramatic increase across in prices across the board — whether that's from natural gas, whether it's from oil or anything else — we need to make sure we're doing the upfront planning," he said.

Read Nolan's full letter below:

He went on to say that in order to avert the potential loss of power to New England this winter, Biden should direct the Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to convene federal agencies, the region's governors and electricity regulators, among other parties, to develop a plan "to ensure the region is ready to meet the challenges that one or more extreme winter weather events would present."

"The need for action now is compelling," Nolan said. "Many of the solutions require advance planning because they may require actions by regulators, finding new resources, chartering vessels, arranging for additional fuel deliveries, and ot her yet to be identified extraordinary actions."

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