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What Our Pipeline Opposition Has Wrought, Fellow New Yorkers

Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist

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Vic Furman points out what New York’s and, more specifically, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pipeline opposition, has wrought in the way of unaffordable electricity.

Why with all with all the natural gas under our feet are New Yorkers facing an explosion in electricity costs? WBNG reports the following:

In one NYSEG bill shown to 12 News, on-peak and off-peak supply charges doubled and tripled, respectively, when compared to December.

Those of us who been involved for a decade now in advocating for natural gas development  in Upstate New York know the answer. It’s politically correct anti-gas activism and pipeline opposition adopted by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Pipeline Opposition

The WBNG story quotes a NYISO report notes New York State’s increase in natural gas demand and the fact our electricity prices are already amongst the highest in land. The latter puts a huge burden on fixed income, retired households, seniors, the poor and the struggling middle class. NYSEG energy prices skyrocketed in January because the natural gas supply here in New York is increasingly constricted due to pipeline opposition and our refusal to develop our own resources. The result is this:

“This is literally a hundred dollars shy of my mortgage payment,” said Toni Gilligan of Cincinnatus.

As the January electric bills have been coming in, more and more customers have been opening their bills in shock.
“Oh my God,” said Gilligan. “I actually almost wanted to cry and throw up a little bit and I’m like, how is that even possible, we don’t use any more or any less [electricity].”

Some of you have reached out to us saying your bills are coming in hundreds of dollars higher than previous bills.

In one NYSEG bill shown to 12 News, on-peak and off-peak supply charges doubled and tripled, respectively, when compared to December.

However, these higher bills aren’t just seen by NYSEG customers.

A state-wide increase in natural gas costs during the cold snap in January affected all electric providers in New York State.

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) administers fair, open, and competitive wholesale electricity markets statewide and NYSEG is one of many buyers in the market.

“We run markets every day that match the buyers and sellers of electricity, and those fuel costs get factored in to the markets,” said David Flanagan, Media Relations Manager at NYISO.

When the residential demand of heating homes combines with the demand of power plants generating electricity, the cost of natural gas goes up, and those increased costs show up on your bill.
“Markets establish the wholesale cost of electricity, that’s the cost that NYSEG pays to provide that commodity to its customers and that wholesale cost is passed through on the utility bill as your supply charge,” said Flanagan…

But the sudden rocketing of electric bills has some consumers uneasy.

“I either have to pay this electric bill or I lose electricity,” said Gilligan. “So in some cases I feel like it’s a lot of these people are, ‘do you feed your family or do you pay your electric bill this month.'”

This is what our pipeline opposition has wrought, fellow New Yorkers. Governor Cuomo catered to those of us (in New York City and other urban parts of the state) who want to wish away natural gas demand or high electricity prices without doing natural gas development and pipelines that would open up the supply valve and lower prices.

Cuomo doesn’t care about us and he’s ready stated he wants to make up for Federal tax deduction losses to the wealthy by raising taxes on all New Yorkers. He has used junk science to put his drilling ban in place and he has stopped construction of vital pipeline infrastructure that would have delivered more gas to New York and avoided these price spikes. Who is standing up for us, the poor and the struggling of Upstate New York? We are being taxed off our land and denied access to our minerals at the same time as Cuomo is increasing taxes and electricity prices on all New Yorkers.

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11 thoughts on “What Our Pipeline Opposition Has Wrought, Fellow New Yorkers

  1. In times of low supply, the wishes of NY City should be fulfilled – turn off the natural gas and electricity derived from natural gas that is so not wanted. Maybe a few cold dark nights will jolt some reality into the City residents.

    • NY should be divided into two states. The southern 14 (including) downstate counties would benefit since they would no longer have to supposedly “subsidize” the other 48 counties as they claim and put their money towards their failing infrastructure. South New York would have about 80% control of its water supply and have to rely on its own “green energy” production as toted by DeBlasio and Cuomo.
      North New York would benefit that it would be released from the shackles numerous existing regulations that actually conflict with one another due to the stovepipe mentality in places like Albany.
      People should know their history.. if it weren’t for the original Erie Canal built in upstate, NYC as a port of commerce would be playing second fiddle to either Philadelphia or Baltimore and the USA probably would of stopped somewhere east of the Rockies and Texas.

  2. Vic,
    You would think that if renewable energy is so important to the gov. he would be at the forefront of building gas lines that transported gas captured from a variety of sources such as Wastewater Treatment Plants, Agricultural and Municipal Digesters and the numerous Landfills (public/private) that emit that supposedly super dangerous Methane gas which causes “Climate Change”. NYSDEC is in the process of promoting “zero waste”. While it may be well intended to better manage our wastes, it is futile if you don’t put what you have to a better use especially if it has a market value. It is a “wasted” opportunity for sure.

    • They are doing things like you mention. Land fills like Albany, NY and Lancaster, PA collect and use the gas their sites produce. SUNY Morrisville is processing manure from their dairy program in a methane digester.

      Most of these are pilot and proof of concept stuff, but you can be certain the anti’s will try to promote them as reasons why underground gas isn’t needed. Some of them will scale up to city size, but many promising small scale projects will die when they can’t scale up.

      We must make sure that we call the antis out on their speculations about what might work in the future, while we have a solution that works now.

      • “We must make sure that we call the antis out on their speculations about what might work in the future, while we have a solution that works now.”

        I like that. That’s a guest post, Mark!

      • Mark,
        You are correct, there are startups but as you know you can only scale up these projects to a certain size before it becomes a “concern” to some of the local residents who move to the “country” but complain about the “manure”. 🙂 That does not mean that gas produced cannot be utilized to promote redundancy, decentralization or supplement existing gas lines. The latter concept is really no different from a series of wind turbines or a bank of solar panels tying into the existing grid or be used to cut peak usage.
        As I said many times before, outside of some academics who are deeply invested in these projects, where is the outcry from the usual suspects to promote this technology?

  3. Rather than continue with your fantasies, reread Furman’s article and see if you can find the real error the anti’s are making. Lack of gas is affecting people who did not know or care where or how their electricity was produced. Most of these people were never our supporters, nor of the anti gas crowd. Would it advance our cause to add them and their votes to our side?

    Think what the guy in the WBNG report and thousands of others like him. What might happen if you would/could tell them that producing and distributing the gas under our feet would save those hundreds of dollars a month every winter. Now tell them that the ad volorem tax on gas is not filtered through Albany and will lower their property and school taxes. We might have added some political clout.

    Anti’s created this problem; make sure they get the blame for it. We have a win-win solution, that needs to told. Tell you state senator and representative, write letters, call, etc. Stick to just gas, side issues may be important to you, but they just dilute the message. Make gas the solution to other peoples problems and they will win as consumers and we will as producers.

  4. A different perspective.
    ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8
    My website is
    “Human Caused Global Warming”, ‘The Biggest Deception in History’.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO08Hhjes_0
    http://www.drtimball.com
    Awaiting court decision in Dr Andrew Weaver vs Dr Tim Ball in Supreme Court, in Vancouver, BC

  5. This is the response I was looking for. People in the Northeast are being deprived medicine, meals, vacations, a happier life that savings from the denial of New York natural gas development and pipeline infrastructure would bring each and every New Yorker.

  6. Thee is a great visual to show the spike in prices that occurs when the pipelines run beyond maximum. It is here:

    http://www.naturalgasintel.com/data/data_products/daily?region_id=northeast&location_id=NEATZ6NY

    and shows the price at the pipeline into NYC. That cold snap in early January caused the price to go from a normal $5/MMbtu or so, to a daily average of $142/MMbtu!

    Wait to hear all the squeals when those NYCers get their bills! We need to tell anyone we can that this is the expectable result of Corruptocrat Cuomo’s blocking of pipelines, and he needs to shoulder the blame for the situation.

    I hope someone can estimate the total cost impact of the lack of pipeline capacity up into NYC and Boston, and get that out in the public!

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