The New York Department of Environment last Friday denied a water permit application needed for the construction of the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline by the Williams company.  New Jersey that same day followed suit.

This means downstate New Yorkers will pay more for energy because they will have less supply. That is just the beginning. When new energy dries up from lack of pipelines, economic development, jobs and prosperity will dry up as well.  Environmental fringe groups are delighted.

The Williams pipeline planned to transport natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey and underwater through the New York Harbor to Long Island. The western end of Long Island has the New York City sections of Brooklyn and Queens. These city residents combined with suburbanites on Long Island due east total 7.5 million, nearly 40 percent of the state’s population.

There will not be enough wind turbines and solar panels to make up for the lost natural gas, assuming placement of thousands of such structures, including off shore, is long-term possible or sensible. Watch Michael Moore’s latest film as a reminder. “Renewable” energy doesn’t replace fossil fuels.  It requires them.

Denial of new natural gas pipelines is nothing new for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York. Last year, CFACT reported the Williams pipeline was denied permits, one of many anti-development actions by the governor. Natural gas projects have been denied in other parts of the state, and Indian Point nuclear energy plant just north of New York City was forced to close last month.

None of these pipeline denials and plant closures has anything to do with science, data, safety or clean air. Natural gas and nuclear energy are much cleaner than oil and coal, and production is safe. Instead, it has everything to do with extremist environmental politics that matter to Governor Cuomo as he competes with cross-country alarmist, Governor Gavin Newsom of California, and other politicians for the climate “leadership” mantle.

New York also bans hydrofracking in the plentiful upstate shale regions, which has been in effect for more than a decade.  Most every other state with shale deposits safely allows fracking, including New York’s neighbor, Pennsylvania and nearby Ohio.  New York imports most of its natural gas from these and other states and Canada.  The Williams pipeline denial obviously will block added importation.  The fracking ban also denies the state needed tax revenue and thousands of middle class jobs for this blue collar sector that was thriving and will thrive post-pandemic elsewhere throughout the country.

State denials of new gas pipelines and fracking were made under the pretentious claims of concern for the environment, safety, or that more study was needed.  No longer. Last year the state adopted its Green New Deal law that will force emission reductions and renewable energy.  Governor Cuomo’s bureaucrats now can site this law to say any fossil fuel related energy permit or project does not meet the state’s emissions goals.  The Department cited this law, called the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” as grounds for denying the Williams pipeline since the state must get to zero net carbon emissions in 30 years.  Many politicians from this region of New York support this law that already is biting their own constituents, and it will only get worse.

Economic development, job growth and prosperity require affordable energy supplies. Any fossil fuel energy produces emissions, from gasoline to power vehicles or natural gas to construct and operate homes and businesses.  New York’s climate law further empowers the state government to control anything that needs a license, permit or administrative approval.  Bureaucrats no longer need worry about a court overturning whatever they decide, no matter how capricious or political, since the climate law’s encompassing emissions standard gives them all the pretext they need for control.

One has to wonder why the National Grid Utility and the Williams Company bothered to continue attempting to get the pipeline approved, considering the state’s Green politics.  The company’s slogan, We Make Clean Energy Happen, doesn’t apply if you wish to build your life in New York.

CFACT warned last year that New York’s Green New Deal climate law would accelerate the state’s economic demise and population exodus. Governor Cuomo has reaffirmed that direction by using this law as a reason for his latest denial of the Williams pipeline construction.

When the Covid pandemic recedes, New York’s recovery efforts will be hampered by the ideological energy policies being inflicted on its residents by the Cuomo administration and political class.

Author

  • CFACT, founded in 1985 by Craig Rucker and the late (truly great) David Rothbard, examines the relationship between human freedom, and issues of energy, environment, climate, economics, civil rights and more.