Editiorial: A hazard to L.I.’s economy
In May, the nation Department of Environmental Conservation rejected a water high-quality certification sought by way of National Grid this is wished for the utility to construct a 24-mile subsea gas pipeline from the New Jersey shore to a terminus off the coast of the Rockaways.
The DEC stated National Grid’s plan for building the $1 billion Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline would probably result in water-first-rate violations by means of stirring up sediments and different contaminants, consisting of mercury and copper.
National Grid replied by means of halting the processing of programs for herbal fuel hookups for all ranges of clients – residential, small enterprise and large tendencies.
Want to interchange to a fuel range in your home? Can’t do it.
Opening an eating place the usage of gas heat? Forget about it?
Building a subdivision of the usage of fuel warmth? Not today.
That’s the message that National Grid has despatched to its 1. Eight million clients throughout Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Stephen Wangel, president of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce, advised remaining week of a commercial enterprise proprietor who made a good sized investment in a new eating place however now could be unable to open due to the fact he “cannot attain herbal gas carrier to gasoline his cooking equipment.”
Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, stated the rejection of National Grid’s software is threatening destiny financial improvement projects, including the proposed New York Islanders area at Belmont Park and the Nassau Hub in Uniondale, in line with the Long Island Business News.
National Grid contends the halt in accepting new programs is needed due to the fact its current pipeline infrastructure is at capacity.
National Grid and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, the challenge developer, said they considered the DEC rejection as “technical trouble” and had resubmitted the software.
National Grid said it expects the assignment to be in provider via the winter of 2020-21.
This raises numerous questions.
Did National Grid really want to halt accepting programs in May if the work might not be completed, as they believe, till sometime in 2021 – greater than a year and a 1/2 from now?
Or changed into this a political move via National Grid so as to stress the DEC to trouble an environmental approval – irrespective of whether it meets country requirements?
Environmentalists and different opponents have accused National Grid of fabricating the lack to tie the place to fossil fuels.
Does National Grid’s reaction mean that if the venture does get accredited however production issues motive it to be delayed beyond 2021 that the application runs out of potential again?
These are questions that the country Public Service Commission needs to be asking the National Grid. No utility has to be authorized to threaten companies for political motives.
And it’s now not as though utilities have earned our undying trust. Does everyone recall LIPA and what they said before Superstorm Sandy?
But there are also questions of policy and politics that want to be asked of the country and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
DEC’s rejection of the Williams pipeline is a part of a pattern of the state denying pipeline tasks on environmental grounds during the last numerous years. And Cuomo has said he needs utilities which include National Grid to invest greater in renewable energy and strength performance in place of fossil-fired tasks.
In March, Con Edison imposed a moratorium on new fuel customers in Westchester due to a lack of new pipelines.
Cuomo said in May that the DEC’s decision would be based “at the merits and the statistics,” consistent with a story in Newsday. “I informed them [the regulators] to make the choice on the facts and now not on the politics, and that’s what they’re going to do. They will make the decision. I am no longer involved in the selection.”
That might be actual. On the other hand, leaving choices to different humans has by no means been Cuomo’s strong match and there are effective political currents shifting each method, specifically after the governor touted the Green Act these days authorized by way of the kingdom Legislature.
So perhaps. Maybe now not.
Then there may be the question of whether the pipelines are honestly wished at all.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer called the DEC’s choice “the main victory in our efforts to supply the inexperienced and more sustainable destiny our kids and our kids’ kids deserve,” in step with a story in Newsday.
We, too, support a more green and extra sustainable destiny. But we would like to get there without harming the financial system of the prevailing.