The U.S Chamber of Commerce is out with a terrific piece highlighting the negative effect high energy costs are having on job growth throughout New England. The story is familiar to anyone who has tried to own and operate a business in New York.
One of our own member companies, Kinder Morgan, which is in the process of securing approvals for a natural gas pipeline which would run through portions of New York State, receives a mention in the post.
“Pipeline companies are itching to extend their lines to bring plentiful gas into Massachusetts; Kinder Morgan KMI +0.87% has already signed up long-term buyers for the gas it would haul in via its stalled $3.3 billion Northeast Direct line.
But that’s not going to happen, at least not anytime soon. Despite the fact that Western Massachusetts’ GDP plunged 3.6% from 2007-13 (while the U.S. overall expanded 5.6% over the same time), opposition by small, well-organized groups to any new pipeline remains as ferocious as it is irrational. “We want to prevent the overbuilding of gas infrastructure and overreliance on gas, for economic reasons and climate reasons,” says Kathryn Eiseman, head of Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network advocacy group. Yet thanks to her group and others like it, in January 2014 New England’s power companies, lacking gas to make electricity, resorted to burning 2.7 million barrels of emergency fuel oil–more expensive and far more toxic, pumping out twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas. So much for “economic and climate reasons.””
New Yorkers know all too well the negative impact NIMBY-activism can have on economic growth. We encourage you to take the time to read the entire piece and let us know what you think.