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Natural Gas-starved NY State supply pipeline project abandoned after Gov. Cuomo vowed “any way that we can challenge it, we will”

Natural Gas-starved NY State supply pipeline project abandoned after Gov. Cuomo vowed “any way that we can challenge it, we will”

After a four-year battle with the state, the proposed Constitution natural-gas pipeline project has been abandoned, as National Grid warns of a coming natural gas supply emergency next Winter.

The State of New York has a natural gas shortage, the result of years of the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and environmentalists fighting the construction of new supply pipelines.

A June 2019 report by The Manhattan Institute documented the shortage and its causes, Out of Gas: New York’s Blocked Pipelines Will Hurt Northeast Consumers:

U.S. natural gas production is soaring, up 91% since 2005—and the country is now exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) all over the world, including to China, Chile, and India.* Despite this surfeit, dozens of communities in New York and Massachusetts are subject to moratoriums on new gas connections due to shortages of the fuel.

The shortages are due in large part to New York State regulators, who are refusing to allow the construction of new gas pipelines. While these restrictions are claimed to be necessary to protect the environment from harm, they will likely result in increased use of heating fuel oil, which means increased air pollution and carbon-dioxide emissions. New York and the New England states already have some of the highest residential gas and electricity rates in the country, and these rates will only rise as a result of the blockade. This paper highlights the need for more natural gas supplies in the Northeast to heat homes, buildings, and generate electricity, and it explains how efforts to restrict those supplies are hurting consumers and the environment.

National Grid (which serves upstate New York and much of New England) declared a new hook-up moratorium because of lack of supply. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened National Grid’s license:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave National Grid Plc 14 days to figure out how to address natural gas shortages before he moves to revoke its license to operate in the state.

The Democrat said in a letter Tuesday that the utility owner’s moratorium for new gas hookups affecting 20,000 homes and businesses in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island shows that it failed to provide “adequate and reliable” service.

“The ‘moratorium’ is either a fabricated device or a lack of competence,” Cuomo wrote. “The very lack of supply you now point to as the reason for your denial of service to thousands of customers exhibits your failure to plan for supply needs.”

The 14-day deadline is the latest salvo between the governor and National Grid. They’ve been feuding since New York rejected a $1 billion expansion to a Williams Cos. gas pipeline, which the company says is crucial to meet rising demand. In response, National Grid imposed a freeze on new gas hookups.

National Grid capitulated.

Con Ed also was threatened, but has not backed down.

After ending a months-long moratorium on new natural gas hookups by National Grid on Long Island and in parts of New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a new target: Con Edison’s own gas ban.

The Democratic governor on Tuesday warned Con Edison that it may face the same threats the state put on National Grid if ConEd doesn’t end its own ban on new gas hookups in Westchester County and parts of the city.

Last month, Cuomo threatened to revoke National Grid’s license to operate in parts of the state for failing to fulfill its obligations to customers.

He said ConEd should watch and learn.

“We contract with Con Edison, but if Con Edison is not doing a good job or if we feel they are abusive, then we can get another provider,” Cuomo told reporters on Long Island after brokering a deal with National Grid.

This is all a manmade crisis. And there is no end in sight.

A proposed pipeline from Pennsylvania’s fracking region has been abandoned by the developer after years of litigation and promises by Cuomo to continue fighting:

After a four-year battle with the state, the owner of a proposed natural-gas pipeline through the Southern Tier said Friday it will not move forward with the struggling project.

The controversial 124-mile long Constitution pipeline would have brought natural gas from Pennsylvania into the Southern Tier before stopping just outside Albany.

But Williams Partners LP, the gas company heading the project, said it is ending its pursuit after court battles with New York regulators have delayed the construction since 2016.

“Williams — with support from its partners, Duke, Cabot and AltaGas — has halted investment in the proposed Constitution project,” the Tulsa-based company said in a statement.

“While Constitution did receive positive outcomes in recent court proceedings and permit applications, the underlying risk adjusted return for this greenfield pipeline project has diminished in such a way that further development is no longer supported.”

The project took a step forward last August when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found the state Department of Environmental Conservation erred in rejecting a critical water-quality permit for the pipeline.

But the DEC and Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to continue to fight the project, part of a long-standing effort by the Democratic governor to cut New York’s fossil-fuel emissions.

New York has a ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and a goal of of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Any way that we can challenge it, we will,” Cuomo said after the FERC decision.

National Grid warns that by next winter, the supply shortage will worsen:

Downstate New York’s growing demand for natural gas will begin outstripping supply next winter, creating a gap that will continue to grow for at least the next decade absent a long-term solution, National Grid USA forecast in a new report.

Possible solutions include new pipelines and other large-scale projects, smaller-scale infrastructure or energy efficiency programs, and other workarounds, the gas and electric power utility operator said. Without some combination of those fixes, undersupply reaching 265,000 Dth/d by the onset of winter 2032-2033 in a low-demand scenario, or 415,000 Dth/d in the winter of 2034-2035 in a high-demand scenario.

“National Grid’s current capacity of 2,888 MDth/day is challenged to meet existing peak demand during cold winter days, leaving our network with little room for error,” the company said. “And looking ahead, our existing and planned expansion capacity to supply natural gas is not sufficient to meet forecast demand.”

National Grid presented its outlook in a 116-page report, part of a $36 million settlement with its New York state regulator, the Public Service Commission, over the utility’s six-month moratorium on new downstate gas hookups.

But don’t expect any relief. Cuomo is determined to prevent new natural gas supplies from other states, much as he and Democrats prevented fracking in New York State. The fracking region of Pennsylvania is booming, the adjoining Southern Tier region of New York State is dying (except for college towns like Ithaca).


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If you vote to freeze to death, you kinda deserve to go ahead and freeze to death.

    Agree, but they also take the minority of voters with them. Sometimes a democratic process is unfortunate.

    TrickyRicky in reply to cgray451. | February 27, 2020 at 12:23 am

    In the 1980s, when Colorado was still mostly conservative, one of my favorite bumper stickers was:


    Same theme, same lefty eco-fascists, different decade.

    txvet2 in reply to cgray451. | February 27, 2020 at 12:48 am

    NYC has always been the tail that wags the dog. The people in upstate NY didn’t vote for him, but (much like California) they’re the people who are suffering.

      Eric R. in reply to txvet2. | February 27, 2020 at 5:22 am

      Upstate should start a secessionist movement. Let Fredo try to use the National Guard to suppress the rebellion, and see how many Guardsmen refuse.

      Same thing happening here in Virginia. The NoVa swamp tail wags the dog, but the VRP is waking up, and for the first time ever, I’m getting deeply involved in state politics on a local level. Northam’s cabal have awakened a sleeping tiger.

      Another Voice in reply to txvet2. | February 27, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Tioga County, abuts Bradford County, Pa. where natural gas flows freely west, east and south but not allowed north. The difference of these past seven years in standard of living, jobs, incomes is night and day. Where Tioga is losing their tax base residents @ 5-6 % a year, Bradford is thriving and growing. Also as of today, those in the areas abutting north of Bradford County learned the NYS utility serving this area of New York State received approval by Gov. Cuomo that New York State Electric and Gas was approved for a 23% increase on their electric side and slated to show in the next billing cycle.

    Milhouse in reply to cgray451. | February 27, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Only those who’ve switched to gas heating will freeze. Those who stuck with oil will be fine. When my building’s boiler broke a few years ago we looked into gas; the boiler is more expensive but the fuel is cheaper. In the end we decided oil still made more sense for us, and now I’m glad of that decision. I’ll bet Cuomo doesn’t use gas heating.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to cgray451. | February 27, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    They can all dial their thermostats back to 60, or maybe 55 degrees, then shiver to have enough gas to go around. Also, Cuomo can start eating lots of beans.

One really, really, cold week or two in NY and the grid will fail.
Why hook up more homes when you can’t supply them?
And/or have to buy from expensive sources where transport is necessary?
So Fuelish.

    Voyager in reply to tz. | February 26, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Fixing the problem would be letting that crisis go to waste. After all, if the grid doesn’t fail, the government can’t demand more control over the gas companies, so why would it want that, anyways?

    It’s not like the citizens can vote them out of office, is it?

So New York wants to freeze. Let ’em, I say. Idiots.

Ah jeez, that horrible goddamned snarl. Satan never denies an eager enthusiast who will serve him well.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 26, 2020 at 8:32 pm

Why are all these Leftists so Ugly?

They’re as Ugly on the outside as they are on the inside.

But more importantly will Cumomo be a float in this year’s Mardi Gras, like the float of Hillary strangling Epstein with the slogan over the float: “Epstein didn’t kill himself.”

    It’s about the money. That’s all it’s about.

    Leftists, my ass.

      I’ll bite, what’s Fredo’s (and the Socialist-Democrat’s) financial gain from stopping a greater supply of natural gas coming to the state?

      National Grid, and Consolidate Edison (Con Ed) have a financial gain if they can supply more customers, though they have to negotiate their rates with Fredo’d regime. Apparently the demand is there in the new hook-ups*, so the companies apparently aren’t BSing about that.

      * I have friends in upstate NY near the border and quite a bit of the demand for new hookups may be the same all over the state – replacing existing fuel oil heat with natural gas heat at a much lower cost (the cost to transport and deliver fuel oil is significant in itself). You would think ecofascists would prefer the conversion to pipeline delivered cleaner natural gas to burning fuel oil delivered by ship or rail car with truck for the final delivery. OK I would think that, they obviously don’t.

        Milhouse in reply to Edward. | February 27, 2020 at 7:40 pm

        It’s not financial gain, it’s political gain, shoring up his position from challenges on the left, like the Zephyr Teachout challenge that hurt him so badly.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 26, 2020 at 8:33 pm

Cuomo: “If you like your heat, you can keep your heat.”

The Friendly Grizzly | February 26, 2020 at 8:36 pm

National grid should call Cuomo’s bluff. He revoked the license, they shut the valves the moment the revocation is official. Let the populace straighten out the mess. Rope and a lamp post is a start.

    National Grid is a British company and may be more used to caving to government demands. And National Grid’s customer base includes most of the state’s Republican voters.

    Con Ed used to have an absolute lock on NY City for gas and electric. apparently that is no longer true with some consumer choice, but I think final delivery by the actual utility is still mostly ConEd and the company is in a much stronger position to defy Fredo – most of Con Ed’s customers are Fredo’s voters.

      Owego in reply to Edward. | February 27, 2020 at 8:53 am

      You can’t deliver what you don’t have, and in the case of natural gas, it can’t be bootlegged like cigarettes or booze. When there’s a shortage, guess who moves to the head of the line …friends of the king. Protests and Rioting in the streets cannot and will not increase the supply of something that is delivered by infrastructure requiring years to construct. Cuomo is an ignorant, corrupt, selfish, and truly nasty human being. It will be interesting to see if the new NYGOP has what it takes to rake him and his lap dogs in the legislature over the coals in the future. (Would like to be gone, but may not live long enough to see it.)

No surprise here, look at the people the NYers elect. Coumo(a couple of them) Clinton, Weiner, Gillibrand, Deblasio, Bloomberg. These fools/tools vote against plentiful energy. Too bad the folks will be cold.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Romey. | February 26, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    However these elitists will never feel the need to don a sweater, or two…

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Romey. | February 27, 2020 at 9:06 am

    I think NYC elects them. Just like the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles elect Newsom, and the feminazi senators. The rest of the state takes the results.

There is so much natural gas being produced that it continues to be flamed off for lack of storage and demand. Good luck with wind and solar which are much more wasteful and toxic.

    …. wasteful, toxic, vastly more expensive, and kills lots of birds. Of course, NY is also an anti-nuclear state, possibly the single best long term solution. If there are aliens, as recent evidence suggests is possible, they certainly are not using windmills. “Let them eat cake”, said King Andrew … I mean, “Let them burn dung”, as third world locales do.

And Andy owns what companies?

Economic disruption is a more likely doomsday scenario than just about anything you can imagine, from super virus’ to planet X colliding with earth

Ironically, pipelines are less environmentally disruptive than other transit modes.

Runaway inflation of carbon fuel prices threatens us all. When the truck driver can’t feed his family or pay the note on the truck, the whole system breaks down. This is the likely result of artificial pressures on markets from anti-capitalists.

Capitalism can bring more to everyone, but what these people want could plunge large segments of the planet into famine if allowed to fester.

JackinSilverSpring | February 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm

Cuomo will no doubt blame the natural gas companies when shortages begin to appear. The residents of NYS voted for this bozo. Ultimately, they will reap what they have sown.

What an ass we have for a governor. Cut off the gas company’s supply, then decertify them for not planning ahead. He’s a nasty little SOB, and I hear his girlfriend left him recently.

Maybe this will turn into a learning experience for the folks who elected him. After all, a week or so with no heat at peak demand will pretty clearly demonstrate the need for additional natural gas input. Hopefully it won’t take a high death toll to get folks to pay attention.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to CommoChief. | February 26, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    The folks who elected him are immune to learning experiences. They are never going to accept responsibility for their own actions. What is the over/under for the number of massive blizzards in the Northeast next winter?

    COVID-19 and massive freezes in a major urban area.

    Subotai Bahadur

      They will blame it all on climate and Trump.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Eric R.. | February 27, 2020 at 9:10 am

        They may, but, Trump loses nothing. NY reliably votes communist.

        What I would like to see is: when DJT leaves office and resumes running the Trump enterprises, he closes ALL offices in NY and moves them elsewhere.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 26, 2020 at 9:35 pm

Citizens do not be alarmed!

Those loud explosions you hear are not the natural gas pipelines.

Those are just Leftist/Democrats’ heads exploding over this.

Trump Campaign To Open ‘Engagement Centers’ To Woo Black Voters In 15 Cities

Who cares? If they are happy, I surely could care less. More gas for us.

It’s like Atlas Shrugged, with Cuomo playing the role of Wesley Mouch.

windmills in central park

People of Ithaca have an unholy and disproportionate effect in Albany. Natural gas shortages will not affect the vocal. The fashion is ground-source heat pumps–although solar is still popular. One proposal being pushed is mandating that new construction include ground-source heating. One retired professor recently boasted of his new ground-source heating system and could not understand why everyone didn’t install one. He was oblivious to the $30,000 price tag.
Totally tone-deaf to the reality that not everyone has the same income as Cornell and Ithaca College faculty and staff, when asked the question of who will pay for this, they insist, “The money is there.” Those affected by natural gas shortages cannot afford to take days off from work to travel to Albany and speak.

The day when this jackass is out of office cannot possibly come soon enough.

    farmermom in reply to UJ. | February 27, 2020 at 10:44 am

    That was what we said about Mario. Nothing has changed. Mario screwed over LILCO. My mother bought a fair bit of their stock at 1-1/2.

I guess this MOORN thinks POt smokes going to keep them all warm in the winter

Serious question, where does he expect them to get the gas then? LNG tankers coming into port? Maybe this is a pay the union gambit.

    farmermom in reply to kat100. | February 27, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Cuomo’s prior goal was 50% energy from renewables by 2030. In January 2019, he upped the ante to 75% from remewables by 2030.

    Remember the “Green New Deal,” otherwise known as “Pie In The Sky?”

    This is part of his plan to achieve the most ambitious greenhouse gas mitigation in the country.

    There are many subsidies involved–most of which are tax credits. Unfortunately, in his infinite wisdom, the tax credits are non-refundable, so unless you owe NYS that much income tax, you don’t get the credit. As I recall, when I figured it out, in Tompkins County a family of 4 would need to have TAXABLE income approximately $10K over the median gross income.

    Gee, I don’t see any problem with that. Do you?

    Strongly reminiscent of his statements that any conservatives who are pro-traditional marriage, pro-life, and pro-gun should just leave the state. They listened. They’re leaving as fast as they can.

When freezing in the cold they are, regret their choices in politicians they will.

“Let them burn wood.”