Skip to main content

New analysis shows New England families could face rolling black outs due to lack of energy infrastructure


Steve Dodge (781-608-3397) | press@api.org |202-682-8114


Boston, January 18, 2018 – A new ISO New England study finds that there is over an 80 percent chance that some or all of New England faces rolling blackouts in the near future based on multiple modeling scenarios. New England Petroleum Council Executive Director Steve Dodge said the findings from the new report are troubling news for New England families.

"New England families deserve better,” said Dodge. “Forced, rolling blackouts because of inadequate and unreliable power supplies are something you associate with a Third World country – not modern day New England. It would wreak havoc on the economy and New Englanders' lives.

“New England needs to start moving ahead, now, with sensible, long-overdue expansions of natural gas pipeline capacity to connect our region with affordable, abundant supplies of U.S. produced fuel and prevent the needless catastrophe of forced, rolling wintertime blackouts.

“This report also further demonstrates the problems created by New York’s shortsighted efforts to block critical pipeline infrastructure that would give New Englanders access to safe, clean and affordable natural gas.”

The industry is expected to invest $1.3 trillion in private natural gas and oil infrastructure which could create over 1 million U.S. jobs and generate up to $1.89 trillion to the U.S. GDP.

The ISO report found that the potential for forced blackouts – for up to 31 days each winter – is a direct consequence of the lack of adequate natural gas pipeline capacity to connect New England with abundant, affordable supplies of natural gas just 200 miles away in Pennsylvania. The report also notes increasing imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) could help alleviate the threat of blackouts.

“The region successfully switched to clean and abundant natural gas for more than 50 percent of our electricity supply, and since 2000 more than 200,000 New Englanders have chosen to move to natural gas for reliable, affordable home heating,” said Dodge. “However, New Englanders are forced to pay some of the highest natural gas and electricity prices in the U.S. because of the lack of energy infrastructure.”

The New England Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.