NY Gov Andrew Cuomo Challenges Trump on Natural Gas

President Donald Trump has no shortage of pushback and criticism. However, it seems there is an outright war brewing between him and Democrat Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York. The conflict pertains to a natural gas pipeline that needs to run through portions of the state.

The President signed an executive order this past week to expedite a natural gas line pipeline project. The move came after Cuomo’s comments that he would fight the pipeline “tooth and nail.” Naturally, Trump had a different perspective.

“We need help with New York,” Trump said. “New York is hurting the country because they’re not allowing us to get those pipelines through, and that’s why they’re paying so much for their heating and all the things that energy and our energy produces. So hopefully, they can come on board and get in line with what’s happening.”

The order issued by the President was aimed to expedite the oil and gas pipeline approval process. Part of the order asked the Environmental Protection Agency to update their current guidelines, which gives states authority to block pipelines under the Clean Water Act. The idea is to prevent specific states, such as Washington or New York, from using the Clean Water Act as a way to block major energy projects that would benefit the entire country.

“In New York, they’re paying tremendous amounts of money more for energy to heat their homes because New York state blocked a permit to the build the Constitution Pipeline,” Trump added.

Though the subject was readdressed by the President this past week, the developers of the Constitution Pipeline have been locked in a legal battle with New York for the past three years over the pipeline. According to Governor Cuomo, New York does not want to permit the Constitution from running through New York for environmental reasons. He claims the state will be utilizing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

According to developers, the Constitution Pipeline would move natural gas from producers in Pennsylvania to upstate New York. It is a worthwhile project backed by labor unions. The ability for New York to lean on the Clean Water Act as a way of refusing a permit is currently keeping the pipeline from being constructed and bringing more affordable energy options to New York citizens.

Governor Cuomo is standing firm on his refusal.

“President Trump’s Executive Order is a gross overreach of federal authority that undermines New York’s ability to protect our water quality and our environment,” he said. “Any efforts to curb this right to protect our resident will be fought tooth and nail.”

In addition to altering the way states use the Clean Water Act as a means of refusing permits, Trump’s executive order is also designed to narrow the scope of the review process and set stricter timelines on the whole ordeal. It will also prevent states from using extremely broad standards for rejecting such projects.

The pipeline rejection is straining the gas supply for all northeastern states, not just New York.

“This obstruction does not just hurt families and workers like you; it undermines our independence and national security,” Trump said.

~ Liberty Planet

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