Editorial: Weather’s roller coaster ride

Last modified: 11/9/2015 6:02:39 PM
Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Remnants of Hurricane Patricia brought what we would call both the upside and downside of weather. First there was the torrential rain Wednesday evening and overnight, dumping plenty of rain — 2 inches in some places — on the area. But once the rain moved past in the morning, it gave way to an incredibly warm morning on Thursday, albeit a muggy one, and a glorious late morning/early afternoon with summer-like temperatures. That is, until a front moved through with a burst of rain and dropped the temperatures … Still, for the 29th day of October, you don’t want to complain too much. We all know what’s coming.

The energy price game

The fluctuation of energy prices is always confusing and frustrating. For example, what we pay at the gas pump is dependent upon what was happening months ago around the world and how anxious investors got. But it is also influenced by what’s happening today. And then there are our electrical rates. Last winter, Massachusetts residents got slammed because of high demand and limited supply of natural gas that is used to generate the electricity. Both Eversource and National Grid, the area’s electrical power companies, hit their customers with incredible rate spikes. Both are asking for rate increases for this winter, but nothing like last year. The bottom line here is that customers are still going to see an increase — they’re just supposed to be thankful that it doesn’t come close to what happened last year. And while we’re grateful that last year’s scenario isn’t getting repeated, the companies are still getting more of our hard-earned money.

Delay in energy study for AG

Given that the announcement that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth will close in the near future after 43 years of operation, it was prudent of Attorney General Maura Healey to delay the release of the energy study being prepared for her office. The study is evaluating future demands and the meeting of those needs in light of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project that would cross though western Massachusetts. The energy produced by the nuke plant was undoubtedly factored into the study. This latest news forces a re-evaluation of a few assumptions and the overall outlook. Given that this study is seen as a significant piece of information, it just makes sense to get it right.


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