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Cuomo threatens to revoke National Grid’s license for city, LI gas service

Posted: 12:01 PM, Nov 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-12 12:01:10-05

NEW YORK — Could it be the end of National Grid in New York City?

In a letter issued Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to “revoke National Grid’s certificate to operate its downstate gas franchise,” which includes New York City and Long Island.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks about the NYCHA housing crisis in the Bronx on March 12, 2018. (PIX11)

The governor said utility companies in New York “operate only if it is in the public interest,” and that National Grid has failed to provide “adequate and reliable service”.

The company recently introduced a moratorium, refusing service to activate gas hookups to new and returning customers, according to the New York Times . The moratorium is referenced in Cuomo’s letter.

“The essential responsibility for a utility to provide adequate and reliable service is to manage the supply and demand,” Cuomo said. “The very lack of supply you now point to as the reason for your denial of service to thousands of customers exhibits your failure to plan for supply needs. Your fundamental legal obligation as mandated by your certificate of operation was to plan and provide for future needs. You failed by your own admission.”

In the letter, Cuomo gave the utility company 14 days notice of the intention to revoke the certificate.

“Either National Grid was grossly negligent in relying exclusively on the speculative construction of a private pipeline to meet the demands that it was statutorily required to provide; or, National Grid deliberately defrauded the people of the state by not developing or pursuing existing supply options to force approval and reliance on a private pipeline to further their business interests at the cost of the consumer,” he said of the decision to threaten the revocation.

According to the Times, National Gird services 1.8 million gas customers in the city and Long Island.

Back in May, state regulators blocked the construction of a natural gas pipeline that would run from Pennsylvania to New York and New Jersey, the Times said, adding that the company believes the pipeline is critical to meeting demand.