Trump rescues NY from its self-inflicted natural-gas shortage

Dec 2014
The Milky Way
Dims are crazed Luddites.

How’s this for unexpected irony: As New York pols move to choke their own economy by nixing new natural-gas supplies, President Trump is racing to the rescue. Trump last week signed two executive orders to help ease the way for new oil and gas pipelines and other energy projects. One, seemingly aimed squarely at New York, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to look for ways to make it harder for states to use the Clean Water Act to block pipelines.

That’s an all-too-common tactic by Albany under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor has been rejecting plans for pipelines in a bid to suck up to eco-fanatics, who demand an immediate end to the use of all fossil fuels, despite the lack of realistic alternatives.

Parts of the state are already feeling the pain: In Westchester, Con Ed stopped taking new gas customers, citing concerns about a supply shortage. Without new gas supplies, it says, adding new customers could make it tough to serve current subscribers, particularly on cold days. National Grid might do likewise next month in parts of the city and Long Island.

Con Ed, too, told the City Council Monday that if the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement project, which would channel gas to the Rockaways through Lower New York Bay, isn’t built, “it would impact our ability” to deliver gas to its customers and possibly lead it to ban new hook-ups in the city. That seems unthinkable. John Banks, of the Real Estate Board of New York, clearly is worried: Con Ed’s Westchester ban “will slow the development pipeline and harm the local economy,” he warns. “Now we may soon face a similar crisis right here in New York City.”


His concern isn’t just for New York: Some pipelines are meant to carry gas to places like New England. There’s a clear federal role in seeing that local pols don’t cause catastrophes for other states, too.


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