Hochul plan barring oil and gas heating equipment gets pushback from state legislators (The Buffalo News)

Chris Bragg - The Buffalo News

March 16, 2023

Originally published in The Buffalo News on March 16, 2023.

Photo Credit: Associated Press file photo

ALBANY – Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan prohibiting the sale of gas and oil-fuel-powered heating equipment in existing buildings is facing resistance in the State Legislature, according to one-house budget resolutions released by Democrats that control the State Assembly and Senate.

At issue is not the goal but the details of how much such a plan would cost homeowners, according to one Democratic senator.


State Sen. Sean Ryan, a Buffalo Democrat, said there was too much uncertainty about the price of retrofitting existing homes to use geothermal heat pumps, the electricity-powered heating method that works best in cold climates.

"I believe the greatest barrier is not having anything close to price certainty on the transition to geothermal," Ryan said. "We need to know what it’s going to cost and know how it’s going be paid for."

Ryan described the Senate's position as a "pause" giving the Hochul administration time to answer those questions. If there's price certainty, Ryan said, he would likely support a phase-out beginning in 2030 as proposed by Hochul.

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