In December 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a major economic development project for Long Island, which includes a revamping of Belmont Park and a new arena for the New York Islanders hockey team.
"They're going to have their own arena, 18,000-seat arena that is designed for the Islanders," Cuomo said.
But the project could be in jeopardy. The energy company National Grid, which services the area, has told stakeholders that without more energy in the form of natural gas being piped in, it cannot guarantee service to meet the project's energy needs.
"That's a good example of a project that, without firm service, would have a difficult time moving forward," said Vincent Albanese of the New York State Laborers' Union. "For us, it's those projects that our members work on, and they are all temporary jobs, that when they are strung together, create the careers of a construction worker."
The solution is the Williams pipeline, 37 miles of which would be built through New York Harbor off the Rockaways to pipe innatural gas. Without it, there would be a moratorium on new gas-powered projects in Queens and Brooklyn, and on Long Island.
This has put Cuomo in a tough position, because environmentalists are staunchly opposed to the pipeline expansion.
"When we build more fossil fuel infrastructure, that locks us into decades more of dirty fossil fuel use at a time when we meed to transition to renewable energy yesterday," said Laura Shindell of Food and Water Watch.
Cuomo was asked about it this week. He says it's up to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, which is part of his administration.
"DEC is reviewing that, and that decision is in the hands of DEC," he said.
The state must decide whether to move forward on the pipeline next week. Shortly after that, New Jersey must make a decision, since it also goes through New Jersey. So, you could have a situation where rhe Cuomo administration approves it, only to get blocked by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The two governors, while both Democrats, have clashed on a number of issues, including congestion pricing. A spokesperson for Murphy says no decision has yet been made on the pipeline.