Sustaining heat: Why New York shouldn’t block construction of a natural gas pipeline

We are eager for the day when single-family homes, apartment buildings and Housing Authority developments in New York can keep the people inside their four walls warm in the bone-chilling dead of winter using all-renewable energy sources. Which is why we support efforts by the government and the private sector to accelerate the development of solar power, wind and technologies unknown.

But we don’t know whether that day will arrive in 10 years, or 20, or 30, which is why it makes basic sense to build out a pipeline to deliver natural gas from its sources in Pennsylvania to its consumers in the five boroughs of New York City.

We are eager for the day when single-family homes, apartment buildings and Housing Authority developments in New York can keep the people inside their four walls warm in the bone-chilling dead of winter using all-renewable energy sources. Which is why we support efforts by the government and the private sector to accelerate the development of solar power, wind and technologies unknown.

But we don’t know whether that day will arrive in 10 years, or 20, or 30, which is why it makes basic sense to build out a pipeline to deliver natural gas from its sources in Pennsylvania to its consumers in the five boroughs of New York City. (And why, ahem, it also makes sense to keep Indian Point nuclear power plant, which emits no carbon, open.)

Just as we need to keep delivering and pumping gasoline for our cars while technological and environmental pioneers roll out consumer-friendly electric vehicles, we must reliably heat our residences in the here and now.

It’s in that here and now that Con Edison and Natural Grid, are warning that they will have to limit new service hookups in the five boroughs, as they won’t be able to ensure uninterrupted service at periods of peak need, until the pipeline is approved.

Environmentalists want Gov. Cuomo to try to kill the project, inviting a fight with President Trump that he will likely lose. They say the state must instead go all-in for renewable alternatives. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

We need to develop and make widely available affordable, plentiful, carbon-free energy sources but we would be foolish to foreclose ourselves access to a plentiful and affordable fuel that’s being burned regardless across America and overseas.

Climate change is a live threat to our planet, and especially to our coastal city. Combating it requires collective action. We hope that by the time the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement project is complete, we will have found better ways to keep people warm.

We don’t have them yet.

Original Article