New York’s Love for Fracked Gas, Produced Elsewhere

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


New York is in love with fracked gas, believe it or not; they just want it produced elsewhere, an intellectually dishonest and unsustainable position.

There are few things more certain than the certainty of certain New Yorkers they’re the smartest, best looking and most righteous folks around. That’s why they won’t be caught dead on the west side of the Hudson without a New Yorker magazine within arm’s reach to establish their bona fides. Maintaining this pretense of superiority, though, requires the talent of a circus contortionist or one of those other odd performers who regularly appear in the auditions for America’s Got Talent. They must be able to rationalize intellectually dishonest but politically correct positions.

I’m talking, of course, about the residents of perhaps the most developed 23 square miles of land anywhere in the US, that being Manhattan or New York County. Those who live there are the voters who shape policies for all of New York State because they have both the votes and the money. That’s the reality and, as commenters on this site have noted, we need to recognize it and deal with it. Part of that is confronting them with undeniable facts of our own and Jude Clemente, writing in Forbes has just done that in a compelling article on behalf of the fracked gas New Yorkers just love as long as someone else produces it.

fracked gas

Clemente does a masterful job of weaving the facts together on New York’s love for fracked gas, noting the following:

  • “Natural gas is easily New York’s most critical source of energy, supplying about 1,300 Trillion Btu a year, versus 615 Trillion Btu for 2nd place oil-based gasoline. By comparison, wind and solar renewables offer just 40 Trillion Btu.”
  • “Since 2008, gas has increased its total share of New York generation capacity from 44% to 60%, at a time when state gas production (which was already insignificant) has been cut in half.”
  • “Since 2008, interstate gas receipts from Pennsylvania have increased from 226 Bcf to about 1,200 Bcf.”
  • “Shale- and fracking-based Pennsylvania accounts for about half of New York’s total international and interstate gas receipts, which are up about a quarter since 2008. Overall, New York imports virtually all of its gas.”
  • In 2014, New York’s residential electricity prices continued to rise, reaching 20.05 cents/kWh, compared to 13.34 cents for Pennsylvania. In fact, New York now has the highest residential rates in the continental U.S. (only Hawaii’s are higher), 60% above the national average.”
  • “For all sectors, New York’s electricity prices of 16.25 cents/kWh are a whopping 81% higher than those in Texas.”

It’s hard to put together a more convincing string of facts than these but Clemente does so pointing out, with additional data, what a two-state state New York State is; with some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest in the nation. It’s policies, of course, inexorably grind upon the middle class and shove ever more of them into the ranks of poverty.

And, think where they’d be but for the fracked gas that directly or indirectly heats most Manhattan apartments and the savings from natural gas cost reductions delivered by the shale revolution. If Andrew Cuomo truly wanted to deal with the rent problems Dana Knowles talked about here yesterday, he could help both upstate and downstate at the same time by allowing the development of fracked gas intrastate. Clemente notes “gas prices for electricity in New York have been cut in half since 2008 to $5.46 per Thousand Cubic Foot” and that “shale activity has extended annual disposable income by an average of $1,200 per household in recent years.”

fracked gas

Since 2008, sulfur concentration in NYC has declined by 69%.

Imagine how many more poor New Yorkers would benefit if Cuomo permitted the development of the resource at home. Imagine how much healthier New Yorkers would be with the ability to afford better access to health care. Imagine how much cleaner the air would be in New York with more natural gas (that, of course, we already know from the phenomenal impacts of New York City’s conversion programs, written about here many times).

This is a must read article that Jude Clemente has assembled. Read it, please, and you’ll understand why loving fracked gas produced somewhere else is an untenable position when you have the resource at hand; and “Why New York’s Fracking Ban For Natural Gas Is Unsustainable.”

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5 thoughts on “New York’s Love for Fracked Gas, Produced Elsewhere

  1. Basically agree with your points but, as a resident of the great state of New York, I am offended by the New Yorker magazine characterization. Most of your article was factual. That was not and it was at the beginning of your post. Stick to the facts.

  2. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the worst partisan puppet of a governor in “Rip Van Cuomo”, who has arbitrarily imposed a moratorium on natural gas drilling. Of course It is only being imposed on the New York State Landowners, just to satisfy Cuomo’s Solyndra solar power want-a-be’s. Cuomo does not represent all of the people by a long shot, he is particularly hostile to the New York State Landowners. He only represents his New York City environmental phoneys, who collectively use more hydro fracked natural gas, than any other place in the world. For your information, there is no such thing as a New York City Environmentalist. The real environmentalists are the landowners, and thankfully, New York City can’t elect the President.

  3. hey Bob R.- YOU’RE offended? try having your legally deeded mineral rights rendered worthless by corrupt downstate politicians and their mega rich backers. Silver and Skelos are already out, Cuomo is next. i sincerely hope they all do time.

    this is not “the great state of NY”, it’s The Peoples Republic of New York City.

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