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O’Mara: The State GOP’s Energy Plan

March 2, 2023

State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) earlier this week joined Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and members of the Senate Republican Conference to call for a series of policies that ensure access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy.

The Senate GOP held a news conference at the Capitol earlier today.

O’Mara said, “New Yorkers already bearing a heavy burden for state government mandates imposed under extreme executive control throughout the COVID-19 pandemic better be ready for much more of the same, and then some, if Governor Hochul’s energy mandates keep marching forward. It’s a runaway train. New York State should continue to be a leader in the pursuit of cleaner and renewable power. At the same time, it remains important to keep sounding the alarm that the state’s current energy strategy as it stands is not realistic or achievable, and unreasonably risks grid reliability, affordability, and sustainability.”

Ortt said, “Albany’s proposed radical energy policies are unrealistic, unaffordable, and unforgiving for the everyday hardworking New Yorker. At a time when the economy is unstable and many of our businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet, we should be focusing on providing much-needed relief, not extreme climate policies at the taxpayers’ expense. Seeking a cleaner energy future does not have to involve outright prohibitions at break-neck speeds. It should involve common sense, transparency, and affordability for all New Yorkers.”

The Senate and Assembly GOP conferences have raised alarms over Governor Kathy Hochul’s renewable energy mandates, including a proposal in her current Executive Budget that would prohibit the installation of fossil fuel hookups in new and existing buildings by no later than 2035 along the following timeline:

● Dec 31, 2025 for new one family residential buildings of any height or multi-family residential buildings of three stories or fewer;

● Dec 31, 2028 for new multi-family residential buildings more than three stories or new commercial buildings;

● Jan 1, 2030 for existing one family residential buildings of any height or multi-family buildings of three stories or fewer; and

● Jan 1, 2035 for existing multi-family residential buildings more than three stories or commercial buildings.

Additionally, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will establish an economy-wide Cap and Invest program for greenhouse gas emissions, placing an extra burden on New York businesses. Hochul would also grant authority to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to plan, design, develop, finance, construct, own, operate, maintain, alone or jointly with other entities, renewable energy generating projects. That move, O’Mara and other GOP lawmakers contend, essentially moves ahead on a full government takeover of private-sector business projects.

O’Mara and his Republican colleagues are calling for several alternatives and affordable amendments to the state’s current course of action, including:

● Independent cost studies and full transparency;

● Supporting diverse energy sources;

● Keeping needed power supply online to ensure the reliability of New York’s power grid; and

● Repealing and opposing anti-market mandates on consumers.

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