Gov. Andrew Cuomo just nixed a pipeline that would bring critical supplies of natural gas to the city and Long Island via New York Bay — not that he’s taking ownership of the veto.
No, the gov claims he had no part in the Department of Environmental Conservation decision late Wednesday to reject the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, a k a the Williams pipeline. But he appoints the DEC’s boss, and everyone on Team Cuomo takes their cues from the big guy.
That’s especially true on a call with such huge consequences. National Grid and Con Ed say that, absent new gas supplies, they’ll be unable to meet growing demand and will have to turn away new customers.
Con Ed already banned new hookups in much of Westchester thanks to a similar supply crunch. National Grid has warned of its own ban in the city and Long Island if this pipeline is aborted.
How are those areas supposed to grow — with no natural gas for heating, cooking and other uses? The city and state also want people to stop using oil, yet renewables are decades from being practical full-scale replacements. Who’d invest here?
No wonder both businesses and labor groups are alarmed: “The continuity of investment in job creation really depends on certainty about the energy supply,” notes Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City. “It’s clear that it’s not going to be sufficient without the pipeline.”
More dishonesty: Though DEC cited (bogus) potential “impacts” on water quality, the real reason Cuomo has nixed pipelines is to pander to enviro-wackos who demand an immediate end to all fossil-fuel use. Ironically, a gas shortage will only lead to greater reliance on oil, which is far worse for climate change.
Which is why National Grid’s public optimism about getting the project OK’d after addressing DEC concerns is misplaced: With Cuomo opposed, the agency will find some other reasons to block the project.
It’s almost as if, after driving a stake through upstate’s economy with his fracking ban, Cuomo’s now setting out to kill downstate’s, too.
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