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Natural Gas Can Help Meet NY State's Renewable Energy Goals, Coalition says

Duke Energy/Flickr

A coalition of labor and business leaders and State Lawmakers are working to expand natural gas to balance New York State's energy needs as well as meet Governor Cuomo's renewable energy goals. This bi-partisan group, New Yorkers for Affordable Energy, focuses on state regulations for the industry, according to Business Council of New York Spokesperson Zach Hutchins.

"We really need to support affordable energy, natural gas infrastructure in order to make sure that our state, both residents and businesses have access to the energy that they need in order to sustain and hopefully grow."  

While the coalition supports the state's commitment to renewable energy, Hutchins says several Upstate lawmakers in the group feel that natural gas and pipeline construction are critical to the state's energy infrastructure and economy. 

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put out a report saying that the recent blockage of pipeline construction will cost our state 17,000 jobs."

The group worries that focusing on renewable energy will make New York State economically uncompetitive and that meeting the goals in a short time period might not be possible, according to Hutchins. He says  natural gas is an efficient fuel to bridge the gap.

"Right now natural gas makes up 58 percent of home heating use and 55 percent of New York's electric generation capacity and it's a huge portion of how we're currently getting our energy.

Hutchins says gas pipeline projects that have either been turned down or are currently under review impact New York as well as other states. More information can be found at