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New England’s love affair with natural gas cools

July 14, 2013 • Business


FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2001 file photo, a gas supply line is seen in St. Albans, Vt. New England’s love affair with natural gas appears to be showing strain as the regional power grid operator voices worries about too much demand on limited supplies and a leading environmental group criticizes the fuel it once supported. In 2000, about 15 percent of New England’s electricity was produced at generating stations that burned natural gas. According to power grid manager ISO-New England, that number had grown to 52 percent by 2012. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — New England’s love affair with natural gas appears to be showing strain as the regional power grid operator voices worry about too much demand on limited supplies and a leading environmental group criticizes the fuel it once supported.

The changing mood follows more than a decade of explosive growth in the use of natural gas to heat and especially to power the six-state region’s homes and businesses. Natural gas industry leaders say they are poised for continued rapid growth despite the warning bells being rung in other quarters.

In 2000, about 15 percent of New England’s electricity was produced at generating stations that burned natural gas; in 2012, that number had grown to 52 percent, according to ISO-New England, the independent system operator that manages the regional power grid.

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