As New York State continues down the path of being a clean energy leader nationwide and even with recent advancements in technology and significant government investment in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, New York needs a reliable partner in getting there, as renewable sources of energy alone cannot consistently power New York.

Natural gas is a clean, affordable, and reliable source of energy and is in large part responsible for making the United States a net exporter of energy for the first time in our nation’s history, thereby reducing our reliance on foreign oil.

Natural gas has become increasingly important for New York State. New York needs additional resources to meet growing demand. Natural gas is a reliable and readily available energy source that can achieve this goal.

  • Cleaner Energy: Natural gas is helping to address climate change by lowering carbon dioxide emissions. While U.S. gas production is up 37 percent since 1990, greenhouse gas emissions are down 17 percent.
  • Cheaper Energy: Expanded access to natural gas will help keep energy prices low by increasing supply to meet growing demand.
  • Complements Renewables: Natural gas works in concert with renewable energy generation, like wind and solar, by providing reliable energy supplies.
  • Energy Independence: 98 percent of the natural gas used in the United States is produced in North America.

The simple fact is that New Yorkers rely on natural gas. Sixty percent of New York households heat with natural gas, and 40 percent of our electricity comes from power plants that run on natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Whether New Yorkers heat their homes in the winter or power their air conditioners in the summer, natural gas is fueling their everyday lives.

Additionally, according to the Western Energy Alliance, natural gas “is the number one reason the United States has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country.” The shift from dirtier-burning fuels like coal to natural gas has produced 57 percent more carbon-emission reductions than have all the renewable energy sources that have come online since 2005, EIA data show.

Renewable energy today accounts for only 30 percent of New York’s power generation, and 25 of that 30 percent comes from hydroelectric dams. When the Indian Point nuclear unit shuts down next year, New York will need even more natural gas for power plants to fill the gap. Also, the more New York moves to intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar, the more vital it will be to have natural gas power plants online and available to cycle up as quickly as the wind stops blowing or the sun goes behind a cloud.

The truth is, natural gas is the only source of energy that can fully and reliably meet the needs of New Yorkers – and do so without increasing energy costs to homeowners and businesses or increasing the cost of new construction to alleviate New York’s affordable housing problem.

As we move forward, New York must take a more comprehensive approach to energy – one that includes natural gas as a reliable partner in the quest to generate power, serve as a clean, affordable source of energy, and help reduce our carbon footprint. 

New Yorkers for Affordable Energy stands ready, willing, and able to work with our elected leaders in New York to find a pathway forward that meets both our shared desire for a clean energy future and the real energy needs of everyday New Yorkers.