New York, NY — On Tuesday, M.J. Bradley & Associates, on behalf of Williams Company and National Grid, released a misleading and cherry-picked report claiming the Williams NESE fracked gas pipeline would lower greenhouse gas emissions. Together with corporate utility National Grid, Williams is proposing 24-miles of fracked gas pipeline from New Jersey’s Raritan Bay under New York’s Harbor — through the very communities still rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy.
This comes after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy denied six permits needed to build the pipeline through Raritan Bay, and after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo denied the project’s water quality permit for the New York Harbor.
With the fight to protect our health, safety, and climate escalating, the Stop The Williams Pipeline Coalition issued the following statement:
“Science and justice make it clear that fracked gas is a climate disaster, and Williams, National Grid misrepresenting the facts doesn’t change that. This is the same kind of delay and deceit that we’ve seen from the likes of ExxonMobil attempting to block meaningful climate action. Methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than CO2, is leaking at frightening rates from fracking well heads along transportation routes, and from the outdated infrastructure in our city and into our homes. For New York to meet our climate justice goals, and for Governor Cuomo to fulfill his commitment for a Green New Deal for New York, we must stop the Williams fracked gas pipeline for good.
“Multiple reports prove the manufactured demand and nonexistent need around the Williams pipeline. We refuse to be bullied by corporate utilities holding our energy needs hostage, presenting the false choice of gas versus oil. Both are dirty fossil fuels that can, and must, be replaced by renewable energy. The Williams fracked gas pipeline would be spending a billion dollars in the wrong direction.”
The release of the report—which only looked at ten years of emissions when pipelines are intended to last for up to five decades—comes the day after dozens of New Yorkers testified at a City Council hearing on methane leakage on the city’s aging pipeline system. New Yorkers called for old leaking pipes to be replaced with renewables, and shared how National Grid’s proposal for gas expansion would be a climate disaster.
Williams’ flawed report uses industry-friendly methodology to estimate methane leakage, claiming rates far lower than most scientific reports on the topic while also misrepresenting the impact that electrified renewable alternatives and energy efficiency to oil and gas heating would have.
Additional resources on climate impacts of methane and other false Williams and National Grid claims:
- A report from PSE Healthy Energy (page 25) shows that the Williams NESE Pipeline would increase GHG pollution by the equivalent of 8 million metric tons of CO2.
- Methane is 84-106 times more potent a GHG than CO2 for the first 20 years it’s in the atmosphere. If just 2.7% leaks throughout the entire life cycle, fracked gas is worse for the climate than coal and oil. Cornell scientist Robert Howarth reports that leakage rates from the Marcellus Shale are 4-12%.
- Report: “Burning the Gas ‘Bridge Fuel’ Myth: Why Gas Is Not Clean, Cheap, or Necessary”
- Report: “Trust Us: Manufacturing a Panic for Pipelines and Profit” :
- Report: “False Demand: The Case Against the Williams Fracked Gas Pipeline”
From Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford: “Trading oil for gas is not an option in today’s world, where we have 11 years to eliminate 80% of global greenhouse gas and particle emissions and where thousands of New Yorkers still succumb to air pollution caused by the combustion of fossil fuels. Any comparison of oil or gas should be made with the option of using clean, renewable energy (e.g., wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower) to provide electricity or direct heat, where the electricity is used in a ground-source heat pump (for New York). As we speak, a New York company, dandelionenergy.com, for example, has a ground-source heat pump that, when combined with renewable electricity, has a similar upfront cost yet saves large amounts of money over time because of the much lower fuel cost. The reason is the coefficient of performance of a ground-source heat pump is about 4-5, whereas that of natural gas home heater is about 0.8; thus electricity plus a heat pumps produces the same energy at 1/5th to 1/6th the fuel cost as gas. As such, baking in a gas pipeline means consumers will pay extraordinary bills for years to come while the combustion of gas will continue to damage the health of New Yorkers and the methane leaks in the distribution system and during mining will cause 84 times the warming per unit mass as CO2 over a 20 year time frame.”
Contact: Lindsay Meiman, firstname.lastname@example.org, (347) 460-9082
Lee Ziesche, lee@SaneEnergyProject.org, (954) 415-6228