HARRISBURG (PA) – State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), Chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued the following statement today in response to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) rejection of the Williams’ 400-MMcfd Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project. The project would have supplied Pennsylvania natural gas to Queens, Brooklyn, and parts of Long Island, NY, and included a 23-mile subsea stretch across Raritan Bay.
“As lawmakers, we have an obligation to be aware of the competing interests that involve our state and the nation. The actions of New York and New Jersey regulators have stalled infrastructure development that is vital to creating new markets for Pennsylvania natural gas and related liquids, not only here at home, but across the northeast and world. The lack of pipeline development is also contributing to the large price disparity that is putting Pennsylvania gas producers at a disadvantage, while aiding our global natural gas competitors. Our neighboring states thumb their nose at Pennsylvania gas and embrace the purchase of gas from Eastern Europe. I encourage New York and New Jersey leaders to take a realistic look at where their energy needs stand and the implications of the choices they are making. Sooner or later the lights will go out, a stern warning already issued by National Grid and Con Ed.
The Northeast Supply Enhancement project, in conjunction with the National Grid, could have provided for thousands of conversions from heating oil to natural gas, displacing 900,000 barrels of heating oil each year. The project could have provided for business expansions and new real estate developments throughout New York City and Long Island. It would have helped meet the region’s growing energy needs, a demand which renewable energy sources cannot meet, while helping achieve its clean air goals through the reduction of nearly 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. That is the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars off of our roadways.
At the same time as our neighboring states work to stop pipeline development, our own governor pushes to join with these states by participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Under RGGI, those states stand to benefit from our power generation, while telling us how to produce that power. To participate in RGGI is to ignore the positive environmental impacts that are taking place right here in Pennsylvania, which include a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions over the past two decades. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, CO2 emissions from Pennsylvania’s electric power sector have declined by 36 percent since 2010, thanks in large part to the increased use of natural gas for electric generation. New York and New Jersey need to follow our lead.”
Senator Gene Yaw represents Pennsylvania’s 23rd Senate District, which includes all of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Union counties and a portion of Susquehanna County. You can learn more about Senator Yaw at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com.
Director, Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee; Communications
T: (717) 787-3280