By Post Editorial Board | January 19, 2019 | 9:54pm
If you think Gov. Cuomo’s neglect of mass transit has caused headaches, just wait ’til you see what his reckless de facto ban on natural-gas pipelines is doing.
On Thursday, Con Ed notified regulators that, come March 15, it won’t accept new gas customers in most of Westchester, thanks to supply shortages. National Grid has been issuing similar warnings. New-customer cutoffs in the city may be just around the corner.
With no practical replacement fuel for heating, this will throttle residential and commercial growth.
“Cities either grow or die, and we are always concerned about anything that would discourage continued growth,” New York City Partnership President Kathryn Wylde told Politico. “Clearly the threat that the supply of natural gas will be inadequate to support new business and development is a big concern.”
Cuomo hasn’t officially banned new pipelines; his staff just doesn’t OK very many, often citing lame excuses for nixing them. Team Cuomo reportedly has urged Con Ed to find alternatives to pipelines, and Cuomo himself has been pushing for a shift away from all fossil-fuel energy sources.
Which threatens big trouble for new would-be customers — residential or commercial.
“We see . . . opportunities for economic development . . . with large companies wanting to come,” notes Public Service Commissioner Diane Burman, a Republican. “They’re going to need energy.”
Yet Alan Armstrong, whose firm is looking to build a pipeline from New Jersey to Queens, says the utilities “are not really in a position” to assure new businesses of “adequate gas supplies.”
Meanwhile, New York City is requiring customers to switch from higher-emission fuel oil, driving up the demand for far “cleaner” natural gas. Con Ed has already converted 5,000 buildings in the area from oil to gas.
Oops: climate-change warriors now oppose gas, too. And Cuomo is only too happy to do their bidding and effectively ban pipelines, in exchange for their political support. The gov and the greenies pretend that power from renewables — like solar, wind and geothermal sources — can replace natural gas, especially with steps to boost “efficiency” and conservation. Maybe one day that’ll be true, but not anytime soon.
New York needs gas today, and pipelines to deliver it, to keep the economy healthy and growing. Cuomo has already socked New York with his ban on fracking and his Indian Point shutdown. Just how much more can its economy take?