NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS2 is continuing to fight for families and small business owners who are being denied natural gas.
We’ve previously told you about two families who turned their gas off to renovate their homes and were refused service when the projects were completed and about a Vietnamese immigrant who put his life savings into a restaurant that he can’t open without gas.
They are among thousands of New Yorkers being used as pawns in a fight over a natural gas pipeline.
CBS2’s Jessica Moore met a woman who says she might have to send her two babies to live with relatives in China if the utility refuses to give them the gas they need to heat their home.
Anderson Wu, 3, toddles up the stairs of his new home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
“It’s in a perfect neighborhood for us to raise our babies,” said mom Jenny Wu.
“Is he excited to move in?” Moore asked.
“Yes, definitely. He has no idea about this National Grid nightmare,” Jenny replied.
Jenny and her husband bought the house at 938 Pacific Street last summer, when she was eight months pregnant. They’ve spent every day and dollar since renovating what they call their dream home for their two little boys.
“I can just imagine my kids playing in the back yard, jumping up and down,” she said.
A few weeks ago, Jenny called National Grid to restart gas service, so her family could move in mid-October.
“It didn’t occur to us this would be a problem. We just made a call and National Grid denied service to us because of this pipeline project going on,” she said.
National Grid told her what they told CBS2 earlier this week, that there wasn’t enough gas and “any incremental gas load will exacerbate the current supply shortage.”
“Obviously, that’s an excuse. Everyone can tell. But as little people in this big city, we have no means to deny their claim,” Jenny said.
But National Grid continued to deny their claim. Countless calls and in-person visits to the company proved useless.
“I’m used as a hostage to change the whole situation, but it’s not our responsibility to change anything,” she said.
“You just want gas,” Moore said.
“Yes. Gas, heat and hot water for my babies,” Jenny said.
Jenny says even if National Grid continues to deny her service, she and her family have no choice but to move in next month. Their rental lease is up and they’re completely out of money.
“Does it make you scared thinking about not having heat in the house in the winter for your babies?” Moore asked.
“Yes… if it gets really cold in the winter we’ll have to send our babies back to China where we’re from,” Jenny said. “I’m helpless, desperate and vulnerable. I really hope National Grid and the lawmakers can have an open talk to give us a solution.”
A representative with National Grid told Moore she understands the frustration this situation is causing customers, but said without more natural gas – aka the pipeline – the company’s hands are tied.
CBS2 will keep demanding answers.
A representative with National Grid told Moore she’s looking into Wu’s case, but at last check had not provided any explanation as to why she specifically is being denied gas service.
There are currently 2,600 National Grid customers in Brooklyn, Queens and on Long Island being denied gas by the utility.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered an investigation into the utility.