As natural gas prices continue to rise, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin are pushing for New York to consider environmentally friendly natural gas production.
The New York independent system operator warns of a sharp increase in wholesale electricity costs expected this winter due to several economic and geopolitical factors that continue to impact the cost of the natural gas market used in the production of electricity. The ISO recently published an updated white paper on electricity prices in an effort to prepare consumers for the winter home heating season.
NYISO’s report, Impact of National and Global Conditions on Electricity Prices in New York City, incorporates and integrates information from the Energy Information Administration, State Public Service Commission, Department of Labor and Power Trends of USA, NYISO’s Annual State of the Network Report. The white paper is intended to help serve and educate consumers, media and market participants, and will be updated as conditions and data change.
Heading into this summer, the federal Energy Information Administration has forecast that the price of natural gas delivered to power generators will average $8.81/MMBtu this summer, up from $3.93/MMBtu last summer. . Actual prices, according to the EIA, were somewhat lower, averaging $7.28/MMBtu.
“New York should move forward with environmentally friendly natural gas production,” Goodell told members of the Independent Oil and Gas Association at their annual meeting held recently in Ellicottville. “Our residents and businesses deserve lower cost natural gas, our farmers and landowners would benefit from these royalty payments, and the southern end would experience an economic boon worth millions of dollars. Instead of making Pennsylvania richer, we need to make New York richer. »
According to the Western Energy Alliance, natural gas is the main reason that the United States has been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country in the world, because coal-fired power plants have been replaced by coal-fired power plants. cleaner natural gas. US natural gas production has increased 37% since 1990, while greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 17%.
Goodell pointed to federal efforts to restrict oil and gas supplies, including blocking the Keystone Pipeline and other pipelines, issuing fewer oil leases than any administration since the 1940s, the blocking refinery expansions and curtailing liquid natural gas production with restrictive regulations. Biden has repeatedly stated his desire to phase out fossil fuels over the next 10 years, which Goodell says has discouraged critical energy investments. The lack of sufficient domestic supplies, coupled with geopolitical events, has led to a dramatic increase in consumer prices.
At the state level, Republicans have opposed Democrats’ actions to block blocked natural gas supply lines, exploration for Marcellus natural gas in western New York, and denial of requests for new power plants. The Indian Point nuclear power plant that provided about 25% of New York City’s electricity has shut down and Goodell said the state is imposing new restrictions on “top plants” which further reduce the power supply.
Zeldin is also pushing for an overturn of New York’s ban on fracking. Ending the fracking ban — administratively put in place in 2014 by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, then signed into law by the state legislature in 2021 — would also be a heavyweight and a clash with a separate law requiring the state to switch to more renewable energy. forms of energy to combat climate change. But the proposal is one of a handful of economic goals Zeldin has declared if he is elected governor in November.
“Jobs can be created, we can generate income, we can reduce taxes”, Zeldin told reporters in July during a virtual press conference. “There is a huge benefit to the state in undoing this ban on the safe extraction of natural gas that we have.”
Hochul, on the other hand, said in March that the state’s reliance on fossil fuels contributes to climate change and air pollution while exposing consumers to fluctuations in global commodity prices. She said the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and its move toward being fossil fuel free will better protect state residents from rising natural gas prices. Hochul’s state of the state address and executive budget proposal for 2022 included a new offshore wind development solicitation, $500 million investment for offshore wind port infrastructure and supply chain; achieve 2 million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030; phase out old power plants; stimulate the market for new clean energy technologies such as green hydrogen and ensure the creation of quality green jobs.
“That idea died on arrival,” Hochul told WNYC “Brian Lehrer Show”according to the New York Post, when asked to lift restrictions on fracking. “We are not going to back down on our commitment to protecting the environment. And this is just another example of how Lee Zeldin is the one who is out of touch with New York values. How much he would be extreme and dangerous to have someone willing to roll back all the progress you’ve made to protect our planet and protect the people of our state in the future. So we’re not going there, Brian.
The energy struggle during the 2022 election season comes at a time when New York’s independent system operator is calling for major investments in the state’s electric system to comply with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act . ISO recently published its “System and Resource Outlook 2021-2040” recently identifying what he calls an unprecedented level of investment in the electrical system. By 2040, the state will need to add between 111 gigawatts and 124 gigawatts of generation capacity to meet the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandate to have a fully renewable electric grid. For reference, New York has 37 gigawatts of generation capacity, with 12.9 gigawatts of next-generation developed since wholesale electricity markets began more than 20 years ago in 1999.
While calling for unprecedented levels of investment, the report does not put a price on needed upgrades.
“ISO New York remains committed to maintaining reliability as our grid transitions to a clean energy future,” said Rich Dewey, president and CEO of ISO New York. “The scale of new resource development needed to meet system reliability and policy requirements over the next 20 years is unprecedented.”