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Queens Chronicle

Cuomo threatens to drop National Grid

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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:35 pm, Thu Nov 21, 2019.

Gov. Cuomo has issued an ultimatum to National Grid — start hooking up customers to gas lines within two weeks or lose its license to operate in New York City and on Long Island.

“I’m not going to allow New Yorkers to be extorted,” Cuomo told NY1 Tuesday.

“They’re not the only utility in the world, and a lot of companies would like to have this franchise,” he said.

It is the latest chapter in an increasingly harsh conflict between the utility and the governor that started last spring.

In a letter Tuesday to National Grid CEO John Pettigrew and President John Bruckner, Cuomo criticized the company for its “mishandling of the gas supply system” in the southern part of the state.

He gave the utility 14 days to come up with a plan to service to all applicants.

National Grid declared a moratorium on new accounts — which included existing homes and businesses that had temporarily suspended service — last May after New York State environmental authorities refused to approve construction of an expanded pipeline across New York Harbor from New Jersey. Without the pipelines, the company said, it did not have sufficient fuel to supply new customers.

“National Grid is in receipt of the letter from Gov. Cuomo and will review and respond accordingly within the timeframe outlined in the letter,” the company said in a prepared statement.

“We continue to work with all parties on these critical natural gas supply issues on behalf of all our customers in downstate New York.”

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