Tell Governor Hochul and Commissioner Christian to REJECT National Grid’s $3.8 Billion Rate Hike proposal for fossil fuels

Governor Kathy Hochul and Public Service Commissioner Chair, Rory Christian

Background: In 2022, New York City and Long Island residents were slammed with a hike in utility rates by National Grid so they could expand their fracked gas system. In 2023, the company was back, demanding more money from customers to (AGAIN) invest in their fracked gas system with ANOTHER rate increase that will raise everyone’s bills by an average of $30 a month.

  • $33.84 PER MONTH (+28.82%) bill hike for National Grid Customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
  • $34.79 (+30.69%) bill hike for Long Island customers.

National Grid’s leaky, toxic gas system is harming New Yorkers and breaking our climate law.

The gas systems should be RETIRED, NOT REPLACED! New York State law requires that we get off all fossil fuels by 2050 to mitigate the climate disasters unfolding in real time before us. We shouldn’t be paying 3.8 BILLION dollars for National Grid to invest in their decrepit gas system!

Climate change is here, with extreme heat, brutal cold, massive wildfires, devastating hurricanes, and previously unimaginable floods. The Public Service Commission (PSC) and the governor must ensure that we meet the requirements of the state climate law, protect our residents, farms, and businesses, and lead the nation in smart climate policy.

We must band together and tell the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Governor Hochul must reject National Grid’s proposal to extend the life of its fracked gas system and the company’s request for massive rate hikes.

What we demand in this petition:

The Public Service Commission, under the leadership of Governor Hochul, must block National Grid’s 2023 proposal to raise our gas bills. Specifically, we call for:

  1. Zero investments in fracked gas infrastructure in Case 23-G-0225/23-G-0226.

  2. A detailed plan with a hard and enforceable deadline of 2030 to permanently retire the fossil fuel facility at National Grid’s Greenpoint Energy Center, located at 287 Maspeth Avenue in Brooklyn.

  3. Invest state and federal funds in the development of thermal energy networks and energy efficiency initiatives, including retrofit and electrification readiness programs for low-income New Yorkers.

Background on the “Greenpoint Energy Center” at 287 Maspeth:

National Grid’s LNG facility at 287 Maspeth Avenue in Brooklyn is built on the occupied land of the Mespeatches (where the name Maspeth originates) who inhabited the headwaters of Newtown Creek and collected strawberries, grapes, chestnuts, walnuts, and medicinal plants that grew wild throughout the island. They were productive farmers as well, growing together corn, beans, squash, as well as other sustaining plant foods. Corn, beans, and squash were called “the three sisters” by the Lenape.

Dutch colonial settlers arrived in the mid-1600s and began the industrialization of Newtown Creek, the industrial area with the longest continuous history in the United States.

In the mid-1800s the site housed a kerosene and oil refinery, and subsequently, Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which was responsible for North America’s largest terrestrial oil spill. It later transitioned to the Brooklyn Union Gas company and was bought by National Grid, a UK-based corporation, in 2006. It is currently a Superfund site, a federal program designed to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.

The community near the site is working hard to remediate the area and bring life back to the creek, but National Grid made this work much more difficult by building its Greenpoint Energy Center facility on 117 acres of land surrounded by an opaque fence. The facility houses its liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage, liquefiers, and vaporizers and continues the painful legacy of fossil fuel poisoning in the community. It is time to end the fossil fuel era and retire this toxic facility, a heart of the fracked gas system in New York City.

What Newtown Creek would have looked like in pre-colonial times. Photo: Newtown Creek Alliance

Oil spill on the Newtown Creek. Photo: Attorney General's Office

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New York, NY

To: Governor Kathy Hochul and Public Service Commissioner Chair, Rory Christian
From: Ruth Foster

I urge the Public Service Commission to deny the utility rate hikes requested by National Grid in Department of Public Service Proceedings (23-G-0225/0226).

National Grid’s proposal seeks billions of dollars from ratepayers to build unnecessary projects that will lock us into decades of fossil fuel use and stranded assets.

The company’s proposal extends the life of a harmful fracked gas system that their customers do not want. Our communities have suffered for decades from the health impacts of environmental racism and injustice, and we refuse to pay to build new fossil fuel infrastructure that will continue that legacy in our neighborhoods for generations to come.

Further, these unnecessary projects run contrary to NYC’s climate law and climate goals. The Scoping Plan put forth by Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in December 2022 aims to achieve a 40% reduction in statewide GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, and an 85% reduction in statewide GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. National Grid’s proposal would make it much more difficult to achieve these goals.

We urge you to reject this proposal that would force ratepayers to pay billions of dollars to fund National Grid’s investment in infrastructure that will continue to poison us and future generations for decades to come. We demand that this rate case include no new investments in fracked gas infrastructure, including the replacement of gas pipes, and also incorporate a plan to permanently shut down National Grid’s Greenpoint LNG facility.

Please stand with our community and require that the 2023-2024 Rate Case include (1) zero investments in fracked gas infrastructure and (2) a detailed, long-term plan to permanently retire National Grid’s Greenpoint Energy Center located at 287 Maspeth Avenue by 2030 (3) Invest state and federal funds in the development of thermal energy networks and energy efficiency initiatives, including retrofit and electrification readiness programs for low-income New Yorkers.