Yukos Oil and Gas CompanyThis quote is not in reference to the highly-politicized Keystone XL oil pipeline project, as one might first assume, but was made with regard to New England natural gas pipeline constraints that cause spot prices to soar during demand spikes.

Utilities often opt not to pay for more expensive uninterruptable supply, forcing them into the spot market when power demand surges during extreme cold or hot weather. Natural gas supply from the country’s production centers can hit pipeline bottlenecks in the New England region, which reduces volumes available for utilities – briefly driving up prices – when power generators need the fuel most.

Ironically, the situation has some New England democrats – typically known for being strong renewable energy boosters – calling for more natural gas supply into their constituent territories. This group includes Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, co-author of 2009 cap-and-trade legislation and climate change mitigation advocate.

A spokesman for climate activist group 350.org was reportedly “baffled” by Markey’s position on the issue. “I do support expansion of imports of natural gas into the New England region. I think that we have to work to resolve all of the issues and I think it’s possible to accomplish them,” Markey told the Washington Examiner. “I think that the price that people paid this winter for natural gas is all the incentive that is needed.”

Democratic Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy said, “It’s always a difficult issue because there are always people who don’t want a pipeline in their backyard, but I’m convinced that natural gas is going to be this bridge fuel that gets us to renewables… “Hopefully we’ll find religion on infrastructure soon.” – As reported in the Washington Examiner