Letter signed by 160 organizations calls on Cuomo & PSC to reject National Grid’s fracked gas proposals and approve only renewable, no gas infrastructure options

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lee Ziesche, lee@saneenergyproject.org, 954-415-6228 

New York –  Today New Yorkers submitted a letter to Governor Cuomo and the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) signed by 160 organizations calling on them to reject any fracked options proposed by corporate utility National Grid to meet long-term energy needs downstate and instead only approve renewable heating options. 

As an alternative to the Williams NESE Pipeline, which was rejected by the DEC in May, National Grid has proposed speeding up construction of a heavily protested transmission pipeline through North Brooklyn, expanding their Greenpoint Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility and expanding compressor stations along the “Iroquois” Pipeline.

The letter said these fracked gas options go against the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and went on to say:  

“These false “solutions” would serve the same purpose as the Williams Pipeline: to bring more methane gas into New York, frustrating the much needed transition away from fossil fuels. Heating, hot water, and cooking services contribute to almost a third of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions and account for more than 60% of the gas used in the state. We must electrify these services statewide using efficient technologies like heat pumps and induction stoves in order to plug into New York’s growing renewable energy resources and eliminate this large source of greenhouse gasses.”  

An agreement signed between National Grid and the Department of Public Service and approved by the Public Service Commission  required the utility to provide options in public meetings for National Grid’s long-term energy plan downstate. That agreement said the state must approve an option in June. Organizations that signed the letter are concerned to see the issue is not currently on the agenda for the PSC’s June 11th meeting. 

“Thousands of New Yorkers have commented on this proceeding and it’s troubling that the decision isn’t being made in a public space like the monthly Commission meeting,” said Lee Ziesche, an organizer with Sane Energy Project, a member of the Renewable Heat Now campaign and the No NBK Pipeline Coalition. “There is a deep distrust of National Grid because they have failed to listen to communities being impacted by climate change and their fracked gas infrastructure. Communities all across the state have been actively involved in this proceeding and it would be unconscionable for a decision to be reached between our state and a corporate utility behind closed doors with the people left out.”  

Over 450 people registered for a People’s Hearing two weeks ago that was held because National Grid never presented their plans to expand compressor stations and LNG directly to the communities where the infrastructure would be built. The company has also failed to do environmental assessments now required by state climate law.