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Governor Cuomo’s No Pipelines Stance Is Risky for the Entire Nation

"Environmentalists" - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

Dan Markind explains by importing Russian LNG to New England, rather than building pipelines to deliver domestic natural gas, puts the entire nation at risk.

The curious inconsistency among our national energy policy, national security policy and national environmental policy is coming into sharper focus.  It likely will be amplified by events thousands of miles away in the Middle East.

Start locally.  Last month I wrote about the astounding fact that people in New York and New England are more comfortable paying the Russians to import gas thousands of miles over ships of questionable seaworthiness than they are building pipelines to secure a cheap, reliable energy supply and pay Americans.  This aversion to pipelines is not unique to New York and New England – witness Dakota Access in North Dakota, Keystone in Nebraska and Jordan Cove in Oregon.

piplines

In Lambertville, NJ (next to Trenton), Mayor Dave Del Vecchio signed off on new zoning restrictions aimed at stopping the PennEast Pipeline which would transport gas from Northeastern Pennsylvania to the Trenton area.  Other municipalities have expressed their intent to try to stop the project.  Despite the fact that PennEast has received FERC approval, in the post-Andrew Cuomo/Constitution world interstate pipelines construction is a free-for-all.  How that serves the national interest is anyone’s guess.

Now broaden the horizons internationally, and especially to the Middle East.  The papers are full of stories about an impending war between Israel, Iran and Hezbollah.  Having been “invited” into the Syrian situation, Iran has used the opportunity to build its own military bases and extend its “Ring of Fire” around Israel.  They may be close to accomplishing it.

The Israelis are more and more convinced that war will break out soon.  They will not let Iran and Hezbollah build missile factories right under their nose.  Add to this the military power Russia has established in Syria, and for good measure take a small dose of American-backed Syrian rebels, Kurds and Turks, and you have a giant mess.  With Iran constantly pushing for a military confrontation, it’s hard to see how one will be avoided.  Once underway, there is no margin for error, and war is an exceedingly messy and imprecise business.

Already Americans have directly killed Russians.  On February 7 Russian forces attacked the town of Deir al-Zor in Syria, held by American-led Kurdish and Arab forces. At least 100 and potentially many times more Russians were killed and wounded in American air strikes.  The Russians have kept this hush hush, but it shows the danger.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad is carpet bombing anti-government rebels using chlorine gas in the Syrian region of Eastern Ghouta.  Western diplomats like British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson are demanding a response, but any must take into account Russian air defenses.

With rather clear cut human rights violations, and with Russia directly involved, it would seem that Europe would love to give Russia a black eye over the Eastern Ghouta outrage, at least diplomatically.  The problem remains European dependence on Russian oil and gas. Russia is Europe’s main supplier.

As of 2015, the 28 EU Member States imported 902 Mtoe of energy from Russia.  If a conflagration happens, and if we end up directly involved with the Russians – each of which is very possible – don’t expect overwhelming European support in areas like sanctions against the Russians.

pipelines

Dominion Resources Cove Point terminal in Maryland

Thanks to our pipeline build out confusion and delays in establishing export terminals, we may face the prospect that the only way to project American power is to put American young men and women in harm’s way.  This is not a pleasant prospect. And didn’t have to happen.  It is, however, a direct response to our failure to counteract a Russian energy stranglehold despite having the opportunity to do so.

In any war situation, the price of commodities, including oil and gas, is likely to skyrocket.  Thanks to shale gas, that price spike will be tempered, at least everywhere in the Country except New York and New England.  We are on our way to overtaking Russia as the world’s largest oil producer, but we have no way to get the oil and natural gas to the Northeast.  Thanks to Andrew Cuomo and the other New England Governors and politicians, their region remains remarkably exposed.

As one nation, can we simply cut a geographic region loose during a price spike and say there will be no help coming from the rest of the country and no imports permitted from Russia and Yemen due to the international situation?  This could devastate New England economically.  On the other hand, does the whole country have to suffer for the well-meaning yet naïve environmental extremism of that region?  Let’s hope we don’t find out, but it’s more and more likely we will.

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4 thoughts on “Governor Cuomo’s No Pipelines Stance Is Risky for the Entire Nation

  1. Agreed. The antifracking movement is negative for the country and the world. Under the Cuomo adminstration, it was permitted to dominate and influence decisions like the one on fracking.

    The anti pipeline activism is connected to the antifracking activism and it is negative as well for a variety of reasons. The first is the activists are awash in MISINFORMATION, unethical is their tactics and are enormously successful at getting their message amplified in the news.

    • Environmental stewardship is rooted in science but when you deal with a “cult”, it is back to the “Dark Ages” where superstition rules the roost.

  2. More than risky for the nation. His stance on nat gas alone ensures this maniac will never become POTUS. He behaves more like a Russian useful idiot and stooge than the governor of a state as his “resistance” to fracking and pipelines makes Putin smile daily. Let’s pray the Republicans get someone to run against the aforementioned maniac and wins the governorship.

    • Okay! We are importing gas from Russia, while at the same time getting ready to export natural gas from Cove Point MD. Something is wrong with this picture and it is Cuomo and the anti-frackers. The joke is on them as we continue to frack and have found a new market for gas.

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