New York was the fourth-largest consumer of natural gas in 2014, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. More than half the state’s households heat with natural gas. New York also ranked fourth in the country in the use of natural gas for net generated electricity.
New York relies heavily on other regions for natural gas.
The good news is a big part of New York sits atop the prolific Marcellus shale play, which could hold more than 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to one estimate. The unfortunate reality is that state leaders continue to leave in place a ban on hydraulic fracturing used to produce gas from shale. The result is that most of the natural gas New York uses comes from Canada and other states, including its Marcellus neighbor, Pennsylvania. This, in part, helps explain why New Yorkers pay some of the nation’s highest prices for electricity. Another big part is New York’s hostility toward energy infrastructure.
In 2016 New York state officials rejected the Constitution natural gas pipeline, proposed to bring natural gas from neighboring Pennsylvania (where safe natural gas development goes on) to a number of counties on the Southern Tier of New York (where safe development is banned). This was a politically motivated, shortsighted decision to support special interest groups who would like you to believe that the pipeline would contribute to climate change. Yet, natural gas is the leading driver in lowering greenhouse gas emissions from energy in the nation. Natural gas provides reliable, affordable, baseload power and provides flexible power needed to support the expansion of renewable sources. The New York governor’s own energy plan assumes significant growth in natural gas use – but blocks efforts to produce it and transport it here.
Natural gas helps the state of New York maintain its clean air.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that for the first time ever, natural gas was the No. 1 fuel for generating electricity in 2016 and is a leading reason U.S. energy-related carbon emissions are near 25-year lows. New York’s emissions dropped 24.5 percent between 2005 and 2013, and New York City has its cleanest air in 50 years largely due to increased natural gas use. Yet state politicians embrace policies that could make gas more costly and difficult to obtain.
America’s energy revolution is making clean-burning natural gas abundant and affordable. There’s no question that its increased use is leading the way in reducing carbon emissions in the U.S. – while also lifting the economy, benefiting consumers with lower energy costs and increasing U.S. security. To harness America’s natural gas abundance, pipelines and other infrastructure projects must be built – which means rejecting the anti-energy, anti-progress agenda of a few so that U.S. energy’s benefits can reach the many.