Letter: We need natural gas as part of the reopening of economy

June 8, 2020

Times Union

With nearly 40 million Americans currently unemployed and many businesses declaring bankruptcy or announcing permanent closure, it’s imperative that we establish a comprehensive plan to get people back to work.

If there is anything this crisis has taught us, it is that we cannot rely exclusively on other countries to manufacture our goods or prescription medication, and we need clean, reliable, affordable energy to help power operations for hospitals, grocery stores and millions of New Yorkers now working from home.

As a coalition, we will continue to support the efforts of New York state to implement clean energy goals and increase the use of renewable energy sources; however, we must be realistic and adapt to the immediate need: affordability and reliability for all New Yorkers.

The simple fact is that New Yorkers rely on natural gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New York is the sixth-largest consumer of natural gas and relies on it to produce nearly 40 percent of its electricity generation and heat 60 percent of its households.

If we are to revitalize the New York economy and get people back to work, we need natural gas to be a reliable partner in that effort. Over the past many years, there has been a push to limit the use of natural gas and block new natural gas infrastructure. It is shortsighted and hurting our economy.

New Yorkers are resilient, and we will come back from this health and economic crisis, but now more than ever before, we must put New Yorker’s fiscal well-being ahead of politics and environmental activists.

Mike Lawler
New Yorkers for Affordable Energy