The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

C’Mon, New York, Embrace the Energy Renaissance

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 20, 2017

Natural gas is a winner – for U.S. consumers, the economy and the environment.

Quick, somebody tell officials in New York state – where they continue to ban hydraulic fracturing, the key to unlocking vast natural gas reserves located right under New Yorkers’ feet, to the benefit of New York consumers, New York job-seekers and New York’s environment.

Unfortunately, New York continues to penalize itself in terms of jobs and economic growth with its 2014 self-imposed fracking ban. Officials cite environmental and climate concerns, but studies show safe hydraulic fracturing doesn’t threaten drinking water supplies, and cleaner-burning natural gas is the leading reason U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are at their lowest levels in nearly 30 years. Karen Moreau, API New York executive director:

“New York can no longer afford to deny the role natural gas is playing in U.S. climate progress, job creation and economic growth. … Local investments in energy infrastructure could create thousands of additional jobs throughout New York while helping to deliver affordable, reliable, clean-burning natural gas to consumers.”

Natural gas is the essential partner for renewable energy sources like wind and solar, because the wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine. Moreau:

“You can’t practically grow the use of intermittent renewables without natural gas generation that is available to provide electricity every day and flexible enough to ensure reliability. The governor’s own energy plan assumes significant growth in natural gas use, but we can neither produce it nor transport it in our state. This essentially stalls needed infrastructure investments, and has forced New England consumers to pay higher energy costs.”

New York’s use of natural gas increased more than 70 percent from 2005-2014 and, as is the trend nationally, New York’s carbon dioxide emissions from power generation were down 45.5 percent over the same period. Yet, the state’s fracking ban remains. Fracked natural gas from other states, yes; fracking for gas in New York, no.

More New York natural gas nonsense: Amid the growing state natural gas consumption noted above, the New York Post reports on a state-permitted natural gas-fired power generation plant that’s being built in Wayawanda, scheduled to come online next February. But natural gas-fired power plants need natural gas. And, unfortunately, a water quality permit for an 8-mile-long pipeline spur that would bring natural gas to the Wayawanda plant has been stuck at the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for more than a year. That head-scratcher follows last year’s DEC refusal to grant permits for the proposed Constitution Pipeline linking Marcellus shale resources in Pennsylvania to the Iroquois and Tennessee Pipelines in upstate New York.

Again, the story from New York is the mismatch between energy policy and energy reality, with New York consumers bearing the impacts. Moreau:

“With each opportunity, decisions continue to be made that could raise costs significantly for New York families and manufacturers .Next door in Pennsylvania, natural gas development is creating jobs and fueling local economies as farmers have reinvigorated their operations over the past decade with lease and royalty payments paid by energy companies. Affordable natural gas is also attracting more manufacturers to invest and relocate to the state.”

The United States is the global leader in refining and production of oil and natural gas, while also leading the world in reducing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions – thanks to increased use of natural gas developed with hydraulic fracturing.

New York should embrace this energy renaissance and stop denying its residents, businesses and manufacturers the benefits of affordable, reliable natural gas. Natural gas is winning in the marketplace while driving significant climate progress. Start spreadin’ the news …

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.