Cynthia Nixon Wants To Ban ‘Fracked’ Gas In New York. Here’s Why That’s Insane

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Actress Cynthia Nixon doesn’t think banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, goes far enough. So, the gubernatorial candidate announced she would “not approve any new use of fracked gas” in the state if elected.

But banning “fracked” gas would mean having to completely upend the supply chain for New York’s single largest source of fuel. In other words, it’s a total fantasy.

Nixon, known for her role as Miranda in show “Sex and The City,” wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo, her Democratic opponent, to “take the same pledge.” Nixon said her state “should not build fossil fuel power plants or pipelines that threaten our environment and contribute to climate change.”

There’s just one problem — New York is reliant on “fracked” gas from the Marcellus shale formation.

New York relies heavily on natural gas for heating and electricity. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows New York used gas to generate about half its electricity in 2015.

New York City, where Nixon lives, gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from natural gas, according to The New York Times. Most of the city’s gas comes from the Marcellus shale.

But there’s more.

New York only produces a small amount of gas since fracking was banned in the state, and residents are reliant on imports to meet virtually all gas demand. Natural gas is the largest single fuel source used in the Empire State, and most of it comes from the Marcellus shale.

Pennsylvania is New York’s largest supplier of gas. New York also gets gas deliveries from New Jersey, but most of that gas is actually “fracked” gas from Pennsylvania, according to EIA. Canada used to be New York’s top supplier, but that’s been supplanted by Pennsylvania.


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

EIA notes that “most natural gas consumed in the state is supplied by pipelines from other states and Canada,” but an “increasing share of New York’s natural gas comes from Pennsylvania.”

“With Pennsylvania natural gas production growing more than seventeen-fold since 2009, pipeline companies are expanding their capabilities to ship Marcellus Shale natural gas to customers in New York and New England,” EIA noted.

Banning “fracked” gas would mean New York would need to replace virtually all its supply. Put that way, Nixon’s pledge sounds totally insane.

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