Palmesano: Climate Change Law Needs More Study

May 12, 2021

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning), the Minority Conference’s Ranking Member on the Energy Committee, and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference have introduced legislation to direct the Public Service Commission to conduct a full cost-benefit analysis of the technical and economic aspects of any future actions by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

The CLCPA is expected to have broad, far-reaching impacts; however, there has yet to be a full cost-benefit analysis of its deployment. At present, the Climate Action Council (CAC), which is overseeing the law’s execution and implementation, has no idea how much it will actually cost when fully implemented. Estimates of the annual costs stretch into the billions due to the increased taxes, utility bills and retrofits facing individuals, businesses and taxpayers.

“In March, my colleagues and I reached out to the CAC to express our concerns about the full spectrum of economic effects complying with CLCPA mandates would have on homes and businesses across the state. To ensure the targets of the CLCPA are feasible and steps are taken to protect consumers, I have now introduced legislation that will direct the Public Service Commission to conduct a full cost-benefit analysis of the CLCPA and its effects on residents and businesses,” said Assemblyman Palmesano. “While a more healthful environment is a top priority, our constituents must be certain that the CLCPA’s implementation is fully transparent and its economic impacts – both short- and long-term – have been adequately addressed. New Yorkers deserve clean air and water, but they also deserve affordable and reliable energy sources.”

“With the state’s economy still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to take extra precautions moving forward with how we spend taxpayer money. It is incumbent upon the Legislature to ensure a reliable, long-term energy portfolio for New York doesn’t adversely impact our families and businesses,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski). “The concerns of stakeholders, business owners and residents must be taken seriously. I’ve continually said that the demands of the CLCPA are unrealistic and costly. Before asking rate-payers to take on another financial burden, we owe it to them to do a full analysis of renewable energy systems in the state. Clean energy is a noble idea, but not at the expense of our economy and certainly not without a thorough vetting process.”

“We must ensure that we know how much the Green New Deal for New York will cost its citizens, so it does not become a bad deal for taxpayers. Our state already has some of the least favorable economic indications, and we must ensure that this does not make things worse,” said Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C,I,SAM-Johnstown).

Passed by the Legislature in 2019, the CLCPA has been billed as “New York’s Green New Deal.” However, considering New York state only contributes approximately 0.5 percent of carbon emissions globally and approximately 3 percent in the U.S., these new renewable energy mandates will result in massive new costs to consumers and job losses in multiple industries, while having little to no impact on the global environment.

More than two months ago, in a letter to Basil Seggos, commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Doreen Harris, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, both Co-Chairs of the CAC, members of the Minority Conference joined more than 70 organizations calling for a cost-benefit analysis of the CLCPA.

On Thursday, May 13 at 11 a.m. there will be a virtual hearing regarding the CLCPA’s implementation. Anyone using and paying for New York’s energy is encouraged to weigh in and demand a full cost-benefit analysis of the CLCPA, and the public must be provided with a detailed accounting of the true and actual financial costs the CLCPA will have on New York’s residents and businesses.