If you know anything about New York in the modern era (both the state and the Big Apple), you’re likely aware that it’s not exactly a friendly landscape for the oil and gas industry. The “Keep it in the ground” crowd has a lot of influence with the Democrats who control the government. That why, back in 2013, when the new Constitution Pipeline was proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s rich shale oil fields to New York, activists were able to block the construction despite it already having been approved by federal regulators. Similarly, when National Grid (the local energy consortium) requested an extension to the Williams Co. Transco pipeline, they were also tied up because of the outcry from environmental activists.
Here comes the surprise that nobody could have possibly seen coming. The city and its surrounding downstate region are still expanding with new construction projects, but their energy suppliers have told them that they will not be able to supply natural gas to any new customers because they’re already at capacity. (NY Post)
Long Islanders were recently hit with bad news. National Grid, which provides natural gas for nearly 600,000 Long Island residents, announced it won’t be able to provide fuel for new customers if the proposed Williams Co. Transco pipeline expansion isn’t approved by May 15.
Earlier this year, energy company Con Ed imposed a similar moratorium on new natural-gas service in parts of Westchester County due to limited capacity on existing pipelines. These crises are completely avoidable…
For too long, politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and their ill-considered energy policies have hampered the development of safe, efficient energy infrastructure, subjecting American consumers to unnecessarily high energy costs and unreliable service.
So you don’t want pipelines, eh? But you say you’d like to build more houses, apartments and office buildings? Well, you’d better figure out how to cook your food and heat your living spaces with solar panels pretty quickly because (to borrow a phrase from GoT) winter is coming. And so is lunchtime.
Now, unless they want to wind up looking very foolish, somebody is going to have to bite the bullet, risk angering some liberal voters and approve those pipelines. And they’ll still be behind the curve because it will take a while to finish all that work. In the meantime, perhaps they can pipe unicorn flatulence through the lines.
The additional ironic twist to all of this is they don’t even need those long pipelines to begin with. Or at least they wouldn’t need them if they were thinking clearly. The southern section of upstate New York is sitting on some of the richest natural gas deposits in the country in the form of the Marcellus Shale deposits. It’s the same formation delivering all of that natural gas over the border in Pennsylvania. But Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic buddies pushed through a moratorium on any and all natural gas drilling and it’s still in place today.
The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.