Affordable Energy Coalition Highlights Ripple Effect of Natural Gas Moratorium

For Immediate Release:
March 6, 2019

Albany, NY – The New Yorkers for Affordable Energy coalition hosted a discussion today about the recently announced natural gas moratoriums in Westchester and Long Island. The event brought together business and labor leaders from across the state who are concerned about the impact that New York’s natural gas blockade is having on consumers and the economy.

“The recent moratoriums announced for Westchester and Long Island are the canary in the coal mine for New York’s energy future. If we continue to block natural gas infrastructure, New Yorkers will continue to lose access to affordable, reliable, domestic natural gas. Dreams of technologies that may be developed decades from now will not keep New Yorkers warm this winter. It’s time to stop forcing the most vulnerable New Yorkers to bear the burden for the misguided political agenda of a small group of activists,” saidPeter Kauffmann, spokesman for New Yorkers for Affordable Energy.

“A natural gas moratorium in Westchester and on Long Island would put literally tens of thousands of jobs in jeopardy. The largest development projects in New York State depend on access to natural gas, so if natural gas isn’t available, those projects don’t move forward and quality union jobs go away. It’s time to stop playing games and put New Yorkers to work building the infrastructure we need to power our state,” said John Murphy, International Representative, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry.

“The moratorium on natural gas is putting critical economic development projects at risk. Westchester County is experiencing a major renaissance in its urban centers, with long-term projects that will not only create more jobs and housing units but also bring in more revenue for municipalities and the county – but we need access to affordable, reliable energy to keep that going. The Business Council of Westchester – the county’s only business membership organization focusing on economic development and advocacy – has created a high level task force that will be laser focused on developing short and long-term solutions to address Con Edison’s gas moratorium,” said John Ravitz, Executive Vice President/COO, Business Council of Westchester.

The New York State Public Service Commission has stated that that natural gas is an essential part of New York’s energy mix and that access to natural gas and natural gas infrastructure is critical to economic development. Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between this stated policy and the way in which energy policy is implemented. The state has repeatedly acted to block natural gas infrastructure projects, and according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), this has led directly to supply constraints that “are causing adverse environmental impacts.” In fact, the EDF recently concluded that “opposing or preventing all pipeline capacity expansion into New York is not an effective climate policy.”

As part of the coalition event, the Consumer Energy Alliance issued a new report highlighting $30.9 billion in savings that natural gas has generated for New Yorkers, followed by a presentation, “New York Without Natural Gas,” detailing the long-term impacts of policies restricting access to natural gas. Key findings include:

– Natural gas and pipeline infrastructure are essential to families, seniors, and households struggling to make ends meet.

– New York has benefited significantly and saved over $30.9 billionin reduced energy costs due to the Energy Revolution and enhanced supplies.

– Protecting the environment and providing realistic energy solutions are not mutually exclusive – we can and must do both.

– New York’s ambitious renewable energy goals and objectives need natural gas if they are ever going to be realized.

– Denying pipelines and energy supplies doesn’t hurt CEOs, it burdens working people living under already difficult circumstances.

– Consumers and families need realistic answers to keep their energy bills affordable.

About New Yorkers for Affordable Energy 

New Yorkers for Affordable Energy is a coalition of community, labor and business leaders from across the state who support efforts to expand access to natural gas for consumers and businesses. Community, labor and business leaders from across the state understand the important role that natural gas plays as a catalyst for job growth. As demand for energy continues to grow, natural gas is becoming increasingly important for New York consumers and businesses. 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. For more information, visit our website at http://www.affordableenergyny.com.

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