Pipeline welder

ALBANY, NYConsumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the leading consumer energy advocate, issued the following statement following the New York Department of Conservation’s (DEC) decision to deny a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project.

CEA’s New York Executive Director Wendy Hijos said:

“It’s hard to believe that at a time of unprecedented economic pain and uncertainty, the unending politicization of needed pipeline energy infrastructure like the NESE Project continues. This DEC denial is not a solution for hardworking families in New York who need energy and are struggling with the highest unemployment rate the state has seen since the Great Depression.”

“They pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation and have had to endure natural gas shortages and service moratoriums before COVID-19. The answer now from the New York DEC, for a state that has some of the most stringent carbon emission reduction mandates in the country, is to send natural gas on trucks across Long Island and New York to the hard-hit communities that don’t have adequate energy supplies now for their homes or to run their businesses. This is not a long-term solution, it is a Band-aid that increases emissions and traffic congestion. Because of this counter-intuitive decision, NY families are now hit with a double whammy of a pandemic caused by COVID-19 and one caused by misguided regulators.”

“It’s even more ironic to deny this much-needed project over environmental concerns when the facts clearly show it would reduce carbon emissions by over 200,000 tons per year by upgrading heating systems for buildings in New York. That’s the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars per year off the road. This decision isn’t about the environment, it’s about appeasing the anti-pipeline wish list of out-of-touch activists and their funders who don’t have to worry where their next paycheck comes from or putting food on the table.”

“DEC needs to tell the millions of people who are out of work across the region why they shouldn’t advance a project that will create over 3,100 jobs in our skilled building trades, save families thousands a year in energy costs, and inject over $230 million into the economy. Why do politics matter more than people in an economic crisis? We can have both environmental protection and energy access. This project proves it. It’s time for New Yorkers to stand up and fight back against policies that will increase our energy prices unnecessarily.”