Thirty-two elected officials sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul asking that she conduct a review of a recently approved National Grid rate increase that will fund the energy provider’s North Brooklyn Pipeline project, which will deliver fracked natural gas.
After two years of negotiations between National Grid and the state Department of Public Service, an agreement was reached in August allowing the energy company to increase their customers’ bills by an average of $5.56 per month in 2021, and then by $4.89 per month in 2022.
The rate hike will affect approximately 1.9 million New Yorkers in all five boroughs. Elected officials argue the price hike will be burdensome, especially after many homes were damaged during Hurricane Ida.
More importantly, they argue the project will negatively impact the health of many New Yorkers, especially the predominantly minority communities living in areas where the pipeline would be installed, including parts of Ridgewood, Bushwick, and Brownsville, and that the project “goes in the wrong direction on greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Dozens of New Yorkers unnecessarily lost their lives recently because for decades the fossil fuel industry perpetuated climate denial and the industry continues to delay the transition off fossil fuels,” the letter reads. “Too many members of our communities have lost their lives due to the health impacts of fossil fuel pollution, yet National Grid is still greenwashing fracked gas to this day.”
Since July 1, over 200 Brooklynites have joined a strike, withholding $66 from their monthly gas bill, to protest the project and the rate hike.
The letter was sent to Hochul during Climate Week NYC, a week-long event hosted by tThe Climate Group that advocates for sustainability practices throughout the five boroughs.
The new governor offered a statement during the event’s opening ceremony, reaffirming her commitment to climate justice in New York. National Grid is also a sponsor of Climate Week NYC, and has similarly reaffirmed its commitment to decreasing its use of fossil fuels.