'Natural gas is a reality for the state'

| 24 Nov 2017 | 10:33

    Lately there seems to be a lot of concern from some of your readers regarding new natural gas facilities in New York State (I won't name names, or local celebrities, but it's not hard to figure out).
    I am not writing this to specifically debate fracking or pipeline installation (or even building power plants for that matter).
    Full disclosure: I have been building and operating generating facilities (all types including hydro, geothermal and cogeneration) for more than 20 years.
    I am writing to hopefully raise some awareness on the issue of natural gas use in all of New York.
    First off, the natural gas used in New York is all the same. There is no separate line for "fracked" versus "unfracked" supplies. New York State uses roughly 5 percent of the (fracked and unfracked) gas produced in the U.S. today and is in the top ten of the largest consuming states overall (see for yourself at the EIA's website).
    And the consumption rate is only growing, not only due to environmentally friendly generating facilities but also due to thousands of commercial and residential customers in the state converting over from other sources. In New York City alone more than 4,000 buildings are converting from sources like fuel oil to natural gas as I write this.
    Why are they doing this?
    Because it far cleaner than any other commercially available fuel source today. In fact, you can go to any NY gas utilities web page (for example https://www.oru.com/en/save-money/convert-to-natural-gas) and see that converting to natural gas is widely promoted due to its environmental benefits and economical impacts to the customer.
    And its not just coming to the state in pipelines. I wonder how many people know that recently a large propane terminal in nearby Montgomery opened for business that can supply up to 1 million gallons per day.
    Do they also know that the propane comes from the Marcellus Shale region as well?
    I guess I missed the invite to the protest for that one.
    I'm not advocating that we discontinue the path to sensible renewable energy sources. But I am asking that we all look past the hyperbole and grandstanding of the few people with nothing else to do then try to scare people away from what is logical and realistic.
    Natural gas is a reality for the state and its only making life better for all of us. It's clean, economical and it is the path to a greener future.
    Ben Stanley