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Caseythoughts I needn't point out to Lansing residents the obvious difficulties promulgated by the county legislature's decision to choke off Lansing development with no new gas supplies, or a reconfiguration of the plant to utilize natural gas. Thus forcing the power plant to struggle to the point of imminent closure (and subsequent catastrophic loss of school tax dollars) to please a few anti-growth (anti-anything, it seems) nay-sayers is worrying to many, angering to some. The system currently in place to bid, purchase and transport electric power is unprofitable because coal has been made unprofitable, but alternatives to coal are anathema to supposed environmental advocates.

A conversion to natural gas would have made the local power plant viable, and given Lansing an opportunity to continue to grow and offer more housing and employment to Tompkins residents with an extension of natural gas supplies to the school, new homes and businesses. I think after this near-criminal blockage by anti-growth advocates and their political minions in the county legislature (as well as certain state politicians) that I should bring to the Star readers' attention and interesting and 'larger' tidbit of what's happening downstate as it dances to the same near-apocalyptic tune.

New Yorkers are about to face a natural gas shortage due directly to policies such as those advocated by the no-growth, anti-fracking crowd. Consolidated Edison, which provides electricity to the metro downstate, has announced that as of March 15th they would 'no longer be accepting applications for natural gas connections from new customers in most of our Westchester County service area.'

Reason? Blockage or delays to new pipeline projects on the part of the Cuomo administration and the anti-fracking/anti-pipeline minions.

Think of a county the size of Westchester being told no new development, folks, if that new development needs a natural gas supply. Which means, if you think about it, no new development period unless you somehow plan on football-size fields full of solar panels (assuming you don't get a lawsuit over them, too, a la Dryden). Yonkers mayor Mike Spano, in the Wall Street Journal, said to CBS: "Big pocketed developers are just going to move their development to other communities." Amy Paulin, a Democrat from Scarsdale said this moratorium would 'devastate' development plans, and particularly affect building any affordable housing units in her district. She said 'devastate'. What is even more devastating is that Indian Point nuclear plant has been told to shut down, cease operations of one reactor by 'No nukes' Cuomo and that is a loss of over 1000 jobs in Westchester County.

But, hey, Indian Point electricity output will be 'replaced' by three gas-fired generators, two of which are in New York state. If New York is already running short on available gas, where will this gas come from? New York Public Service Commission Chairman John Rhodes says his agency is 'pushing utilities to seek natural gas supply alternatives'. Huh? Like what? No nukes, no gas, no coal? He mentions 'clean energy' but in the meantime moratoriums, or in the case of the Southern Tier, outright bans on pipelines are not being considered or even mentioned.

Here are a couple of factoids for your edification, although only the truly rational among us seem to care these days for facts:

New York now imports nearly all of the gas it uses, even though much of the Marcellus shale gas reservoir is practically under our feet. Pennsylvania now supplies two thirds of the gas consumed in New York. By the end of 2018, Pennsylvania produced 18 billion cubic feet of gas a day. A DAY. That's more than all of Canada now produces daily.

Pennsylvania (our lovely southern neighbors who share the same Marcellus shale which we shun) reported in 2015 that over 100,000 people were directly employed in the state's oil and gas industry, surpassing the steel industry's employment totals. That's directly employed, not counting thousands who make their living connected to these 100,000 employees and their families. In 2019, Harrisburg will reap $247 million in gas related fees. How's those numbers, Cuomo? Any relation to the projected New York state deficits?

And, he's worried that people are being encouraged to leave the state, and that's causing budget problems? It would appear that certain elements, who like to sound off at public hearings and hold and bequeath all truth known to mankind, are doing everything they can to stop any kind of growth at the expense of jobs in Tompkins County and state-wide, eroding public welfare, stymieing business, limiting housing and damaging opportunities at every chance. And, just to add insult to injury, ConEd has announced proposed rate hikes in the Westchester service area ranging from 6% to 18%.

As Robert Bryce in the Wall Street Journal put it, policies have consequences. If Cuomo (and our own local minions) are so gosh-darned smart, why haven't they figured this one out?? Or have they? Wags have now decided that issues like these have a name: It is being called the "New Green Raw Deal".

Next Week: Policies and Consequences in the 'Great Amazon Disappearance Caper'.

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