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NY Chief Energy Regulator Admints State Faces Natural-Gas Shortage

New York’s chief energy regulator, the Public Service Commission, is reluctantly admitting that the state experiences a natural-gas shortage, although the commissioners differ on what to do about it.

Even Commissioner Tracey Edwards, who spent much of her time at last week’s meeting to complaining that utility National Grid had been “mean” in declaring a moratorium on natural-gas hookups in a significant service region, admitted, “We have capability issues.”

This will boost carbon emissions by forcing greater use of “dirtier” fuels: “We will need switching interruptible clients off of gas onto oil, isn’t that right?” she asked PSC engineer John Sano, who advised on technical challenges and confirmed that staff is on it.

In the meantime, apologists for the no-pipelines crowd are resorting to conspiracy theories. Assemblyman William Colton has declared that National Grid is faking the shortage so that it can stockpile fuel to sell to different states when the town goes to 100% renewable power, a move he seems to think that is imminent.

Similarly, the Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition points to proof showing that operator Transco has offered to move much less gas than intended through the pipeline — if it can get it constructed — as proof that it doesn’t need more fuel in any respect.

If New York’s leaders keep indulging this dementia and blocking new fuel supplies, the state could wind up lowering its carbon footprint by forcing its residents to move to where they won’t need to shiver in the dark.

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Helen Manilla

Helen is a chemical engineer mastered from the University of Delaware. She leads the Natural Gas column along with two associates who eye all the industry developments. Helen has built connections in all the major enterprises and policymakers so that she never misses on any update from the industry. Helen joined the group two years ago.

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