Update: Constitution Committed to Building Federally Approved Pipeline, Delivering Energy Savings and Environmental Benefits to Northeast U.S.
Despite the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s unprecedented decision on April 22, 2016, Constitution Pipeline’s sponsors remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project, which will create an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas. [Read our full statement]
NEW YORK to BENEFIT FROM NATURAL GAS BOOM
New York runs on natural gas. New York is the fourth largest natural gas consuming state in the country. Even as the state moves toward embracing more alternative fuel sources, the New York State 2015 Energy Plan projects natural gas usage will continue to grow, firmly establishing itself as the state’s dominant fuel for the foreseeable future.
The Constitution Pipeline promises to create a new artery for future economic development and cheap, clean energy. This critical piece of pipeline infrastructure will provide energy consumers access to cost-effective, abundant natural gas supplies.
Read a recent piece in the New York Post about the project.
In the process, the Constitution Pipeline will:
- CREATE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
“Natural gas and renewables complement each other very nicely … I think it’s important to recognize that these industries, although we do compete, are working together to address some of the most pressing energy needs in the country.” — (Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, January 2013)
Constitution Pipeline is consistent with New York’s aggressive plan to tackle climate change. The key to Governor Cuomo’s plan for half of New York’s power to come from renewables within 15 years is an even greater increase in natural gas use. The state’s ability to incorporate more wind and solar energy into their power mix is dependent on natural gas combined cycle turbines that will quickly and cost-effectively pick up the slack when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.
Increased utilization of natural gas brings environmental benefits. Case-in-point: New York City’s improving air quality.
New York City’s air quality reached its cleanest level in 50 years in September 2013. Since 2008, levels of sulfur dioxide dropped 69 percent. Since 2007, soot pollution dropped 23 percent. The primary driver: the phase-out of heating oil in more than 2,700 buildings across the city from 2011 to 2013, a trend accelerated by the availability of affordable natural gas.
According to the city’s 2013 estimate, improved air quality is preventing 800 deaths and 2,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations from lung and cardiovascular diseases annually, compared to 2008.
As then-New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement: “Switching to cleaner heating fuels is contributing to dramatic improvements in the air quality of New York City and will help all of us stay healthier.”
- CREATE JOBS
Construction of the project is estimated to directly and indirectly create 2,400 jobs and generate $130 million in labor income for the region. The Project has received support from LiUNA, Teamsters, NY Operating Engineers, Plumbers and Pipe Fitters.
“New York State is home to over 39,000 hardworking men and women of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA). These members continue to strongly support the $800 million dollar Constitution Pipeline project in Broome, Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties. LiUNA also urges the NYSDEC to immediately issue the necessary water quality permits so that this project and its vast economic impact can move forward.” — (LiUNA News Release, April 2016)
- SERVE LOCAL HOMES & BUSINESSES
The Constitution Pipeline will transport enough natural gas each day to serve about 3 million homes – many of which will be located in New York. The Constitution Pipeline is an “open access” pipeline, which means local communities and utilities along the route can tap the line for future residential, commercial or industrial uses. Plans are already underway to provide new natural gas service in parts of Broome, Chenango, and Delaware counties which have never before enjoyed natural gas access. Currently, more than fifty percent of Southern Tier and Central New York residents rely on fuel oils to heat their homes; while a mere eight percent are able to utilize lower-cost, cleaner-burning natural gas.
“The Constitution Pipeline can create a backbone for Leatherstocking Gas Company to extend the development of local natural gas distribution franchises in rural communities along the pipeline route in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York,” said Leatherstocking CEO Mike German. “We are excited about the possibilities for local service that this new pipeline infrastructure can provide.” — [Leatherstocking News Release, March 2014]
- GENERATE TAX REVENUE
Once operational, the Constitution Pipeline’s economic impact is anticipated to result in more than $13 million in annual property tax revenue. This project is privately financed with no government subsidies, tax breaks or incentives. The project will pay millions in annual property tax payments to localities and school districts. Approximately 60 percent of taxes paid by this project will directly benefit local school districts along the pipeline route.
- LINK NEW YORK WITH LOWER-COST ENERGY
New York residents currently pay among the highest energy rates in the country. The Constitution Pipeline is positioned to bring New York something it hasn’t seen much of in the past decade: cheap natural gas. Once complete, the pipeline will provide consumers reliable supplies of lower-cost energy — addressing one of the key challenges Upstate New York faces in remaining competitive with other manufacturing regions. This is true for Amphenol Aerospace, one of the largest private employers in the region. Although they’ve operated in Sidney since the 1920s, they have publicly stated they suffer a 30-40% price disadvantage by not having access to natural gas.