Power & Politics: Future of the Iroquois Pipeline; NY-16 debate preview

This week's episode of Power & Politics covered two topics: New York's energy future and a preview of News 12's exclusive first debate between Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Jonathan Gordon

May 12, 2024, 8:01 PM

Updated 7 days ago

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IROQUOIS PIPELINE
New York recently closed an extended public comment period as the state weights the future of the Iroquois Gas Pipeline expansion project.
The proposal would add new compressor stations including in Dutchess County to move more gas along the 400+ mile route from the Canadian border through the Hudson Valley and Connecticut to New York City and Long Island.
Environmentalists including the nonprofit Food & Water Watch have been strongly opposed to any expansions.
"It just makes no sense to be expanding a fracked gas pipeline when we have very ambitious climate goals and we're in a climate crisis," Food and Water Watch senior Hudson Valley organizer Emily Skydel said.
In February 2020, Iroquois submitted two Air State Facility permit applications to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation as part of its proposal to add 12,000 horsepower of new compression and associated facilities at the stations in Dover and Athens.
On Dec. 28, 2022, the NYSDEC issued Iroquois a Noice of Complete Application which allowed for a public review before a decision on the permit.
On Feb. 26, 2024, the New York Department of Public Service which oversees the utility companies, provided an assessment that determined the project is necessary to ensure Con Edison and National Grid can continue to provide reliable gas service to its customers downstate.
A NYSDEC spokesperson told News 12 in a statement: "DEC subjects every application to a rigorous review of all applicable federal and state standards to ensure the agency’s decision is protective of public health and the environment, upholds environmental justice and fairness, and meets applicable standards, including those related to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). DEC is reviewing more than 3,000 public comments on the Iroquois Enhancement by Compression (ExC) Project reliability and needs determination made by the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS). DEC received requests for an extension beyond the initial public comment deadline of March 29, 2024, and extended the comment period to April 29, 2024, to allow additional time for the public feedback."
A spokesperson for Iroquois told News 12 in a statement: "As with any proposed energy infrastructure project in New York State, there are those who oppose the project and those who support it. The focus must continue to be on the legitimate energy needs of the state. As determined by the Department of Public Service, the New York agency responsible for reviewing gas utility preparedness plans, this project is essential for Con Edison and National Grid to continue to reliably serve their New York customers during the transition to cleaner energy sources. This need was highlighted during the events that unfolded during the recent winter storm Elliot. While we all may desire a cleaner energy future, the agency appointed to safeguard the energy well-being of the residents of New York has determined that the prudent use of natural gas as proposed with the ExC project must play an essential role during this period of transition."
A final determination on the permits is pending.
BOWMAN VS. LATIMER
On Monday, May 13, News 12 will host the exclusive first debate between Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer. The two Democrats are fighting for votes in New York's 16th Congressional District which includes Co-op City in the Bronx and all of lower Westchester.
News 12's senior reporter Tara Rosenblum will moderate the debate. She profiled both candidates for this weekend's show.


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