Infrastructure Permitting Delays, Rejections Will Drive Businesses Out, Emissions Up

News Release May 16, 2019

Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) today underscored the negative impact of the move taken by New York State in the denial of a water quality permit for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project.

“Time and time again we are seeing politics overrule pragmatism,” said Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the American Gas Association. “Lack of natural gas infrastructure in the northeast means people are expected to rely on other sources of energy, driving costs and emissions up and denying New York families and businesses, and others across the region, access to the benefits American natural gas can provide. This discussion needs to move away from the abstract and into reality—the reality of what access to responsibly produced and delivered natural gas actually provides: affordable and reliable energy for customers and continued declining emissions.”

Residential natural gas customers have been leaders in energy efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions for nearly five decades. The average residential natural gas customers’ CO2 footprint has been cut in half since 1970, a result of improvements to building and appliance energy efficiency, consumer conservation, and the impact of utility energy efficiency programs. And the increased use of natural gas has led to U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions hitting 25-year lows.

Harbert added: “Public policy at every level should recognize the role that the use of natural gas will continue to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Maintaining, enhancing and extending natural gas infrastructure is critical to ensuring that we continue to bring the economic, reliability and environmental benefits to Americans in every part of our nation.”

The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 71 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than three-tenths of the United States' energy needs.