Andrew Cuomo Wikimedia Commons Diana Robinson
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Diana Robinson).

New York’s Gov. Cuomo last week threatened to revoke National Grid’s license to operate in the state if it does not cooperate in providing answers about its recent moratorium on natural gas hook-ups and its battle over a potential gas pipeline. Cuomo said he would impose millions of dollars in fines unless National Grid provided natural gas to more than 1,100 customers who were denied service re-connections.

While National Grid, which serves more than 1.8 million customers across the region, began reconnecting customers last week, those hook-ups comprise only about a third of the 3,700 denied power as the company battles the state over the new gas pipeline.

National Grid New York president John Bruckner defended the company’s actions and said without the added pipeline the utility’s hands are tied. The utility had said it could not provide new gas service hookups because plans for the Williams Northeast Supply gas pipeline were canceled and current supplies are waning.

In a scathing letter to John Rhoades, the chair of New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC), Cuomo called National Grid’s actions “open and obnoxiously hostile” and said the PSC “failed to adequately anticipate, respond, or prevent this harm which was your regulatory duty.”

“As the regulator of critical service for residents in the State, it is incumbent upon you to immediately analyze the existing supply needs and provide alternatives to the pipeline and in the event the pipeline project is undertaken and not completed on time,” Cuomo said. “Therefore, I direct you to expeditiously demonstrate that you have fully analyzed the existing supply needs and alternatives to natural gas pipelines.”

National Grid had filed with the NY PSC four days before Cuomo’s public rampage an implementation plan to reconnect these customers and addressed contingency plans for future supply curtailments.

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