When Team Cuomo blocked a gas pipeline this month, and another last year, we warned of the fallout. A new report out Monday puts a price tag on such bans — and points out what’s really going on.
The study, by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, found that the Northeast (New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) is paying more for natural gas, losing tens of thousands of jobs and emitting more greenhouse gases than necessary thanks to “self-imposed” local “pipeline constraints.”
The projected loss to the region by 2020 adds up to 78,400 jobs and nearly $7.6 billion in economic activity and “the displacement of $4.4 billion in labor income.” New York alone would see $1.6 billion less in state GDP and the loss of 17,400 jobs. Youch.
Already, Northeasterners shell out 29 percent more for gas than the US average and 44 percent more for electricity. Industrial customers pay twice the national gas average — and 62 percent more for power.
The reason: lack of enough gas pipelines, says the study. It cites a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report that blames bottlenecks in the region’s distribution network for the high prices. A study by the nonprofit North American Electric Reliability Corporation echoed that finding.
Why do Gov. Cuomo and other pols keep nixing new pipelines? Because, says the institute, they put “the wishes of environmental groups ahead of the needs and interests of their constituents.”
The gov blocked the Northern Access project this month and the Constitution pipeline last year, claiming threats to water quality. But these projects would’ve been as safe as (or safer than) countless other water-crossing projects that got approval — and caused no problems — over the years.
Cuomo admits New York needs the gas. So “what’s the governor’s plan” for getting it, asks American Petroleum Institute New York Director Karen Moreau. His bans on fracking and pipelines, she notes, are devastating Upstate’s economy.
It’s pretty obvious that the governor is ignoring New Yorkers’ interests to appease ideologues — specifically, green extremists who’ve adopted a new strategy: Kill off all new pipeline projects to drive up the price of all fossil fuels — and so make it easier for costly “renewables” to compete.
“The growing rallying cry of the climate movement, to keep fossil fuels in the ground, is taking hold, and not just in the form of chants and headlines, but in the form of canceled gas pipelines,” the Sierra Club wrote last year.
“We want an end to New York’s ruinous dependency on fracked gas, along with all of the hateful, harmful infrastructure that comes with it,” said Sandra Steingraber, co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking. “An end to fossil fuels is our united goal.”
That plan, though, isn’t getting far beyond the enviro-radical Northeast. “Investments over the past 10 years have largely relieved natural gas…