There are some rich ironies to the new Start-Up NY campaign, which promotes low natural gas prices while the state denies opportunities to develop shale gas.
Many of our readers know Joe Massaro over at Energy In Depth. I helped hire Joe and worked together with him there as we got EID Marcellus up and running. He’s from Rockland County, New York and still covers the state, although he now lives in Pittsburgh. He did a very clever thing recently in applying to Start-Up NY for assistance in establishing a natural gas production and distribution company in the state. Start-Up NY is supposedly about the “New” New York that is open for business. Joe learned it wasn’t.
After completing all the required paperwork online to get started with Start-Up NY, Joe expected at least a modicum of interest given what gas has done for the Pennsylvania counties just south of the New York border. Instead he says:
“We received this email from Start Up New York:
Sitting here thinking about it now, it really doesn’t make sense. New York continues to increase its natural gas usage and is even building out infrastructure and transitioning power plants to burn more because its environmental benefits are recognized. New Yorkers are even leaving the state and seeking employment in Pennsylvania’s thriving natural gas industry.
Unfortunately for those living in New York’s Southern Tier, it’s clear that the “New, New York” is not new at all.
It was a great demonstration of the futility in trying to work with New York State government where political gimmickry in the form of weird incentives to achieve minor things takes precedence over things that could make a real difference – things such as natural gas development in the Southern Tier.
We decided to dig a little deeper into this sad state of affairs. What we found was this on the same website for Start-Up NY:
We added the red arrow to point out the rich irony of New York State bragging about having “some of the nation’s lowest natural gas prices” while not allowing its development in the state using modern extraction techniques.
The windmill pictures are there for political correctness, of course, but wind energy accounted for only 2.2% of New York State’s electricity generation in 2012 according the the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas accounted for 43.8%.
Moreover, natural gas heats 56.4% of all homes in New York according to the Census Bureau, not to mention all the businesses and industries who rely upon it. This is a state that uses an incredible amount of natural gas and won’t allow it to be developed, although it touts the low prices.
Those prices are low, of course, for one reason: the huge increase in supplies as a consequence of Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale natural gas resources in nearby states, yet New York has those same resources and sits on them to the detriment of its own Southern Tier citizenry while peddling stupid programs limited to businesses unlikely to make big differences (e.g., an unidentified start-up company using 4,216 square feet of space on the Canisius College campus) combined with offering tax-free zones that aren’t even necessary for natural gas. Natural gas, in fact, will pay extra ad valorem taxes. But, New York won’t allow it. No soup for you.
Joe is correct. There’s nothing new about the “New” New York. It’s the same upside-down world of a state still living on the theory it’s better than everyone else, but living off everyone else’s natural gas downstate, while seeing it’s upstate areas go down the drain. The program might better be called Shut It Down – New York.
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