Upstate GOP Lawmakers React To Climate Change News

December 20, 2022

From State Senator George Borrello:

“With yesterday’s vote by the Climate Action Council to approve the ‘Final Scoping Plan,’ New York State has taken another step away from the affordable and reliable sources of energy that power homes, businesses and automobiles across our state and towards an energy future clouded by unknown costs and questionable benefits.

The core of the Scoping Plan are bans on the most common energy sources used by New York consumers and businesses. Bans on new natural gas, propane and heating fuel oil systems will start as soon as 2025 for new construction and in 2030 for existing buildings. Starting in 2035, consumers will no longer be able to purchase natural gas, propane or fuel oil appliances for heating, cooking, or clothes drying. Gasoline-powered automobiles will be banned for sale in New York starting in 2035. These are just a few of the changes coming down the pike for taxpayers and ratepayers in New York.

Left unaddressed in this 445-page plan are the costs of this massive conversion. None of these mandates should move forward until a comprehensive cost benefit analysis is completed and made public. Legislation that I co-sponsor with many of my Republican colleagues would require this. By some estimates, the conversion to all-electric will cost as much as $40,000 per household while others indicate it could be up to $100,000 per household. Leaving New Yorkers in the dark on these costs and many others buried in this plan is simply unacceptable.

Reducing emissions is an important goal and one that we should continue to pursue. However, our path to that goal should be responsible, achievable and cost-effective. Racing headlong into a complete overhaul of our energy sector without full transparency and clarity on the costs to New York residents and businesses is a dereliction of duty and an economic disaster in the making.

Just as irresponsible is New York’s increasing reliance on importing power from other states and nations to meet New York’s energy needs, while claiming to be pursuing a zero-emission goal. This is nothing but a costly and fraudulent shell game that will not reduce global emissions and may actually increase them.

With a new session just weeks away, we have the opportunity to craft energy policies that make sense for our state, our families and the environment. Let’s make that a goal for 2023.”

From Assemblyman Phil Palmesano:

“With the release of their final scoping plan, the Climate Action Council (CAC) has made it crystal clear that they had no intention of listening to, nor addressing, the concerns of thousands of New Yorkers and businesses. Since the CAC was tasked with creating a plan by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), they have failed to answer critical questions surrounding costs, affordability, reliability and the far-reaching impact this plan will have on all New Yorkers and our state’s economy as a whole.

“Clean and renewable energy should certainly be a part of our state’s energy portfolio and policy; however, affordability and reliability are of equal importance and must be addressed. My colleagues and I in the Assembly and Senate Republican Conferences have repeatedly called for, and it is imperative that, a full and transparent cost-benefit analysis (A.7524) take place to let our citizens know the true and total actual financial costs this will have on them, our business community and our state before moving forward with the full implementation of the CLCPA. The CAC has repeatedly ignored our requests and their Integration Analysis clearly did not provide these transparent details and cost impacts on ratepayers – seniors, families, farmers, small businesses and manufacturers.

“It is estimated that every homeowner could pay more than $35,000 in costs to fully retrofit, convert and electrify their homes to meet the mandated requirements of this plan. Not only are the costs astronomical, but organizations tasked with ensuring the reliability of the grid, to keep the lights and heat on, like the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and New York State Reliability Council (NYSRC), have serious concerns about the impact of overhauling our energy system and its effects on grid reliability. Quickly transitioning from a reliable fuel diversity portfolio to a single energy source of full electrification will certainly challenge our grid’s reliability and infrastructure. Full electrification will shift our peak energy use from summer to winter, leaving it more vulnerable to weather disruption and outages. Widespread power outages and blackouts are extremely concerning, especially during the cold winter months, and this plan fails to address these significant concerns.

“New Yorkers are in the midst of an affordability crisis. Inflation, the highest taxes in the country and now, a radical energy policy that only impacts New York, will only further accelerate the continued exodus of residents and businesses from our state. I will continue to publicly highlight the deep flaws of this plan and I urge Gov. Hochul and all of my legislative colleagues, Democrat and Republican, to pause and ensure that critical affordability and reliability issues and concerns are thoroughly addressed before we move forward with the full implementation of the CLCPA.”

From State Senator Tom O’Mara:

“Governor Hochul’s ambition to impose far-reaching clean energy mandates on all New Yorkers keeps moving forward, yet her unwillingness to explain how much it will cost or how the state intends to pay for it remains shocking. Consumers have no idea what’s coming. The Climate Action Council’s plan has never been accompanied by any cost-benefit analysis of the impact of these actions on energy affordability, reliability, or sustainability.

“I have joined legislative colleagues and many others over the past three years to sound the alarm, particularly over how these irrational and unsustainable mandates will come at great costs and consequences. Far too many New Yorkers remain in the dark about these potential costs and consequences, largely because Governor Hochul and her clean energy czars either don’t truly know or really don’t want to shine any light on it.

“The plan will require a total electric grid generation capacity of 111 gigawatts (GW) including 95GW of new, not currently existing generation. It further calls for 27GW of dispatchable zero emissions generation, none of which exists today, nor does the technology, nor does the plan even define what zero emissions generation can be. To put this massive generation capacity buildout in perspective, since 1999, New York State has only added 12.9GW of new generation capacity.

“Many of us in the Senate and Assembly Republican conferences have steadfastly highlighted the plan’s extreme efforts to eliminate reliable, affordable sources of energy that are vital for the citizens and communities we represent. We have also fully encouraged New York’s past efforts to increase cleaner and renewable power, efforts that have been astoundingly successful. New York State is already a national and worldwide leader accounting for just 0.4% of global carbon emissions. Nevertheless, New York’s ongoing leap into the energy unknown will have no impact on the actions of neighboring states or, even more critically, on China, India, or Russia, which account for 40% of global emissions. In other words, even if New York State does reach zero emissions, there will be zero impact on our own climate or the global climate at large, yet all New Yorkers will pay a heavy, heavy price.

“While I believe New York State should continue to be a leader on reducing emissions, it remains important to keep sounding the alarm that the state’s strategy as it stands is not realistic or achievable, and unreasonably risks energy grid reliability and affordability.

“It remains important for more citizens, communities, businesses, families, and workers to fully understand where New York’s energy future is headed and to demand a desperately needed rethinking and slowing down of this process.”