New York's Climate Countermarch
Posted January 1, 1
More from New York, where in the name of environmental progress Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-natural gas policies actually are counterproductive to that progress. Recently, New York State Public Service Commission member Diane X. Burman pointed out that by limiting natural gas – blocking pipelines and other infrastructure – the governor could wind up promoting fuels that lack clean natural gas’ environmental benefits:
Gov. Cuomo's own appointee warns that @NYGovCuomo’s policies limiting natural gas “wind up promoting” fuels that “are more polluting.”— American Petroleum Institute (@APIenergy) October 24, 2019
“[If] we’re actually going backwards, we need to understand that.” pic.twitter.com/UwESjqYDsk
Let’s review and also see how these policies are impacting New York consumers:
- A moratorium on new natural gas connections was placed in parts of Westchester County, just north of New York City, earlier this year because of constraints on interstate natural gas pipelines imposed by the governor.
- Later, public utility National Grid advised that applications for new and expanded natural gas service in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island wouldn’t be processed until a proposed natural gas pipeline project – hung up with New York regulators – was approved. The Northeast Supply Enhancement is proposed by Williams Co. to meet demand during winter months. “Renewable projects are a long-term play, but they’re not here yet,” Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association, told Bloomberg. “They can’t turn on lights, heat our homes or cool our buildings for many years to come.”
- No doubt feeling the heat, Cuomo recently ordered National Grid to arrange for natural gas service to reconnect about 1,100 customers, which is good for them. But still on hold is a backlog of 2,600 applications for new or expanded natural service received by National Grid, reportedly representing about 20,000 commercial, residential and multifamily units.
And, you know, winter is coming.
Seriously, for a nation that is the No. 1 producer of natural gas and oil in the world, the situation in New York and other parts of the country that are under-served because they lack sufficient natural gas infrastructure, is nothing but shameful. Elected officials should serve people, not narrow agendas.
Alan Armstrong, Williams Co. president and CEO, says the $1 billion Northeast Supply Enhancement project actually aligns with Gov. Cuomo’s efforts to reduce emissions while growing New York’s economy. Indeed, increased use of natural gas across the U.S. is the chief reason energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest levels in a generation. Fuel switching from coal to natural gas has helped improve air quality as well. Armstrong:
“If you are really passionate about climate change, stepping over and ignoring this opportunity makes no sense at all.”
Indeed, it doesn’t.
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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