As New York ponders producing shale gas or allowing "fracking", New York might want to remember that it really likes using natural gas. Already big before this year, New York's appetite for natural gas got a lot bigger in the first half of 2012, when its consumption of natural gas rose 18.6%, compared to the same period in 2011. See table 2.8b at: www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/pdf/epm.pdf.
Why is New York using more natural gas? Most of New York's growing gas consumption is to make electricity and to keep its lights on. Like most states, New York would be in the dark, grind to a halt, and be cold without natural gas. And that is more true today than was the case even just last year.
Moreover, if New York does succeed in its campaign to close the Indian Point nuclear plant, take one guess what will provide most of the replacement power if that big nuke goes off line. Mostly more coal and gas generated electricity that feeds into the grid around the clock, plus a bit more wind and solar, will fill the void that then opens.
And given all the heat from Ithaca and Manhattan about gas production in Pennsylvania, New Yorkers may be surprised to learn that New York uses considerably more gas than does Pennsylvania. In fact, New York used 10% more, a total of 34 billion cubic feet more than Pennsylvania, during the same period.
New York guzzles gas everyday and supports fracking with its purchases, whether or not it does its part to meet America's energy needs.