Information To Help You Write
For over three years, New Yorkers fought to stop the Williams NESE fracked gas pipeline and won on May 15! But instead of listening to New Yorkers, corporate utility National Grid is pushing their “Williams Pipeline Plan B” to bring in more fracked gas by:
- Speeding up construction of a transmission pipeline through North Brooklyn
- Expanding their Greenpoint Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility
- Expanding compressor stations along the “Iroquois” Pipeline
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is expected to make a decision on National Grid’s long-term energy plan at their June 11 meeting. Here are some reasons why New Yorkers are calling on them to reject all fracked gas options and support renewables and efficiency instead:
The fossil fuel options they are presenting are:
- Two new liquefied fracked gas (LNG) vaporizers at National Grid’s Greenpoint depot in Brooklyn that would cost ratepayers $59 million.
- “Iroquois” Pipeline expansion -- a 414 mile, 35 year old pipeline originating in Canada and cutting down the entire state of NY and toward the NYC metropolitan region via the Long Island Sound -- of compressor stations in Dutchess and Greene Counties and parts of Connecticut to fill their NYC and Long Island territory.
The renewable “no infrastructure” option they are not doing enough of, and we must fight for:
- National Grid’s “no infrastructure” proposal has three components:
- energy efficiency in the form of home weatherization
- demand response like thermostats on timers and other means of cutting peak demand
- Electrification which means heat pumps (renewable heat equipment) for space and hot water heating and efficient electric appliances such as induction stoves for cooking.
Tips to write your comment
Comments will go on the record at the Public Service Commission (PSC), who regulates the monopoly utilities. The Commissioners are appointed by Governor Cuomo.
- Begin by introducing yourself and where you live -- Feel free to include a personal story about how climate change or pollution affects your life or the lives of loved ones.
- You can copy and paste talking points (below), or weave them into your own letter.
- We don’t need more gas. We have alternatives.
- We do need to heat our homes, heat our water, and cook our food, but we don’t need gas, oil or kerosene to do it. The demand for “more gas” in downstate New York is really a demand for affordable options instead of fuel oil. National Grid wants to sell gas as the only option, but they have admitted that they can meet new demand for heating, hot water and cooking without increasing gas use in their territory by using energy efficiency, demand response, and heat pumps.
- Four independent reports by IEEFA, Energy Futures Group, Synapse Energy Economics, and former DEC Regional Director Suzanne Mattei have found that National Grid is overestimating gas growth by using outdated data, frustrating the goals of New York’s climate legislation, the CLCPA, which calls for 100% clean and renewable energy by 2040.
- As reported by S&P Global, inflating gas demand is a tactic being used by utilities around the country that have been seeking to make big profits from building large fossil fuel infrastructure projects while flouting clean energy laws. When faced with the evidence, utilities in Virginia had to scrap their overblown plans for more gas. National Grid should do the same!
- The gas expansion projects violate New York’s climate goals
- This is not about “modernizing,” it’s about expansion when gas usage should be shrinking. New York law requires the state to reduce greenhouse gasses by 40% in the next 10 years. About a third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from heating our spaces, heating our water, and cooking. We won’t be able to reduce emissions enough without reducing emissions dramatically for these uses. Yet National Grid wants to build more infrastructure to bring more methane gas -- which is a potent global warming agent -- into New York. They are working against our climate goals.
- The CLCPA, which aims for 70% carbon free electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2040, is effectively a moratorium on new gas infrastructure! Projects that incorporate fossil fuels and don’t prioritize clean and renewable resources like energy efficiency and demand response hold us back on our renewable energy goals.
- National Grid has refused to provide the public and the State with a full and fair analysis of how Plan B can further the State’s climate goals, and protect disadvantaged communities, as required by New York’s landmark climate law, the CLCPA.
- In rejecting the Williams Pipeline, the DEC stated that prolonging the use of gas is inconsistent with New York’s landmark climate law, the CLCPA, which requires 100% renewable energy by 2040. Plan B, which also prolongs the use of gas, should also be rejected by the State.
- The no-infrastructure option is the only responsible option
- National Grid claims there is a demand for gas - wrong! There is a demand for affordable, reliable thermal energy. Fortunately there is thermal energy all around us, in the air and in the ground. Heat pumps are proven technology that make this free energy from the sun work for us.
- Beneficial electrification is the clear choice for the future of space heating, water heating and cooking. More efficient today than combustion energy and better over time as we green the electricity grid.
- National Grid’s “no infrastructure” proposal has three components: energy efficiency in the form of home weatherization; demand response, thermostats on timers and other means of cutting peak demand; and Electrification which means heat pumps for space and hot water heating and efficient electric appliances such as induction stoves for cooking.
- The upfront cost to ratepayers for the “no infrastructure” option ($1.5 billion) is somewhat higher than for the Iroquois Pipeline expansion option, but lower than the cost of the now rejected NESE (Williams) pipeline. But over time the no infrastructure option lower customer costs, increases home comfort, improves air quality, and decreases carbon emission.
- According to National Grid’s own website, energy efficiency work in the no-infrastructure option represents an approximately $2 billion in local investment and the electrification portion represents a roughly $1.8 billion investment through 2035, “stimulating local economies.”
- Gas infrastructure pipes in polluting gas, and pipes out our wealth - The official 2015 NY Energy Plan shows that of $61 billion New Yorkers spend on energy, $36 billion flows out of state - largely to pay for fossil fuels produced elsewhere. We don’t need to build another drain for our state’s wealth.