Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Cuomo’s natural gas double-talk continues; calling for more clean natural gas at the same time he’s banning drilling and rejecting pipelines!
If this doesn’t take the cake: The very corrupt New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sold out his own residents and their property rights to radical leftists by placing an ongoing moratorium on high volume (not low volume) hydraulic fracturing, and then by denying the Constitution Pipeline necessary permits to begin construction. Cuomo has, in short, done everything he can to stop natural gas production in the Empire State. Now he turns around, and as part of his official energy policy says (via his underlings at the Public Service Commission) gas is clean-burning and important part of the state’s energy future. Talk about chutzpah!
Here’s the background from the Peekskill Post:
A commission made up of Cuomo appointees recently released a report which, in part, details the benefits of natural gas, despite repeated public calls from the governor and environmental groups to move away from natural gas.
In a 74 page document dated June 15, 2016, the bipartisan Public Service Commission (PSC) approves a rate increase for the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation. On page 65, under a section titled ‘Gas,’ the following is written:
“Natural gas is a cleaner and far more economical source of energy for home heating than other fossil fuels…In addition to the environmental benefits, the expansion of natural gas service will bring more affordable heat to New York homes and businesses. We regularly receive requests from municipalities seeking gas service within their boundaries so that their residents may benefit from lower fuel costs for home heating. As we heard from so many speakers at our Rochester public statement hearings, many people in New York are dismayed by the cost of heating their homes. Low-cost gas can help residential customers struggling to pay bills.”
And, on page 66:
“Importantly, it (natural gas) can also act as a catalyst for economic growth by attracting businesses to New York. Individuals or corporations considering locating or expanding business in New York will contemplate the availability of gas infrastructure. If infrastructure is not available, those businesses, and the jobs associated with them, may not choose New York.”
The language in the PSC document appears to be in direct conflict with recent steps the governor has made in an apparent effort to stem the use of natural gas in the state.
Since 2014, Cuomo has banned fracking in the state, signed onto Al Gore’s climate initiative, called for construction on the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline to be halted until the state can conduct a series of safety reviews and he shut down the Constitution natural gas pipeline by denying water quality permits.
And then there’s this from Politico:
Even as it sets ambitious goals for renewable energy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration still views natural gas as an essential part of the state’s energy mix, according to recent filings with the Public Service Commission.
In the last 18 months, the governor has banned fracking and shut down the Constitution pipeline, citing environmental effects and the dangers of natural gas. At the same time, Cuomo has laid out one of the nation’s most aggressive climate policies, with a focus on doubling the amount of renewable energy powering the grid by 2030.
More quietly, though, administration policy still holds that natural gas is an essential part of the state’s energy mix moving forward, according to a filing made public after the PSC approved a rate increase for the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation.
Buried at the end of an obscure document in the filing, PSC staff laid out in detail why it feels more natural gas service is needed in New York and why gas will be a part of the state’s energy plan even as the administration seeks to make the electric grid more efficient and more reliant on renewable energy.
Natural gas expansion is essential to the state’s business climate, the PSC document says.
“Importantly, it can also act as a catalyst for economic growth by attracting businesses to New York,” it states. “Individuals or corporations considering locating or expanding business in New York will contemplate the availability of gas infrastructure. If infrastructure is not available, those businesses, and the jobs associated with them, may not choose New York.”
Insiders say the administration is torn between burnishing its climate credentials in a state where environmental policies poll well and addressing the request of utilities, businesses and municipalities asking for more natural gas. Utilities, which depend on state approval for rate increases, are loath to state publicly what they privately ask of state energy officials, but insiders say they ask for more natural gas.
Protesters routinely travel to the state Capitol to demonstrate against New York’s reliance on fossil fuels and the expansion of natural gas in particular. For that reason, it’s rare for a Cuomo administration official to publicly tout the benefits of natural gas, but the rate case document lays out the state’s reasoning for why it believes increased use of natural gas is important to reduce carbon emissions and improve business here.
The PSC also views natural gas as a way for low-income residents to save on energy bills, according to document.
“In addition to the environmental benefits, the expansion of natural gas service will bring more affordable heat to New York homes and businesses,” the document states. “We regularly receive requests from municipalities seeking gas service within their boundaries so that their residents may benefit from lower fuel costs for home heating. As we heard from so many speakers at our Rochester public statement hearings, many people in New York are dismayed by the cost of heating their homes. Low-cost gas can help residential customers struggling to pay bills.”
Utilities “have an obligation” to provide customers with natural gas if they want to switch from propane and heating oil, the document states. Natural gas will play a significant role in the state’s plan to make the electric grid more energy efficient because it will serve as a backup fuel for microgrids and other energy sources that can operate off the grid, according to the note.
“As customers are given the opportunity to convert from oil or propane for heating to natural gas, it will significantly reduce carbon emissions, consistent with the State’s ambitious carbon emissions reduction goals,” PSC staff wrote. “Furthermore, many customers that engage in aggressive energy efficiency measures or employ behind-the-meter clean energy resources must still have a back-up fuel source for heat and hot water.”
Editor’s Note: What these stories illustrate is the unadulterated demagoguery practiced by the Cuomo administration. The man is corrupt, lies with abandon and has no hesitancy whatsoever to say whatever he supposes, at a given moment, his politically correct constituents want to hear, regardless of the truth he knows. He understands the typical New York State urban voter resides in a deliberately isolated imaginary world where living out-of-touch with reality is a virtue to be displayed to others of lesser class. He plays them like Liberace at one of his mirrored pianos.
Cuomo means none of what he says. His ban on fracking was “at this time” and he’ll ditch it whenever it’s convenient to do so (say when New York City gas prices spike during some future hard winter). Likewise, he’s probably expected to be overturned in the courts on the Constitution Pipeline and couldn’t care less.
It’s only appearances that matter to Andy and, of course, appeasing the NRDC gang of thieves as they seek to keep fracking as far way from the Catskills as possible. That’s how the Cuomo mind works; it’s intensely focused on the political here and now. Doing the right thing, looking ahead or demonstrating leadership isn’t anywhere close to being in the picture. Cuomo is the ultimate practitioner of leading from behind in a state where everyone supposes they are ahead of the curve; a man with more than one bull ring in his nose.
This is why landowners should not lose hope. There will come a day when Andrew Cuomo senses a shift in opinion and a need to react to be politically correct. When that day comes he’ll switch positions to match the underlying reality, but he’s waiting for his urban voters to catch up first, so he can position himself as their leader. Such a day will inevitably come, simply because it must. His Public Service Commission (which he totally controls) just admitted it.