Vets4Energy: Natural Gas Infrastructure Badly Needed

March 5, 2018

(signed by five Vets4Energy volunteer chairmen in New England -- listed at end)

This time of year and as Veterans who reside in New England, we feel a responsibility to contribute to the national energy conversation. U.S. domestic energy means more to us than convenience – much more.

The ability to be reliant on just domestic sources for our fueling needs is an indispensable priority – one that so many have sacrificed to defend. The benefits of natural gas are a matter that's close to home for us and all other Service-Men and -Women. Through the use of current technologies in product manufacturing by the natural gas industry, our soldiers receive life-saving apparel, including ballistic vests, Kevlar helmets, and Kevlar bolt-on armor. We are deeply grateful for developments like these – innovations that are saving lives. At home – energy infrastructure projects that require the inter-state cooperation of leaders in order to connect all citizens to American energy safely and consistency means lowered energy costs. That's why it upsets us to know that New York's Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has adamantly stood against the expansion of energy infrastructure, not only into New York State, but because of how New York is positioned within the northeast, all of New England as well. Decisions made to stop energy infrastructure by New York politicians are serving as a choke- hold to the expanded delivery of abundant U.S. natural gas to fellow Americans up north.

New England's energy infrastructure is lacking the capacity to meet demand. That forces utilities to use other forms of energy production like coal, oil and imported LNG some of which comes from Russia, in order to keep up with recent cold snaps. Who pays for this lack of modernization to infrastructure and lack of foresight? All of New England does. Through denying the passage of pipelines, families and business owners find no relief from the heavy burden of high electricity and heating costs. These are not luxuries, but everyday needs that all Americans should be able to afford.

Many U.S. soldiers call New England home, either permanently or temporarily during assignments. Do you see the irony in these soldiers coming home from serving our great country – protecting the U.S. and its allies from unfriendly, terror-inflicting nations and organizations – to be restricted from sharing in the abundant energy-wealth of their own country?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has already approved pipeline projects that will transport natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale located in the middle-Atlantic states. Approvals like this don't come without extensive research on potential environmental impacts and safety mitigation measures.

If energy infrastructure, in particular pipelines, that transport natural gas, were a new, under- developed technology, then maybe some reluctance could be tolerated; but the fact is pipelines have proven, over decades of use,to be the safest means for transporting natural gas.

The U.S. currently has over 2.4 million miles of energy pipeline in place. Pipelines are a modern, safe, highly developed form of infrastructure in this country – with a 99.99% safety rating. How many other industries can tout that number? Using the Cuomo prohibition as a guide, it makes us wonder...

... Governor Cuomo, you can't simply draw the curtains on your office and forget that New Englanders are paying up to three times (according to a Bloomberg report) the average cost for natural gas – all due to a lack of energy infrastructure that would cut costs dramatically. In our view energy security is a national effort. If a state has the resources it has an obligation to make a contribution. It's time for New York to start pulling its weight.

Read entire article at Amherst
Article Submitted by:

  • Paul Chevalier - Vets4Energy New Hampshire
  • Rich DeNoyer – Vets4Energy Massachusetts
  • Brendan Kennedy - Vets4Energy Connecticut
  • Paul Lloyd - Vets4Energy Rhode Island
  • Steve San Pedro - Vets4Energy Maine
  • Ron Tallman - Vets4Energy Vermont


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