Looks Like WNY Coal-Fired Plant Will Never Convert to Gas/Reopen

In 2013, a coal-fired electric generating plant near Buffalo, NY (in Dunkirk) was slated to be converted to burn natural gas–a win/win for everyone (see Dunkirk, NY Electric Plant Saved – Converting from Coal to NatGas). Radical environmentalists like the Sierra Club opposed it, but that’s to be expected. Everything seemed to be fine until a competitor hauled NRG, the plant’s owner, into court to dispute the change from coal to natgas. They objected to ratepayers kicking in $150 million for the project. NRG said fighting the case in court will take years, so they just closed down the plant instead (see Dunkirk, NY Coal-Fired Electric Plant Closing in January 2016). It was an economic nuclear bomb for that community. The Town of Dunkirk gets 40% of its tax revenue from that single plant! New York State “generously” shucked out $5.5 million so Dunkirk wouldn’t collapse economically. But doing that year after year will get old quick. Other communities can rightly demand state help too. But then the competitor who had objected to converting the old coal plant to natgas (with ratepayer assistance) dropped their objection, and NRG restarted the project in December 2016 (see Coal-to-Gas Plant Conversion in Western NY Back from the Dead). Once again, environmental lunatics would rather bankrupt Dunkirk than let the plant restart as a gas-fired plant. They lobbied the state Public Service Commission to block the deal. That didn’t happen, but what has happened is that because of the delays caused by NY and NRG’s competitor, NRG has to “restart” the project and along with that comes connection costs–the cost to reconnect the plant to the electricity grid. Estimated reconnect costs go as high as $115 million! The cost of “transmission upgrades” according to the NY grid operator. The cost to reconnect would be almost as much as the project cost itself, meaning there’s no way in Hades NRG will build it. So although antis couldn’t get NY to regulate the project out of existence, electric grid bureaucratic claptrap will keep it out of existence. Same result…
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NG Advantage’s Virtual Pipe Comes to the Rescue in Downstate NY

NG Advantage, the pioneer in “virtual pipeline” trucked CNG service, majority-owned by Clean Energy Fuels, tried to build a compressor station/trucking hub in a Binghamton, NY suburb, but that effort failed earlier this year due to local opposition (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline Project Near Binghamton is Dead). We’re sure the entire situation left a sour taste in NG’s mouth. Even so, this past winter NG didn’t turn its back on New York State, much to their credit. National Grid, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world (covering Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and the UK), had a problem in Long Island during the winter months. As temps got super low, National Grid needed more natural gas to meet the spike in demand from customers. NY is pipeline-phobic, so what could National Grid do? They turned to NG Advantage and NG rose to the occasion, trucking CNG (compressed natural gas) from facilities in Massachusetts and Vermont to Long Island, helping supply National Grid customers in the Empire State. Here’s the story of a company that didn’t turn its back on NY…
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Dutchess County, NY NatGas Power Plant Begins Construction

Artist’s rendering of Cricket Valley Energy Center project – click for larger version

We who live in New York State live under a dictatorship. Our governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been co-opted by radical environmentalists. He recently stated he would autocratically block any/all new natural gas pipelines AND any/all new gas-fired electric plants (see NY Gov. Cuomo Says He’ll Block All New Gas-Fired Elec Plants). He made the preposterous claim he hasn’t issued any permits for new gas-fired plants during his time in office. Not true. The Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY was permitted under Cuomo and will begin service this month (see Orange County, NY Electric Plant to Start Up in June). Valley Energy Center, which will get its gas from the Millennium Pipeline (Marcellus gas), will generate 680 megawatts of electricity–enough to power 650,000 homes. Little did we know, but there is a *second* gas-fired power plant project also permitted under Cuomo that’s just begun construction–in neighboring Dutchess County. Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is a fully-permitted, approximately 1,100 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant now under construction on an industrially-zoned site off Route 22 in Dover. It will generate enough electricity to power 1 million homes! Similar to CPV’s Valley Energy Center, environmental extremists have launched a barrage of attacks against Cricket Valley. However, Cricket Valley is already under construction and due to go online in 2020. There’s no stopping it now…
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When Neighbors Go Bad: NY Forcing New England into Blackouts

Last winter, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 9, the northeast and New England experienced an extreme cold snap. New England essentially ran out of natural gas needed to feed electric generating plants. The entire region came razor close to succumbing to rolling blackouts. The only thing that prevented the blackouts was the restart of 1960s oil-burning electric plants. During that two week period, New England burned through 2 million barrels of oil to keep the lights on. Scary. Although a number of circumstances conspired to produce this “perfect storm” that almost tripped over into blackouts, there is one main, towering, primary reason why it happened: lack of natural gas pipelines. And there is one main, towering, primary reason why there aren’t more pipelines to flow more natgas into New England: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Andy has admitted, on camera, that his policy is to block any/every/all new natural gas pipelines (see NY Gov. Cuomo Says He’ll Block All New Gas-Fired Elec Plants). It is breathtaking hubris and arrogance. As we’ve pointed out, keep an eye on what’s happening in Canada with the Trans Mountain Pipeline project–where one province (British Columbia) refuses to allow a pipeline from a neighboring oil-producing province (Alberta) to cross through. It’s turned into a nasty civil war, complete with everything but bullets flying. The whole mess is enough to make Kinder Morgan, owner of the Trans Mountain system, sell it to the Canadian government (see Kinder Morgan Says No Thx to Canadian Civil War, Selling Pipeline). Sooner or later Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont (on the demand side) and Pennsylvania (on the supply side) are going to take aim at New York for blocking important interstate pipeline projects like the Constitution and Northern Access. Retribution is coming, you can bank on it…
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New Yorkers Pay 44% More for Electric than Neighboring States

On average, New York residents pay 44% more for electricity than neighboring states, like Pennsylvania. In January of this year, New Yorkers (and NY utility companies) were briefly forced to pay a record high of $140.25 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for natural gas, as opposed to what everyone else was paying (an average of $3.08/Mcf)–which is 46 times as much! Both stats are rooted in the same issue: NY pays WAY MORE for energy than it has to, because Andrew Cuomo is blocking natural gas pipelines into the state from PA. So says a new report titled “Pipelines and their Benefits to New York” (full copy below). The report, published by the Consumer Energy Alliance, examines the benefits of pipelines to New York, highlighting the need for affordable energy supplies to keep the daily lives of families and businesses across New York moving. Without those pipelines, we’re toast. You can’t build windmills and solar farms fast enough to meet the growing demand for electricity–and natgas. Cuomo’s dysfunctional energy policies are blocking all New Yorkers, upstate and downstate, from living even moderately prosperous lives…
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Crestwood Testing Proposed LPG Storage Site @ Seneca Lake for Leaks

Lately we’ve wondered what’s been going on in the years-long struggle by Crestwood to create an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, or propane) storage facility in a depleted salt cavern along the shoreline of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Last December we brought you the news that Crestwood had won a victory when a chief administrative law judge, part of the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), ruled against antis who are demanding ongoing, never-ending hearings about the project–a transparent tactic to continue the years-long delay in perpetuity (see Crestwood Scores Big Victory in Seneca Lake LPG Storage Project). The judge said the DEC has all the evidence it needs to make a decision. Of course, the decision will get made by a radical anti who heads up the DEC–Basil Seggos (part of the National Resources Defense Council cabal that opposes all fossil fuel projects). So the project still has miles to go before it becomes reality. But now, a new setback, not that the project hasn’t been “setback” from the beginning by radicals. This time the setback comes from within. An attorney representing the project sent a letter to the DEC on May 17 asking them to delay (?!) a decision while Crestwood runs more tests on well pressure to “determine its suitability as a gas storage unit.” That is, the depleted salt cavern may leak. Radicalized antis have pounced, demanding the DEC cancel the project forthwith–even before the test results are in…
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FERC Becomes Political as Seen in Rehearing Vote on NY Project

Has someone “gotten” to FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Richard Glick–told them, “You vote against these pipeline projects or you don’t have a future in the Democrat Party”? That’s the thought we increasingly have as we watch the two sitting Democrats on FERC repeatedly vote against projects that in some cases they previously voted to approve. What makes someone like LaFleur flip and change her vote on something that two years ago she was 100% on board with? Something has to explain it! Two and a half years ago LaFleur, then a member of FERC, voted to approve Dominion Energy’s $165 million New Market Project, a project that expands Dominion’s transmission pipeline from western New York across the state to the Capital Region of the state, near Albany (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). The radical leftist group Otsego 2000 challenged the project, asking FERC to reconsider its approval, using mythical man-made global warming as a new criteria to reject the project. Last Friday the three Republicans FERC commissioners voted “no” to reconsider the New Market Project, but LaFleur and Chuck Schumer-appointed Richard Glick (both Dems) voted to reconsider, citing global warming concerns. Again, we wonder if someone has gotten to them. A sad day that FERC is longer a non-partisan group…
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Canadian Civil War Previews What’s Coming in NY re Pipelines

Two Canadian provinces that share a border, Alberta and British Columbia (BC), are in the midst of a heated argument/conflict/civil war(?)–over a pipeline. We’ve not covered the conflict, until now. The short version is this: Alberta has a rich deposit of oil in what are called oil sands. In order to get more of the bountiful supply of oil to new markets, in Asia, Alberta needs a new pipeline. Kinder Morgan operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and previously proposed expanding Trans Mountain–from Alberta through British Columbia to the shore where the oil can be loaded on tankers and sailed to other continents. BC has blocked the new pipeline, and so now Alberta has passed a law that allows them to stop existing oil and gas flows into BC. If that happens, it will bring BC to its metaphorical knees from lack of energy sources. Yes, it’s getting nasty. The Canadian federal government is also involved, attempting to pressure BC to allow the pipeline. What does that have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? If we were to say “Constitution” or “Northern Access”–perhaps the light bulb will go off. You see, we have a parallel situation here in the states. New York State is blocking gas pipelines critical to PA (as supplier) and to the New England states (as demand centers). At some point, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that PA will begin to turn off existing natgas flows into NY–and then what will we do? We New Yorkers would be royally screwed. Gov. Cuomo pay attention to our neighbors to the north. What’s happening up there is coming in your direction, if you don’t change course…
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Williams Refiles Application with NY DEC for Transco NESE Project

In April MDN told you that the New York Dept. of Environment Conservation (DEC) had rejected a modest pipeline expansion proposal by Williams’ Transco Pipeline subsidiary (see Cuomo-Corrupted DEC Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipe Project). The project, which we’ve previously written about and are actively promoting, is called the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). NESE is meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. The DEC warned Williams that they would reject the application as incomplete unless/until FERC itself provides an environmental assessment of the project. That happened in March, but the DEC said it didn’t have enough time to review it and requested Williams refile (we’ve heard that one before). Given Cuomo is refusing to approve any new natural gas pipeline projects (see him say it point blank in this video), we’re not optimistic that the DEC will actually approve it this time either…
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NY Gov. Cuomo Says He’ll Block All New Gas-Fired Elec Plants

We’re simply at a loss for words. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a dictator, or is he? Cuomo said on a recent campaign stop that he will unilaterally, illegally, block all new “fossil fuel” powered electric plants in the state, including clean-burning natural gas-fired plants. The man is delusional. He doesn’t have that power–unless the sheeple that live in NY allow him to get away with it. We New Yorkers must rise up and stop this megalomaniac before he plunges NY into the ash heap of history. During a campaign event last Thursday, May 10, in Manhattan, Cuomo said with respect to new gas-fired electric plants: “I have not approved any new ones, and I won’t.” He also said that the state currently has gas-fired plants “all over the state” and that the “long-term plan is to close them.” Breathtaking arrogance! We’ve checked the state Constitution and we don’t find anything in it that vests the governor with the power to ban specific types of businesses in the state, whether for energy or otherwise. Where does he get off?…
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DOE Sec. Perry Hints Trump May Overrule States Blocking Pipelines

Is there a white knight that can ride in and save the day for pipelines being blocked by radicals like Andrew Cuomo in New York State? There may just be! Last week while testifying at a House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing, Dept. of Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that he believes states do not have the right to block interstate pipelines. Perry stopped short of saying that President Trump would consider issuing an Executive Order to approve projects like the Constitution Pipeline and Northern Access Pipeline projects in New York. But he did appear to hint at the possibility…
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Insider Reveals What’s Really Going On in NY Constitution Pipe Case

One of the lawyers who filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting the Supremes hear the Constitution Pipeline case has written a column that rips the mask off New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and exposes him for the corrupt autocrat he is. The column is long and uses a number of legal references and arguments, but we can sum it up this way: (1) Cuomo has been caught admitting he has imposed an illegal moratorium on new pipelines; (2) Cuomo’s action in blocking the Constitution and other pipelines usurps federal authority; and (3) Cuomo’s actions in blocking pipelines threatens national energy security. It’s not often we get the inside thinking of one of the key players in a high-profile lawsuit. Read the following and learn…
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Orange County, NY Electric Plant to Start Up in June

As the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY gets ready to begin service, some of the neighbors are not happy with noises coming from the plant. They hope local town officials can meet with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and convince him to lean on the Dept. of Environmental Conservation to revoke permits for the plant that CPV just spent almost a billion dollars to build. We told you a month ago the only sliver of a hope antis have to prevent the plant from starting up is to convince the DEC to block it (see Big Green Begs NY DEC to Revoke Orange Co. Power Plant Permits). It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, but also not likely that the DEC will step in now. At a Wawayanda Town Board meeting last Thursday residents and town leaders discussed the noise issue and what to do about it, which is the focus of the article below. However, one tiny reference in the article is what caught our attention. The plant is waiting for a pipeline “lateral” from the Millennium Pipeline to be completed to flow natgas to the plant, which is what will fire the plant. You may recall the DEC tried to block that pipeline and was overruled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The DEC took FERC to court and the DEC lost (see Court Rejects NY DEC Attempt to Stop Short Power Plant Pipeline). The short 7.8-mile “Valley Lateral” pipeline is now almost complete. According to the article below (and the thing that caught our attention) is that CPV expects the pipeline to be done and flowing natural gas to the plant in June. When it does, the plant will start up…
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Anti-Fossil Fuel NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Resigns!

Former NY AG Eric Schneiderman

One of the plagues we’ve had to endure in the Empire State is a totally out-of-control, mad drunk with an abuse of legal power, Attorney General Eric Schniederman. There isn’t a shale pipeline or drilling project in New York that Schneiderman hasn’t harassed. Apparently the oil and gas industry isn’t the only thing he harasses. Following a bombshell story in the ultra liberal The New Yorker magazine that accuses Schneiderman of rough sex and slapping woman around, he abruptly resigned as of today. Schneiderman’s resignation has nothing to do with the Marcellus/Utica, but his departure is cause for celebration in New York. Schneiderman was one of the ring leaders in a cabal attempting to shake down Exxon Mobil and other oil companies for billions of dollars, accusing them of “knowing” that oil causes mythical man-made global warming and is harming the environment. The fossil fuel projects in NY that Schneiderman opposed are legion–too many to count. No one in the industry will shed any tears over his departure now that Schnedierman has now been “exposed” (pun intended), hoist with his own petard. One example from the bombshell story: An ex-girlfriend (originally from Sri Lanka) told the New Yorker that Schneiderman, that paragon of ultra-liberal values, called her his “brown slave” and ordered him to call him “Master.” And if she didn’t? He slapped her, hard, until she did…
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Home Rule Chaos Reigns in NY – Towns Vote to Block Wind, Solar

In June 2014, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, reaffirmed two lower court rulings that empowers townships and municipalities across the state to strip away property owners’ rights to allow drilling and other energy projects (see Shale Drilling in NY is Over – High Court Upholds Town Bans). NY’s high court ruled in the “Middlefield” and “Dryden” cases that local municipalities have the right to regulate energy development within their jurisdictions–where it can and cannot happen. The seeds planted with the “Dryden” and “Middlefield” cases has sprouted and is now in full bloom–like spring daffodils. So-called “renewable” energy projects are now being blocked using the very same decisions meant to block natural gas drilling–delicious irony that puts a big, fat smile on our face. On the other hand, it points out the truly horrific consequences by NY’s highest court in allowing each community to, in effect, regulate energy production. It is utter folly and lunacy. Welcome to New York…
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Supreme Court Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Overrule NY

In January 2018, Williams, builder of the proposed Constitution Pipeline–124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY to move Marcellus gas into NY and New England–took their last, best shot at overturning a politically-based decision by the corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny the Constitution necessary water permits to build (see Constitution Pipeline Appeals NY Fight Directly to U.S. Supreme Court). Williams appealed an appeals court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping against hope that the high court would hear the case–and overturn the appeals court decision, thereby forcing NY to allow pipeline construction. Sadly, the attempt has failed. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition to hear the case. Let’s be honest, it was a long shot to begin with–the Supremes only hear a handful of cases each year. But still, the decision is disappointing. Unlike antis, when our side loses a court case like this, we acknowledge and accept it. If it had gone the other way, antis would have claimed the court decision was illegitimate and launched illegal actions to block construction–like sitting in the tops of trees. They resort to anarchy, mob rule and bullying when they don’t win. We accept the rule of law and pledge to soldier on and fight another day. That’s the difference between unmoored radicals and people with their heads screwed on straight. So what happens now? Is this truly the end of the line for the Constitution? The project has one, possibly two very slim chances left…
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