Something has to be done about New York’s out-of-control governor (Andy Cuomo) and his opposition to natural gas pipelines. MDN’s beloved home state uses more and more natural gas each year–yet Cuomo refuses to allow new pipelines to be built allowing more gas supplies into the state. He is strangling the state economically–particularly Upstate. Two important pipeline projects have been rejected by Cuomo’s corrupt Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC)–Williams’ Constitution and NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline. Both companies have sued in federal court to force the state to back down (a years-long process). In the meantime, business, economic and o&g industry leaders have decided they need to do something. So a number of major organizations and businesses, including chambers of commerce, large midstream companies, labor unions and more have joined together to form a new coalition called New Yorkers for Affordable Energy. The group says it “supports increasing access to natural gas for manufacturing facilities, power production, transportation, and other purposes to support New York’s economy and quality of life.” Amen to that! For too long a small but dedicated group of anti-fossil fuel nutters have driven the narrative in The Empire State. It’s time that the our side gets heard. No, we won’t hold our breath that mainstream media will actually cover this new group favorably (they won’t). However, this new groups has influence in other ways. It represents billions of dollars that flow into and through New York State. Cuomo will listen to this new group–if he wants to get reelected…
Community, labor and business leaders from across the state joined today to announce the launch of New Yorkers for Affordable Energy, a coalition dedicated to supporting access to cleaner, reliable and affordable sources of energy for residential and business consumers. New Yorkers for Affordable Energy supports increasing access to natural gas for manufacturing facilities, power production, transportation, and other purposes to support New York’s economy and quality of life.
“Community and business leaders from across New York understand the important role natural gas plays as a catalyst for job growth,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “The Council is proud to join with residents, labor leaders and fellow business organizations in highlighting the immediate and pressing need for access to clean and affordable energy.”
James Cahill, President of the NYS Building & Construction Trades Council, said, “New York is at a crossroads in terms of energy policy. Demand for energy is increasing at a time when the state’s aging infrastructure is already straining to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. Increasing access to affordable energy will help create jobs and lower energy costs for New Yorkers.”
Coalition partners support the following key principles:
- The expansion of natural gas service will bring more affordable heat and electricity to New York homes and businesses, helping to keep energy prices low for consumers.
- Natural gas supports economic development and job growth by helping to attract businesses to New York.
- Natural gas is an important source of cleaner, reliable energy, and an essential part of New York’s energy mix.
Coalition members support a spirited public dialogue and fact-based education about responsible infrastructure development; and we commit to conduct ourselves in a manner that will provide sustainable and broad-based economic and energy-security benefits for all. More information can be found at www.affordableenergyny.com.
Coalition members include:
The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
New York State Building & Construction Trades Council
Albany Valve & Fitting Co. Inc.
API New York
Cayuga Operating Company
Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce
Chemung County Chamber of Commerce
Constitution Pipeline, D.A. Collins
Cortland County Chamber of Commerce
Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance
Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative (ELEC 825)
Hudson Valley Building & Construction Trades Council
Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY (IOGA-NY)
Independent Power Producers of NY (IPPNY)
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 (IOUE 825)
Laborers District Council of Eastern NY
Laborers Local 17 LECET Fund
Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
National Fuel Gas Company
National Federation of Independent Business
North Country Chamber of Commerce
NYS Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers
NYS Economic Development Council
NYS LECET Fund (Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust)
Orange County Partnership
Otsego County IDA
Upstate New York Laborers District Council
U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy
“Natural gas plays a critical role in job growth and economic development. Investing in our aging energy infrastructure will allow more New Yorkers to benefit from access to affordable, reliable energy.” – Senator Joseph A. Griffo, Chair of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee
“I appreciate and welcome the efforts of New Yorkers for Affordable Energy to highlight the importance of natural gas to the short- and long-term future of conservation, economic development, job creation and energy affordability in New York State. Natural gas has become a forgotten natural resource within our borders while it’s having an enormously positive impact across the nation for consumers and in terms of energy independence, job creation and the revitalization of manufacturing.” – Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee
“Businesses across the state depend on natural gas projects to grow and expand. Our business operates in 24 New York counties. Without natural gas infrastructure projects, there is a potential for major impacts on the communities in which we operate.” – Albany Valve & Fitting Co. Inc.
“Total natural gas demand nationally is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next decade, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Much of this demand will be driven by manufacturers, which account for 80 percent of private sector industrial consumption. Unfortunately, many areas of New York State are not served – or are underserved – by natural gas infrastructure. To grow high-value, high-paying manufacturing and construction jobs, New York State must insure access to reliable natural gas supplies.” – Brian McMahon, Executive Director, NYS Economic Development Council
“Local communities understand the pressing need for access to natural gas. We at the Partnership appreciate that when the state invests in natural gas infrastructure, it creates jobs and puts money back into our local economies. Having the proper utility infrastructure to stabilize energy prices, facilitates the future growth of our region.” – Maureen Halahan, President & CEO, Orange County Partnership
“Business and labor know New York needs clean and reliable energy to attract more business and create good jobs. The state and DEC must move forward immediately on pipeline approvals to enact the Governor’s vision for future energy needs. Families and workers win through more affordable and reliable energy. The environment wins as natural gas is cleaner than many other types of fuel. And all New Yorkers win with new jobs for hard working operating engineers and the men and women of other trade unions.” – Daniel J. McGraw, President of the New York State Conference of Operating Engineers
“New Yorkers are paying some of the highest energy prices in the country—with no relief in sight, thanks to the lack of pipeline infrastructure. The difficulties getting pipelines built are costing New Yorkers thousands of jobs and over a billion in lost economic impacts. America now has plentiful homegrown energy resources, but for New York to benefit, the status quo must change.” – Matt Letourneau, Managing Director of Communications, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
“Expanding access to natural gas would be good news for New Yorkers. It can be a catalyst for economic growth, attracting businesses to our state and allowing for significant development and job opportunities. Natural gas use contributes to the fuel diversity and low emissions that are a hallmark of New York’s incredibly reliable and efficient electric system. We need that diversity and efficiency to keep costs low for consumers.” – Gavin Donohue, President and CEO of the Independent Power Producers of New York
Natural Gas Benefits
Natural gas has become increasingly important for New York State, working in concert with renewable energy generation like wind and solar by providing reliable energy supplies. Natural gas is helping to address climate change by lowering carbon dioxide emissions – while U.S. gas production is up 37 percent since 1990, greenhouse gas emissions are down 17 percent.
Across the country, natural gas pipelines provide fuel for a growing number of industries, including domestic manufacturing, plastic and electric power generation. State and local governments benefit by teaming with private companies to build strong local communities supported by well-paying jobs. Every $100 million of investment in new infrastructure creates an average of about 70 jobs over the projection period and adds roughly $139 million in value to the economy.
Despite the tremendous growth in natural-gas-fired generating capacity and growing demand from the heating sector, New York hasn’t added enough natural gas pipeline capacity. The increased use of natural gas by households, businesses, and electric generators has strained current natural gas infrastructure, resulting in occasional curtailments of natural gas supply.
According to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC), natural gas is an essential part of the state’s energy mix. A recent PSC order highlights the benefits of natural gas:
- In addition to the environmental benefits, the expansion of natural gas service will bring more affordable heat to New York homes and businesses.
- Natural gas can also act as a catalyst for economic growth by attracting businesses to New York. Individuals or corporations considering locating or expanding business in New York will contemplate the availability of gas infrastructure. If infrastructure is not available, those businesses, and the jobs associated with them, may not choose New York. [NY PSC, 6/15/16]*
*New Yorkers for Affordable Energy (email received May 3, 2017) – Subject: New Yorkers for Affordable Energy
One of the speakers at the presser announcing the new group was MDN’s own State Senator, Fred Akshar (makes us proud!):