New York, A State of Unreality, Where the Truth Dare Not Be Uttered

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


New York City is wholly dependent on others to provide its energy and it’s now much cleaner air is thanks to natural gas but these truths cannot be uttered.

Chris Denton hit a home run the other day with his post here about “Why Upstate New York Feels Unwelcome in its Own State.” The post has, at this writing, some 7,000 Facebook likes, which speaks to what a wonderful piece of writing it was. Why did was this post so popular? Because, I think, it captured the frustration of Upstate New Yorkers at the condescension with a New York Daily News editorial that shows how completely so many New York City residents are disconnected from reality.

new york city

By reality, I mean the truth about how greater New York City thrives and prospers; because the rest of the state and other nearby states to whom it condescends, supply all its food, energy and other mainstays. It could not exist without what others produce for it and, yet, displays an ignorance so blatant as to be unbelievable to the folks on which it depends. I recognize persuasion isn’t usually accomplished by calling the party you hope to persuade ignorant, but these aren’t people we can persuade in the normal fashion. They must learn on their own and it’s happening.

Consider today’s news from the New York Times today, for instance (emphasis added):

Across the suburbs north of New York City, clusters of luxury towers are rising around commuter rail stations, designed to lure young workers seeking easy access to Manhattan. In all, 16,000 apartments and condominiums are in the works in more than a dozen towns, along with spaces for restaurants and shops.

But the boom unfolding in Westchester County is under threat — not from any not-in-my-backyard opposition or a slumping real estate market.

Instead, it is coming from something unexpected: a lack of natural gas.

Con Edison, the region’s main utility, says its existing network of pipelines cannot satisfy an increasing demand for the fuel.

As a result, the utility has taken the extreme step of imposing a moratorium on new gas hookups in a large swath of Westchester, including for residential buildings planned in Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle. The only other places in the country with similar restrictions are in Massachusetts, gas industry officials said…

There is an ample supply of natural gas in the United States, but opposition to building or expanding interstate pipelines has caused delivery challenges in the Northeast, according to industry officials. Two counties in western Massachusetts have had a moratorium on new gas hookups since 2014.

In Westchester, Con Ed’s moratorium, which is primarily concentrated in the southern section of the county, has set off anger and panic among developers and elected leaders who say it has left dozens of projects in limbo, creating uncertainty about housing, jobs and the area’s economic future…

But Con Ed’s decision has also been met with deep skepticism — many elected leaders and residents question whether the utility is creating a crisis to make it easier to win approval from the Cuomo administration for new pipelines. State regulators with the power to force Con Ed to lift the moratorium are reviewing the situation…

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo lives in Mount Kisco, a town included in Con Edison’s moratorium, and wants the state to move away from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy, like wind. He has banned fracking, a process to extract gas from shale rock, and two years ago his administration rejected a major interstate pipeline project, saying its construction would endanger wetlands.

That rejection, Con Ed officials said, cast a chill over the gas industry and has made it difficult for the utility to entice any pipeline developers willing to build in Westchester. State officials also turned down a proposal by Con Ed to help finance a new pipeline, utility officials said.

That “something unexpected, a lack of natural gas” comment speaks to the blindness of the New York City and environs (of which Westchester County is one), and the New York Times, to reality. What did they think would happen when Cuomo banned fracking and killed pipelines?

Did they imagine intermittent solar and wind facilities spread over the land and the sea as far as the eye can see would appear from nowhere to fill the gap?

Did they suppose a new electrical grid capable of delivering the power would be allowed to come down the Hudson Valley, where even pumped storage hydroelectric projects failed to pass the gentry class smell test?

Did they think Elon Musk would bulldoze over half of Northern New Jersey to install a giant energy storage complex capable of powering the city when when the sun goes down and the winds die?

Well, those are the kinds of things that would have to happen to forestall the current moratorium on gas connections in the absence of the pipelines Andrew Cuomo keeps killing. Moreover, his pitiful attempt to throw a small pile of taxpayer money at the problem offering a “package of incentives, including grants, for developers and residents in Westchester seeking clean-energy systems” couldn’t possible make a difference in the short-term or much in the long-term either. It was an attempt to bind the self-inflicted wounds of incompetence with a badge of political correctness. The people need natural gas and he threw them cake from Wal-Mart while telling everyone it was ConEd’s fault and he’d investigate. Like O.J. Simpson, he’s on a mission to find the pipeline killer.

Meanwhile, natural gas has dramatically improved the air quality in New York City, lowered CO2 missions faster than anyone hoped, delivered inexpensive energy and made life itself possible in the Big Apple. No good deed goes unpunished in a state of unreality.

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6 thoughts on “New York, A State of Unreality, Where the Truth Dare Not Be Uttered

  1. Tom:

    Thank you for the compliment. One of the commentators to my post noted, and rightly so, that NYC now disposes of its garbage upstate in giant landfills. So NYC has upstate’s clean clear Delaware River Water and we have downstate’s dirty, filthy, waste, trash, refuse, and garbage forever. That’s another responsibility that NYC would not be able to deny. Why doesn’t NYC recycle? Why don’t they burn their own waste or stack it in the boroughs? Now there would be a source of energy. And it’s not fossil fuels. What ever the facts are on climate change, the truth is that the NYC environmentalists are ignoring the real environmental problems which they are creating and exporting to upstate. By focusing everyone on climate change, NYC has effectively closeted their own pervasive and continuing environmental hypocrisy. As Sonny and Cher sang, “And the beat goes on”.

  2. Notice the nytimes reporter left the pipeline unnamed that the NY DEC rejected a permit for? Hard to imagine the reporter couldn’t figure out that was Consitution pipe consiering the nytimes published an editorial against that pipeline written by Karenna Gore just prior to the denial of the permit. Notice the reporter called the people, who are basically creating a new conspiracy theory about con Ed, “skeptics”? Notice Courtney Williams was a source?
    Notice the northeast supply enhancement project is now national grids project?

    Interesting no?

  3. Is it any wonder that upstate New York has 2 cities amongst the 25 fastest shrinking cities in the US?

    #19. Binghamton losing 3.7 % population 2010-2017
    #15. Elmira losing 3.9% population during the same period of time

    Maybe that is a feature of Gov Cuomo’s policies rather than a defect from his and his supporters point of view but think of the destruction of lives and lack of hope that people are leaving in droves.

  4. Tom,
    Some minor corrections.

    Andy does not live in the Town/Village of Mt. Kisco but in the Town of New Castle… supposedly,… because that is NOT his house.. it’s his “girlfriend’s” …
    So here is a guy making 1/4 mill a year plus a pension and other “expenses” .. and he can’t afford a his own place or at least go halvesies on the mortgage?? I doubt that will go over well with the righteous feminists on the left!!
    Also, his neighbor, Hillary Clinton lives on a few miles away in the same town.
    We all know that Andy was HUD Secretary under Slick’s 2nd term where he and Joe Percoco helped start the downfall of the housing market that came about around 2006.

    To add insult to injury, even Syracuse NY’s job market is flailing like a flounder on a dock.

    Of course we have had many a failed projects per his Lordship’s economic “revitalization” plans from failed film studios to a manufacturing facility the company didn’t want.

  5. Great article as usual, Tom. However, one word was missing from it: hypocrite. As in Cuomo the Hypocrite. Why? It is the height of hypocrisy that this clown of a governor is using nat gas to build a micro grid in Albany to keep he and his fellow politicians warm in the winter while we upstate rubes struggle to make ends meet as shown in all places but his own website – A paragraph from the link is as follows: “The power generation facility will be located on Sheridan Avenue in a dormant waste-recovery steam plant that was decommissioned in 1994 and is attached to the steam plant currently in use. The upgraded system will allow on-site power generation from two new 8 megawatt, clean-burning, natural gas-fired turbine generators that will also have dual fuel capabilities. As a byproduct of the electrical generation, the natural gas turbines will generate steam to serve heating and cooling needs of the entire plaza.” Second example, and this one is a doozy, is that his lordship is allowing the construction of three natural gas fired plants to replace the 2 gigawatts of carbon free power from Indian Point Nuclear – that indicates how Indian Point will be replaced: “If Indian Point closes as scheduled, the New York Independent Systems Operators (NYISO) expects its output will be replaced by electricity from three gas-fired plants now under construction, including the 678-megawatt CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda, N.Y., the 1,020-megawatt Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover, N.Y., and a 120-megawatt addition to the Bayonne Energy Center in New Jersey.“
    What really grates on me is that I’ve submitted a number of letters to the editor of the Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin in regard to these plants and how useless wind and solar are and their response? Hit the delete key. This is perhaps far more pernicious than Cuomo and all the 501C3 “non – profits” and billionaire foundations who are his puppeteers: the media is carrying water for Cuomo and all those like him. If it were not for your blog and others like it, those of us who recognize the lying and subterfuge of the media hacks who run interference for Cuomo et al, everyone would believe all the propaganda about natural gas.
    In closing, it is becoming more apparent every day what this solar binge that Cuomo has undertaken by giving groups like Southern Tier Solar Works and others billions in taxpayer dollars to cover upstate with these useless and intermittent monstrosities: permanently damage upstate landowners from leasing their mineral rights. Southern Tier Solar Works is in bed with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and last but not least, the Catskill Mountainkeeper – Mountainkeeper seems to have its eye on the Southern Tier to perhaps expand the boundary of the Catskill Park that they and dozens of other vulture – like groups have created? Moutainkeeper also takes credit for killing the Constitution pipeline and the fracking ban – What can be done to stop this killing of upstate?

  6. Pingback: Energy & Environmental Newsletter: March 25, 2019 - Master Resource

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