Con Ed May Stop Adding New NatGas Customers Thx to Cuomo

The actions of political leaders have consequences. Sometimes dire consequences. People like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo believe they can wave a magic wand and proclaim, “No more fossil fuels, we’ll just use solar and wind instead.” But proclaiming it doesn’t make it so. Proclaiming it doesn’t exempt you from the consequences of your actions. In recent years Cuomo has blocked new natural gas pipeline projects that would deliver Marcellus gas from Pennsylvania, claiming we need to move to so-called renewable energy. Now the chickens have come home to roost.
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Pipeline Relief Coming 2019? Trump Targeting States Like NY

We’re feeling better and better that President Trump is ready to take action to overrule states like New York that abuse the federal Clean Water Act in order to block interstate pipeline projects. We first picked up on comments by Energy Secretary Rick Perry back in May (see DOE Sec. Perry Hints Trump May Overrule States Blocking Pipelines). Then we spotted comments by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last week (see Interior Sec. Zinke Implies NY Doesn’t Have Right to Block Pipes). And now, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, has weighed in and said essentially the same thing.
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CPV Marcellus-Fired Elec Plant in Orange County Now Online!

Finally! Competitive Power Ventures’ 680-megawatt CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda (Orange County), NY is fully up and running and producing enough electricity to power 600,000 liberal NY homes. New York Gov. Cuomo tried his best to block the recently-completed (costing $900 million) Marcellus gas-fed plant from going online by instructing the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny renewing a permit they previously issued, but a judge saw right through that one and overruled the DEC.
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Con Ed Plans 2-5 CNG/LNG Storage Facilities in Westchester County

Clinton’s $1.7M Westchester County estate

Only in New York. Utility company Con Edison is proposing to build up to five compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage sites in Westchester County, NY–to increase the local supply of natgas available for customers. Con Ed wants to invest in “renewable” natural gas and “offer new incentives for Westchester customers who upgrade their heating equipment or install heat pumps to reduce natural gas usage.”
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Williams CEO Compliments PA Gov Wolf, Roasts NY Gov Cuomo

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong

On Friday Williams CEO Alan Armstrong addressed CEA’s Energy and Manufacturing Summit in Pittsburgh. Ahead of that address, Armstrong granted an exclusive interview to the Pittsburgh Business Times, an interview in which he had some flattering words for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (i.e. sucked up to him), and some rather unflattering words for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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Proposed Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Trouble

Manneken Pis – famous statue in Brussels, Belgium

MDN reported in April that a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi wants to build a huge, new $1.5 billion natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the Meadowlands (New Jersey), just outside of New York City (see Marcellus Electric Plant Proposed for Meadowlands to Power NYC). The North Bergen Liberty Generating Project, at 1,200 megawatts, will help replace some of the electricity lost when the Indian Point Nuclear plant located in New York along the Hudson River closes down in 2021. We suspect that since the mighty Transco pipeline, which flows mostly Marcellus molecules in the northeast, will feed the Meadowlands project, this plant will become an important new market for PA Marcellus production. The town where the plant will be located, North Bergen, is jazzed about the plant (see NJ Town Ready to Approve Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Power Plant). And wonder of wonders, liberal Democrat NJ Gov. Phil Murphy approved the first in a series of required permits in July (see Surprise! NJ Issues Permits for Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Plant). Yes, it did seem like things were going too well. The Sierra Club has been lobbying nonstop to defeat the project, and their efforts at spreading doom and gloom are, unfortunately, bearing fruit. Somehow the Clubbers have convinced the New York ISO (the electricity authority for NY, where the electricity from this plant will be sold) to claim it doesn’t really need the electricity after all. Even though 25% of its electricity will soon disappear from the grid when Indian Point closes. NY’s claim now means the project will be delayed and that the builders will need to produce a report proving NY really does need the electricity. An electric peeing match. The Clubbers have also spread rumors to neighboring towns, telling them the plant will poison their air, so some neighboring towns are now opposed to the project…
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New Williams Board Appointment Raises Ethics Question

On July 31 midstream giant Williams announced it had added a new member to its board of directors, Vicki Fuller. We didn’t think much of it at the time. We included a mention in our “best of the rest” section the following day (see Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Aug 1, 2018). Fuller is an accomplished woman–very smart. Prior to assuming her part-time role at Williams (for a cool $275,000 per year), she was the chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. That is, she decided how and where to invest the $207 billion worth of investments in the pension fund, put there by New York State workers (teachers and others), used to cover their retirement pensions. That’s a lot of responsibility riding on one person’s shoulders. And therein is the rub. Anti fossil fuel radicals have been pushing New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (a wildly left liberal himself) and Fuller (appointed by DiNapoli) to divest the Common Retirement Fund from fossil fuel companies–companies like Williams. To his credit, DiNapoli has resisted the political pressure to divest, realizing that millions of pensioners’ investments would fall by billions of dollars if that happens. And to her credit, Fuller did not cave to the pressure either. Liberal media (PBS) is now going after Fuller and her appointment to the Williams board, implying it’s some sort of quid pro quo–that Fuller got the job and a big salary for doing part-time work, in return for not divesting the pension fund from Williams stocks and bonds. Which is a stretch. A big stretch. However, the timing of her departure as CIO of the pension fund and her appointment to the Williams board (both in the same week) doesn’t look good…
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Corrupt: Dem Govs, AGs Sell Their Offices & Power to Big Green

Warning: Knowledge of what’s happening in the offices of governors like Jerry Brown (California) and Andrew Cuomo (New York), and their attorney generals, will make you want to throw up–at the overt corruption. A pair of research reports from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) shines a very bright light on what is major corruption at the highest levels of our state governments. One report, titled “Law Enforcement for Rent: How Special Interests Fund Climate Policy through State Attorneys General” (full copy below) details how Democrat Attorney Generals in various states, including New York and Maryland, are selling access to their offices to Big Green groups. AGs can only make so much mischief. They have budgets that control how many staffers they can hire. In order to circumvent those hiring limits, Big Green groups are funding lawyers and assistants to help AGs sue fossil fuel companies–they work right in the AG’s office! If it’s not outright illegal, it’s certainly unethical. State legislatures need to pass laws now to prevent this kind of abuse of our legal system to favor one side over another. The law is supposed to be blind and impartial, not weighted against one side or the other. If that weren’t bad enough, CEI published a second study titled “Government for Rent: How Special Interests Finance Governors to Pursue Their Climate Policy Agenda” (full copy below) showing how some Democrat governors are doing the same thing–allowing outside, paid-by-Big-Green staffers to be added to their operations in an attempt to slander and smear fossil fuel companies. Andrew Cuomo’s office is one of the offenders. THIS MUST STOP…
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Williams Donates $100,000 to Cuomo/Democrats? Say It Ain’t So!

It’s just coming to light (for us anyway) that earlier this year Williams donated $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association–a group that is devoted to electing more Democrats as governors, and a group that heavily supports Andrew Cuomo in his reelection bid here in the Empire State. Shame on Williams. Are they insane? Cuomo, who is CORRUPT, has blocked Williams project after Williams project in New York. But apparently he has not blocked all Williams projects. Less than three months after the Williams “donation,” the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which ONLY does the bidding of Cuomo, denied “without prejudice” a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, allowing Williams to submit a new application (i.e. keeping it alive). Oh, and Cuomo hired the lobbyist who was working on that same pipeline project…to run his reelection campaign. Sniff sniff. Do you smell something? We’re not accusing anybody of anything–least of all Williams, which has to do what they have to do in a state that’s run like a third world dictatorship. However, you have to admit the situation raises questions. And we still can’t get over the fact that Williams donated a hundred grand to the other side. That boggles the mind…
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Making Sense of Insane NY – How Radicals Pressure Cuomo re NatGas

If you live in New York State, as MDN editor Jim Willis does, you often shake your head at the stupidity of our political leaders. Especially people like Gov. Andrew Cuomo. How could he, in good conscience, turn against natural gas and block pipelines, electric plants and fracking? Is he obtuse? Is he getting paid-off by someone? There has to be a reason for his obviously irrational behavior. What is that reason? We have, perhaps, a better understanding now. The radical left is well-organized–think Saul Alinksy, Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idol. Taking a chapter from Alinksy’s “Rules for Radicals” book, the green radicals in NY have organized themselves to pressure Cuomo. We’d call it highly organized and well-funded. The radicals have weekly meetings, plan strategy, and motivate groups of blind followers to show up and heckle Cuomo at public events. And guess what? Cuomo caves–every time. Like a house of cards. The radicals have found the magic formula to pressure Cuomo into doing their bidding. Andrew Cuomo is actually weak-willed. He’s a patsy for the green movement because he fears them, fears a public shaming by them. And so they have their way with him–every time. None other than a liberal Gannett reporter has outed Cuomo as a Big Green patsy…
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NY Antis Gear Up to Oppose Zero-Emission Compressor Stn

As we reported in March, Empire Pipeline, the midstream (pipeline) subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build two new compressor stations along the Empire Pipeline–one in Tioga County, PA, the other in Ontario County, NY (see Empire Pipe Plans 2 Compressors in PA & NY to Move Marcellus Gas). Without building any new pipeline, the addition of these two compressor stations will allow an extra 205,000 dekatherms per day (205 million cubic feet/day) of PA Marcellus gas to flow through the Empire Pipeline system. The project, called Empire North Project, will provide much-needed natural gas for Upstate NY and Canada. It will also connect to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, so who knows? Maybe some Marcellus molecules will find their way into New England too. Anti-fossil fuelers in NY are ramping up to oppose the project. Nothing new about that, unfortunately. The thing is, the proposed compressor station in Ontario County will have zero (yes, zero) emissions. It will use electricity instead of diesel or natural gas or other fuels–so there’s no smoke stack and absolutely nothing going into the atmosphere. Completely benign. And yet, because the compressor station will flow more “fracked gas” from PA flow through the pipeline, irrational nutjobs are opposing it. Talk about stupid. These people will protest and oppose an emissions-less compressor station that helps flow more natural gas, but they won’t actually give up their own natural gas! They won’t stop grilling with natural gas. They won’t stop heating and cooking with natural gas. They won’t stop cooling with natural gas. They won’t stop buying clothes and shoes made, in part, from natural gas (plastics). No. Everyone else has to do those things–not these ignorant, wine-tasting snobs from the Finger Lakes who want to block this emissions-less compressor station…
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Orange County, NY Gas-Fired Plant Resumes Start-up Tests

MDN brought you the exciting news that last week a New York “Supreme Court” judge (Supreme Court in NY is a lower court, one step up from county court) overruled a last-minute dirty trick by the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to block a Marcellus-fired electric plant from starting operations (see NY Judge Overrules DEC, Allows Gas-Fired Plant to Start Up). Competitive Power Ventures built and is days away from starting up the Valley Energy Center, a $900 million, 680-megawatt natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY. In a last minute, desperate attempt to block the plant (to boost his gubernatorial reelection campaign), Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the DEC to deny renewing an air permit previously granted by the DEC. The DEC says the plant will need a different (federal) air permit before it can start up, effectively blocking the project. The judge stepped in and overruled the DEC, allowing Valley Energy to restart its tests and begin operations. Testing restarted Sunday morning. According to CPV, these final round of tests will take “two to three weeks” before the plant is fully operational and online…
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Cuomo Pipe Policies Put Thousands of Union Members Out of Work

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing yesterday to consider the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3303). Two weeks ago we told you about S. 3303, a bill that will “fix” the issue of states like New York using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which allows states to have a say in where interstate pipeline routes can pass through a state, from abusing that authority to block pipeline projects (see US Senate Bill Fixes States Blocking Pipelines via Water Permits). One of the people testifying at yesterday’s hearing was Brent Booker, the secretary-treasurer of North America’s Building Trades Unions. Brent represents some 3 million (!) union workers. He spoke passionately about the damage that has been done by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo in blocking new pipeline projects. Because of Cuomo’s actions, literally thousands of union workers (Democrat voters) are now out of work–people who could have been working all along but aren’t because Cuomo is abusing the federal Clean Water Act’s Section 401 to politically block new fossil fuel pipelines…
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Caithness Energy Sues PSEG for Blocking Long Island Gas-Fired Plant

Caithness Energy, a privately held company that specializes in buying or building (and operating) renewable energy and natural gas-fired power plants, owns a 350 megawatt natgas-fired power plant in Yaphank, NY–on Long Island. For more than four years Caithness has had a plan to build a second natgas-fired plant next to their first plant. The original plan was for a 750 MW plant, later scaled back to 600 MW. Local leaders in Brookhaven Town in which the existing and proposed power plant projects sit have been against the plan for a new power plant, passing restrictions in 2015 that tied the hands of Caithness, making the project impossible to build. But in July, the board reversed course and voted to repeal the 2015 restriction that limits the type of equipment Caithness can use in building the plant, clearing the way for the project (see Long Island Town Votes to Allow New Gas-Fired Elec Plant). However, the path is still not cleared. Newark, NJ-based PSEG (Public Service Enterprise Group), which provides electricity to Long Island, told the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) that the Caithness plant is not needed. It’s a case of one competitor unfairly trying to block another–according to Caithness, which has just filed a lawsuit against PSEG saying it has suffered “hundreds of millions of dollars of harm” because of PSEG’s actions to block the project. Looks like this one is going to get NY nasty…
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NY Judge Overrules DEC, Allows Gas-Fired Plant to Start Up

A new hope has emerged for Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center, a $900 million, 680-megawatt natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY. Last week MDN told you that at the last minute, four days before the plant was set to start up, the Andrew Cuomo-corrupted Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) pulled the ultimate dirty trick and refused to renew an air permit for the plant they previously issued five years earlier (see Cuomo Strikes Again: Blocks Completed Gas-Fired Plant from Starting). The DEC now says the plant will need a different (federal) air permit before it can start up, effectively blocking it. As we told you in a followup article, the DEC’s dirty trick left CPV with three options (see 3 Options for Blocked NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant). Option #2 in our list was to ask a judge to overturn the DEC’s decision (our preferred option). CPV exercised that option and yesterday the judge agreed and shut down DEC’s ability to stop the plant from starting up, which will now happen this week or early next week. Great news! However, the judge’s order is temporary, while a larger lawsuit works its way through the court system. In the meantime, CPV will start the plant, a victory for the good guys. The best part? PA Marcellus fracked gas will feed it…
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Antis Still Can’t Come to Terms They Lost NY AIM Pipe Case

Big Green antis thought they could stop the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline project–an expansion of the existing Algonquin pipeline system designed to carry 342 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to New England states that badly need the gas. On March 3, 2015 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the project. Construction began in 2015 and, following extreme opposition from New York State over a small portion of the project near the Indian Point nuclear plant (which will shut down in a few years anyway), AIM finally went online in late 2016. In what has become a typical pattern, Big Green groups asked FERC to rehear their decision to approve AIM, FERC refused, and Big Green then filed a lawsuit in federal court. But two weeks ago the federal court told the antis “no,” crushing their efforts to roll back the expanded pipeline (see DC Circuit Court Denies Anti Request to Rehear AIM Pipe Approval). That should be the end of the matter. There’s no place left to go, court-wise, except maybe (one in a million odds) to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet the antis, still disbelieving they’ve lost, are threatening to pursue it legally. Some unstable people just can’t let go…
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