Sen O’Mara: Climate Action Council Will Shock New Yorkers

April 6, 2022

New York State’s Climate Action Council today began a series of 10 public hearings over the next several weeks on a plan that State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) says will “shock” New Yorkers when they begin to find out more about it.

O’Mara and his colleagues in the state Senate Republican Conference have called on all New Yorkers to get involved and submit official public comment on the Climate Action Council’s draft scoping plan for implementing New York’s energy future.

The Climate Action Council is beginning a schedule of eight in-person and two virtual hearings to receive public input on the plan. Today’s hearing is in New York City. The final, virtual hearing is slated for Wednesday, May 11. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, for the in-person hearings. Written comments can also be submitted. Find out more on the CAC website: climate.ny.gov.

O’Mara has encouraged New York’s efforts to increase cleaner and renewable power but has been outspoken over the past few years that New York’s push to achieve aggressive renewable energy goals through the “Climate Leadership and Climate Protection Act” (CLCPA), signed into law in 2019, will come at great cost and consequences for local communities, economies, and residents. It’s been estimated that implementing the plan will cost taxpayers upwards of at least $300 billion.

O’Mara said, “New York State is traveling at breakneck speed to radically remake New York’s energy future. It will be enormously expensive for state and local taxpayers, to mention nothing of residential and business utility ratepayers. It holds far-reaching consequences for the state and local economies. People are going to be shocked when they’re hit in the pocketbook. We need a fuller discussion of what these actions potentially mean in the important context of feasibility, affordability, and reliability. At a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to New Yorkers and untold costs to the economy, we are barreling full speed ahead to further crush the affordability of living for families, drive up the cost of doing business, and destroy economic opportunity.”

The CLCPA created the CAC to develop a draft plan for implementing the law. The Senate GOP is highlighting the plan’s radical efforts to eliminate reliable, affordable sources of energy. Natural gas hookups and services, as well as those from propane and heating oil, are vital for New Yorkers – especially in rural communities and during harsh winters – and cutting off these dependable sources of energy would be costly to residents and businesses and ineffective on a global scale.

Among many other provisions, the Climate Action Council blueprint calls for:

● No new gas service to existing buildings, beginning in 2024;

● No natural gas within newly constructed buildings, beginning in 2024;

● No new natural gas appliances for home heating, cooking, water heating, clothes drying beginning in 2030; and

● No gasoline-automobile sales by 2035;

● Installing onsite solar or joining a community renewables program by 2040; and

● Installing geothermal heating by 2040.

New Yorkers now have until June 10, 2022 to submit formal public comments on the proposed energy plan. Comments can be made at any of the scheduled hearings as well as in writing. New Yorkers can use this link to submit public comments: https://climate.ny.gov/Our-Climate-Act/Draft-Scoping-Plan.

As the global energy crisis continues, O’Mara and the Senate GOP have proposed a multi-pronged “Take Back New York” legislative agenda geared toward providing relief, especially to low- and middle-income New York families.