Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

Canary talks about New York and fossil gas on The Weather Channel

Watch Canary Media’s Jeff St. John discuss the state’s plans to decarbonize its buildings and fossil gas utilities on the cable channel’s climate show, Pattrn.
By Jeff St. John

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New York has ambitious plans to decarbonize its buildings by cutting reliance on fossil-fueled heating — and to find ways for its gas utilities to be a positive player in that transition.

These were the topics I got into in an April 18 interview with Weather Channel meteorologists Stephanie Abrams and Jordan Steele on their climate-focused show Pattrn. In a brief few minutes, we covered New York state’s big-picture climate goals and how it’s working on making the switch from fossil gas to clean power to achieve them.

The interview centered on Canary Media’s reporting on New York state’s plans to end fossil fuel use in new buildings and to devise a future for its gas utilities that fits into that transition.

The stakes of the state properly executing such a shift are high. Without it, New York would not only fail to hit the decarbonization goals it passed into law in 2019 — it would also create a potential energy-cost crisis for New York gas customers, Lisa Dix, New York director of the nonprofit Building Decarbonization Coalition, told us last month.

We also covered the challenges of alternative fuels like renewable natural gas (aka biomethane) and how thermal energy networks — pipelines that tap underground heat reserves to make heat pumps work more efficiently — could become a carbon-free business model for gas utilities.

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Jeff St. John is director of news and special projects at Canary Media. He covers innovative grid technologies, rooftop solar and batteries, clean hydrogen, EV charging and more.