Letter: In support of the Eastern System Upgrade

Daniel Whitehead
NYS DEC Division of Environmental Permits
625 Broadway 4th Floor
Albany NY 12233-1750

Dear Mr. Whitehead,

On behalf of New Yorkers for Affordable Energy, we are writing to express support for the Eastern System Upgrade Project being proposed by the Millennium Pipeline Company and to request that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation approve all necessary environmental permits for this project. If approved, this project will allow Millennium to upgrade its existing pipeline system so that it may transport increased quantities of low-cost natural gas throughout the region.

New Yorkers for Affordable Energy is a coalition of community, labor and business leaders from across the state who 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’s 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.

The Eastern System Upgrade (ESU) project will allow for increased natural gas supplies to the Northeast, helping to diversify the area’s fuel supply and reducing consumers’ costs.  It is expected that the addition of the pipeline capacity associated with the ESU project will result in lower natural gas market prices in the Hudson Valley and New York City/Long Island areas.  Together, the energy savings and associated economic benefits to consumers in New York are estimated to be $1.20 billion over the first 10 years of operation, or an average of $120 million per year.

It is important to understand that $1.2 B in potential benefit is based on monthly average price impacts, assuming normal average weather. In periods of elevated demand, natural gas prices increase significantly.  In January 2014, as a result of a usual cold spell, natural gas prices in New York City reached a peak of $120/MMBtu, considerably greater than the $25/MMBtu monthly average. The projected benefits do not capture the benefits that additional infrastructure such as the ESU project will have on reducing natural gas prices during peak days or peak events.

This project will help deliver the energy New York needs while generating $300 million in new economic activity for our region and creating an estimated 300 well-paying construction jobs.  This project will also add an estimated $1 million in tax revenue annually for Sullivan and Orange Counties, $750,000 annually for Rockland County, and $450,000 annually for Delaware County. This money could be used to reduce property taxes and improve our schools and other services.

Millennium has an exemplary safety and environmental record, and they work closely with the community to ensure that they are good neighbors. Millennium has operated the pipeline since 2008 with zero safety incidents, and they monitor operational facilities all day every day with the latest technology.

We respectfully request your support in approving all necessary state environmental permits for this project.

Thank you.

The Members of New Yorkers for Affordable Energy

The Business Council of New York State, Inc.  •  New York State Building & Construction Trades Council  •  Acoustic Clean Dennis  •  AGC NYS  •  Albany Valve & Fitting Co. Inc. • Ambient Environmnental, Inc. •  API New York • Central Hudson •   Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce •  Chemung County Chamber of Commerce •  Constitution Pipeline •  Cortland County Chamber of Commerce •  D.A. Collins •  Delaware Engineering •  Denterlein •  Dominion Energy • Eastern NY District Council of Laborers • Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance • Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative (ELEC 825) •  General Contractors Association of NY •  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) •  Iroquois  •  Joint Landowners Coalition • Laborers Local 17 LECET Fund •  Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier •  Millennium Pipeline •  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 •  Penn-York Land Services Corp. •  Unshackle Upstate •  Upstate New York Laborers District Council •  U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy •  USA Compression •  Williams Pipeline.