The danger of severe energy shortages and spiking prices as winter approaches are becoming a genuine concern for many Americans. Last week, Missouri’s Spire Energy sent an email to its customers alerting them of the risk of natural gas outages if the STL Pipeline serving the company is closed. The STL Pipeline runs to Missouri from Illinois and has been previously approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The STL Pipeline project was challenged in January 2020 through a lawsuit brought in federal court by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The EDF claimed that it brought legal action because FERC approved the pipeline without making administrative findings of the need for the pipeline. The court has ruled in favor of the EDF, and the pipeline project is back before the FERC for executive results. The agency will meet on Thursday to discuss whether the permit for the STL Pipeline will be revoked.
Spire’s message to customers said that the company had kept the pipeline in service while pending the lawsuit. It has sent executives to Washington to meet with lawmakers to educate them on the impact on Missouri residents if the pipeline’s operation is operationally interrupted. It continued by saying that the company had done all it could to show the pipeline’s importance but added that there are no guarantees it will be open after December 13. That is the last day the existing permit will be in effect.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has accused Spire of manipulating customers with threats of lost service. The group’s attorney Gillian Giannetti said that Spire is “fearmongering” in a situation where “no one is going to leave St. Louis in the cold.” She added that EDF is not calling for the pipeline to be closed during the colder months.
Other critics have alleged that Spire prefers to use the pipeline to make more money than it can when purchasing natural gas from other available suppliers.
When attacking natural gas, environmental and climate activists demean a clean alternative to coal and oil-based heating. Gas is a good candidate for helping America transition to greater use of renewable energy formats. Unfortunately, the Biden administration and climate activists are bent on forcing Americans into abandoning any non-renewable energy overnight.