The picture below gives a snapshot of New York State’s sources of energy generation on a high-load day in the middle of the summer. As you can see, natural gas is a vital component of our energy mix.
Natural gas has become increasingly important for New York State. New York needs additional resources to meet growing demand. Natural gas is a reliable and readily available energy source that can achieve this goal.
- Cleaner Energy: 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.
- Cheaper Energy: Expanded access to natural gas will help keep energy prices low by increasing supply to meet growing demand.
- Complements Renewables: Natural gas works in concert with renewable energy generation like wind and solar by providing reliable energy supplies.
- Energy Independence: 98 percent of the natural gas used in the United States is produced in North America.
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]