ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Another family has fallen victim to the National Grid pipeline debacle.
The utility is refusing service to thousands of customers, claiming a gas shortage, but even the company’s own workers say it’s all politics.
CBS2’s Jessica Moore went demanding answers from Gov. Cuomo.
Seven-year-old Alyssa Nunez can’t wait to move into her new home on Donald Street in Roslyn.
Amil Nunez bought the house in February and, after months of renovations, called National Grid to start gas service.
“They informed me they couldn’t because of a shortage of gas and the pipeline and my plumber explained we already have the lines and the meter but they refused,” Nunez said.
That call began a weeks-long nightmare, with National Grid telling Nunez there was nothing they could do because their pipeline had been denied.
The company sent him an email saying “because of this denial, National Grid has stopped processing all applications for new or expanded gas service in Brooklyn, Queens, and on Long Island for commercial, industrial, and residential consumers.”
“It makes me feel like my hands are tied I don’t know what to do. I have a family to provide for I just don’t know what to do,” Nunez told CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“I even bumped into two National Grid employees at 7-Eleven and asked them ‘what’s going on?’ They said politics,’” the homeowner added.
Nunez is currently paying the mortgage on his house and renting an apartment during renovations. That lease is up Nov. 1 and he says without gas in the new house, he has no idea where his family is going to live.
National Grid claims there is a low gas supply and tells CBS2 that “any incremental gas load will exacerbate the current gas shortage.”
CBS2 asked Gov. Cuomo about it.
“Why is National Grid allowed to do this stuff to people, to senior citizens, to small businesses?” Jessica Moore asked.
“They’re not,” Gov. Cuomo replied.
“This guy has no one else to turn to no other option,” Moore continued, pressing the governor for more answers. “Isn’t that a problem when one utility holds this monopoly over hundreds of thousands, millions of people?”
“Well, yea… That’s why I called for an investigation into them because I am very wary of them. I think they may be creating political pressure to get their pipeline approved and people are suffering real hardship,” Cuomo added.
Nunez says he hopes the investigation shows National Grid is playing politics with people’s lives, so he and his family can get back to living theirs.
Right now, there are roughly 2,600 customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island to whom National Grid is refusing service.