Cuomo Energy Scheme Raises Energy Costs and Emissions

Constitution Pipeline - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The Wall Street Journal did a wonderful editorial this week pointing out how pursuing an ideological energy strategy is raising energy costs and emissions.

I’m not that big a fan of the Wall Street Journal these days, but the its editorial board just came out with one of the best pieces I’ve seen on how Governor Andrew Corruptocrat is destroying Upstate New York, while raising both energy costs and emissions. The pie, which may be found here, speaks for itself but I’ve excerpted the key parts below.

energy costs

America’s Worst Governor?   Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux

The Empire State’s southern tier overlays the rich Marcellus and Utica Shale formations, among the most productive drilling regions in the country. Shale fracking has been an economic boon for Appalachia—and could have lifted upstate New York. Since 2010 natural gas production has surged 520% in West Virginia, 920% in Pennsylvania and 1880% in Ohio.

Mr. Cuomo’s predecessor David Paterson imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2010. After winning re-election in 2014, Mr. Cuomo started laying the ground for a White House bid and made the ban permanent. Between 2010 and 2015, New York’s natural gas production plunged by half—which has translated into fewer jobs as well as less royalties for landowners and revenue for local governments.

Last year the Governor compounded the economic damage by blocking the 120-mile Constitution pipeline transporting natural gas from Pennsylvania to upstate New York and New England. Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the pipeline in 2014, Mr. Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation conducted a separate review and denied a water-quality permit putatively because the developers hadn’t provided sufficient information…

All of this is ominous since the region desperately needs more natural gas to make up for lost power from the impending shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. New England’s Independent System Operator projects that 14% of the region’s electric generation capacity will be retired within three years and says more pipelines are needed for grid stability.

Mr. Cuomo is also forcing the premature retirement of the Indian Point nuclear plant, which provides a quarter of New York City and Westchester County’s electricity. He hasn’t offered a back-up plan, but natural gas will have to play a role. Renewables (excluding hydropower) make up only 5% of New York’s electric generation, and we doubt the local liberal gentry will abide wind farms off Long Island.

Energy costs in the Northeast are already the highest in the nation outside of Alaska and Hawaii in part due to the shortage of natural gas. Northeast residents pay 29% more for natural gas and 44% more for electricity than the U.S. average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Industrial users in the Northeast pay twice as much for natural gas and 62% more for electricity.

Electricity and natural gas constitute many manufacturers’ biggest costs, which in part explains why so many are fleeing the Northeast. Since 2010 manufacturing economic output has increased by 1.5% in the Great Lakes region while shrinking 0.7% in New England and 2.4% in New York.

Inclement weather can cause energy costs to skyrocket. During the 2014 polar vortex, natural gas prices in New York City spiked to $120 per million Btu—about 25 times the Henry Hub spot price at the time. Natural-gas power plants in New York are required to burn oil during supply shortages. Due to pipeline constraints and the Jones Act—which requires that cargo transported between U.S. ports be carried by ships built in the U.S.—Boston imports liquefied natural gas during the winter from Trinidad. This is expensive and emits boatloads of carbon.

Speaking of which, about a quarter of households in New York, 45% in Vermont and 65% in Maine still burn heating oil—which is a third more expensive than natural gas and produces about 30% more carbon emissions per million Btu. Yet many can’t switch due to insufficient natural gas and pipeline infrastructure.

Mr. Cuomo’s natural gas blockade is harming residents and businesses throughout the Northeast while raising carbon emissions that he claims are imperiling the planet. The likely Democratic presidential aspirant may hope to ride this record to the White House, but millions of Americans are already paying a high price for his policies.

Andrew Cuomo, Governor Corruptocrat, is deliberately raising energy costs on his state, casting huge swaths of it to the wind in more ways than one and ensuring millions who would like to burn clean natural gas instead of oil are deprived of that opportunity. It’s a bizarre and unworkable plan appealing only to ideologues, malcontents and, most importantly, wealthy trust-funders who might fund his campaign for President. He’s the sleaziest of sleazy politicians with no philosophy whatsoever other than to advance himself and he’d happily change positions on a dime if he thought that would bring hime a step closer to the Presidency.

Meanwhile, Corruptocrat’s constituents suffer and carbon emissions that might be reduced aren’t. Electricity costs rise, factories leave, farms die and the NRDC gang grabs more land on the cheap to make its wilderness. Perhaps it’s time Upstate New Yorkers moved their businesses and themselves across the border and let them have it. Well, not really, of course, but this is what drives others to do so. One hopes there is someone, someplace in government who steps in with some common sense to save New York.

Maybe FERC will do it. Both Jim Willis and I have noted the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has already acknowledged (in their June 23, 2017, Millennium Pipeline vs Basil Seggos decision) that FERC has the authority to make the ultimate decision about pipelines under the Natural Gas Act. States cannot ignore federal statutory deadlines. Presumably, they likewise can’t force applicants to reapply repeatedly in a quest for more and more information after they’ve already determined an application complete. The D.C. Court of Appeals, in fact, indicated the pipeline could bypass New York and go directly to FERC if the state unlawfully delayed acting on its application. Here’s hoping Constitution will exercise its option to proceed directly to FERC for that relief.

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10 thoughts on “Cuomo Energy Scheme Raises Energy Costs and Emissions

  1. if its so great in Pa., why aren’t the businesses fleeing to my lovely county and other fracked counties…
    we have plenty of gas and pipelines to feed them in our counties..
    Our gas prices are higher in our big cities than in NY at 67 cents per ccf…
    and we are awash with gas and gas drilling.
    this editorial sounds like it’s crying wolf and creating a bleaker picture than is the truth for NY.

    Our farms in my gas producing county and other fracked counties have been declining since the industry has entered the picture.

    And gas drilling as an employer is several down on the list in my county; other sectors employ more people.
    and you can verify that with the Progress Authority in Bradford County, Pa., next door to my county and which also services our county.

    there are usually two sides or more to any issue and you can believe what you want and get the proof for it..

    come and see how great things are in my county….
    how many new businesses have come in besides the gas drilling….since 2008…? not many ….

    • I thought you didn’t want industry in your rural county. Businesses are booming in rural Washington and surrounding counties. That’s right industry and rural side by side.

  2. The left is fond of calling Trump a sociopath. The real sociopath is cuomo, a sadist openly hostile to rural upstate conservatives.

    bezos’ WaPo and it’s hyper partisan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” slogan describes cuomo’s NY perfectly.

    Also, Paterson banned drilling 7/23/08 not 2010. The beginning of the end.

  3. Well the gentry don’t actually seem to be opposing offshore wind so I think the wall street journal editorial board is mistaken about that.

    They are correct in saying progressives ( and that seems to be the correct political label for those in the antifracking natural gas movement since working families party, move on , credo, our revolution and other political groups that are antifracking and natural gas use that label to describe themselves) used to support natural gas and do not any longer. How progressives came to oppose natural gas and in NY state– that is one of the most important stories that needs to be told and broadcast today.


    I see this is making the rounds today or in some spheres.

    Remember Cuomo was poised to allow drilling in 2012. And keep in mind that the NY press has national influence and never mentions the huge problem that a Cuomo run in 2020 would be for this country when you consider that the country currently leads the world in natural gas production plus currently (and just barely) natural gas leads in the production of electricity in the country.

    The failure of the press when it comes to fracking, fracking bans, pipelines, ferc cannot continue.

  5. I am invited to the ribbon cutting ceremonies as an honored patriot of America’s fuel independence STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING BLOG

  6. sure, let NYers move across the border and buy all the many properties for sale in my county and many sitting for years for sale like the property below on your site..

    With all the supposed “economic boom” in Pa. from gas production, why does Pa. have to struggle to balance their budget every year still and have to cut programs and add new taxes to gasoline to get more revenues.

    We need to legalize and tax cannabis and hemp and make much more revenues than from gas for our State and this would be good for NY , also.

  7. Vera, I drive to Montrose about once a week for farm supplies and I am still amazed by the amount of business going on around town. There is an obvious slow down in the drilling related traffic but it is still better than it was 10 years ago. there are always cars at the new traffic light at the intersection with route 29. ten years ago it was a stop sign and I rarely met another car there. The farms were declining long before gas showed up and that hasn’t changed much, except maybe giving people incentive to sell with higher land values. Growing hemp is a good idea. they are trying that in NY but the way Cuomo does it you have to be tied in with a College so that he can keep his greedy bit of control over it. No one industry is the answer, we have to find out what works without government pulling the strings.

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