New York State neglects natural gas infrastructure, now pays the price

A recent op-ed featured in the Wall Street Journal serves as an important warning of the costs accrued from stonewalling energy production and neglecting energy infrastructure projects.

New York State, which consists of part of the Marcellus Shale formation, is now facing potential energy shortages as a symptom of policies intended to neglect homegrown energy. A recent announcement from Consolidated Edison, a New York City energy utility provider, closed applications for natural gas connections beginning in mid-March. The decision comes on the back of policy prescriptions from the state’s Governor.

Though one company’s announcement may seem inconsequential neglecting the natural gas industry has had noticeable consequences for the state’s economy.

New Yorker drillers produced some 150 million cubic feet of natural gas a day in 2008. Since then natural gas production in the state has dropped so drastically because of policymakers actions that the Energy Information Administration – a government energy oversight agency – has stopped reporting the state’s natural gas production.

Diminished natural gas production has its costs. Not only is the state facing an energy shortage but two-thirds of natural gas consumed in New York is produced in Pennsylvania which employees 106,000 in the industry in Pennsylvania creating $247 million in gas related fees for the state’s government.

Let New York State serve as an example of the costs of neglecting energy infrastructure. Natural gas brings visible benefits to communities by creating jobs, tax revenue, and contributing to the nation’s growing energy sector. Pennsylvania must continue to pave the way for natural gas.