Can you imagine a day without natural gas in New York? Some want to believe it’s possible and others would like to make it happen, but it would be disaster.
Every fractivist imagines a day without natural gas in New York; they eat, breathe and dream the dream of a fossil fuel free New York shining like a bright star in a universe of the politically correct. Tony Ingraffea and other shills for the elitist utopians among us tell them it’s possible and they believe it. Those of us having to deal with such nonsense have a different dream; one where we have the ability to switch a lever and turn off the gas for a bit to let these New Yorkers see just what it would really be like. We know it wouldn’t be pretty. It isn’t any more practical than their dream, of course, but it’s fun to imagine, isn’t it?
It isn’t that hard to imagine, either, except for fractivists stuck on stupid (ideology). If it were wintertime, Yoko Ono would have to leave The Dakota, because it’s heated with natural gas, of course, and Adelaide Park Gomer, Tony Ingraffea and Walter Hang would have all to fire up the portable generators at home and work to replace the natural gas they use.
But, of course, those portable generators typically work off gasoline, diesel or propane so that wouldn’t do. They wouldn’t want to burn wood either, given the particulate matter involved with that stuff and its doubtful any of them have wood stoves. And, they couldn’t just turn up the electric heat because most of that comes from burning natural gas, too. It gets difficult so quickly. This imagine thing is great fun indeed.
There is no end to other examples, in fact, of the clash of dreams and reality that exists with these folks, and showcasing the hypocrisy is always a delightful exercise, but this is serious business and imagining a day without natural gas in New York turns ugly much quicker than most of us would like.
We already know from Census data, for example, nearly 4.2 million homes in New York State, some 57.5% of all homes in the state, are heated with natural gas. We also know from Energy Information Administration (EIA) data New York natural gas consumption increased to 1.27 trillion cubic feet in 2013 (most recent year available), which was up 17.9% over 2005. Finally, we know from New York Independent System Operator (ISO) data the New York electric grid has increased its reliance on natural gas and dual fuel (gas and oil) from 47% of capacity in 2000 to 55% in 2014 and the oil is only used sporadically.
What this means, of course, is this; New York is ever more dependent on natural gas it wants someone else to produce for it and if they stopped, even for a day, it would be horrendous. Take away the gas and more than half the electricity is gone so there’s nothing with which to replace the gas used directly as heating fuel. The combination of natural gas heated homes, homes heated with bottled gas (a byproduct of natural gas) and the natural gas generated electric heated homes amounts to 66.9% of all New York homes. This means literally two-thirds of New Yorkers would be stuck without heat if the gas were turned off. Imagine that.
It gets much worse, though, as one separates out upstate New York, only too happy to produce the gas downstaters consume if anyone would let them produce it, from the gas burning hypocrites in the Big Apple and environs. The ISO has produced a fact-filled analysis of the situation that ought to be mandated reading for every pandering politician from that vicinity. It includes this revealing chart:
The chart compares electric demands or loads by region with capacity. It shows upstate New York is well positioned, with plenty of capacity to meet its electric needs, but the Lower Hudson Valley, the city and Long Island are collectively over capacity. Turn off the gas and they go completely dark, with all that entails. Factor in that most of them will also be sitting in the cold and one can imagine the disruption, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth and the inevitable blame game that will focus on everyone but the real culprits.
Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo says no gas for New York unless it’s produced elsewhere and let’s shut down the Indian Point nuclear station while we’re at it, as the fractivists oppose every pipeline bringing the valuable gas to the city. Such is the bizarro world of the New York.
No one would want to live a day without natural gas in New York. Still, just imagine what it be like; it’s not hard if you try.