Appalachian Basin

N.Y. Uses Natural Gas, Why Not Produce It?

In the past two years we’ve followed several tours around the Susquehanna County, Pa., country side.  The majority of the tours have been filled with folks from New York City or other metropolitan areas, far removed from the locations where development actually occurs.  Local anti-natural gas activists often head the tours and spread misinformation to whomever will listen.

New York has just passed the five year mark on its de facto natural gas moratorium.  What does this all really mean for New York, especially in NYC and other cities like Albany, while the residents of Upstate are barely keeping afloat?  Are people in the cities so against natural gas that they truly don’t want to benefit from it?

Far from it.

Here are a couple pictures from a New York highway:

Car Image 1   Car Image 2

That’s a natural gas-powered state vehicle, which reads “NYS Department of Transportation Clean Fuel Vehicle” across the side.  The Department of Transportation is cashing in on the benefits of using natural gas as its employees cruise from one point to another across the state. Too bad the government doesn’t consider how much greater the benefits would be if the fuel source were developed right within our borders.

Not only is Albany enjoying using natural gas, but residents of New York City are as well. The website reads:

“Natural gas is considered to be the cleanest burning fossil fuel at the point of combustion. Converting to gas can also lead to cost savings due to lower fuel prices and reduced boiler maintenance and operating costs.”

Sounds great, right?  The people of New York City thought so too, while Mayor Bloomberg heralded passage of the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act. The Mayor said of the effort:

“[It’s] not just about the construction and operation of a natural gas pipeline and the jobs it will create – it is critical to building a stable, clean-energy future for New York City and improving the health of all New Yorkers.”

The new goal is to switch the buildings of New York City over to natural gas by 2030 to help improve public health. The same individuals who frequently travel to Pennsylvania to see the “health impacts” of natural gas development are enjoying health improvements from the very thing they’d stop without a second thought.

Perhaps some of the activists in Pennsylvania who fight against natural gas development should learn a little more about the people they’re hosting. From the Gotham Gazette:

“The city is already a major consumer of natural gas, both to generate electricity and to heat homes and businesses. According to an ICF International study commissioned by the mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, ‘Approximately 57 percent of NYC’s energy use is fueled by natural gas, either directly through on-site combustion to heat and cool buildings, or indirectly through the use of gas at power plants to generate electricity.’”

One would think that NYC activists could, at the very least, thank the Susquehanna County residents who help them enjoy their increased health benefits. Of course that would require admitting reality is far more complicated (and markedly different) than they like to convey, so let’s not hold our breath.

Isn’t it ironic that Albany and New York City reap the benefits of natural gas while Governor Cuomo restricts the ability to produce that fuel? And isn’t it strange the people who are breathing cleaner air today are also willfully listening to Pennsylvania activists who want to ban the fuel that’s providing that cleaner air?

Maybe they should look at how much natural gas they truly use in their day to day lives and the reasons they use it.   This isn’t an area that should fall under the “not in my back yard” category – unless they want more pollution in their back yard.

They use it, so let us produce it!

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