Research from Vanderbilt and the University of California shows Eversource may have withheld available gas during the so-called "polar vortex," according to an article in the Boston Globe. It is deeply disturbing that Eversource may have been manipulating the cost of gas and electricity. If intentional, the company was secretly gouging New England consumers to the tune of $3.6B.
Eversource now says that the reserved gas wasn't needed, which is why they let it go elsewhere (or nowhere, as it turned out). But that makes no sense, given that during those super cold days, gas prices were rising through the roof, as the result of what Eversource has said was a pipeline capacity shortage.
If the research is correct, there was no gas or capacity shortage at all. What caused the prices to spike was the failure of Eversource to release gas that it controlled.
At a minimum, this casts devastating doubt on Eversource's claim that it needs new pipelines to keep prices stable. But the failure to use the reserved gas caused prices to rise by $3.6 billion.
In other words, no price spike and no argument for new gas pipelines.
Something is rotten in New England. Let's hope someone gets to the bottom of this, fast.