Senator Oberacker Calls on Public to Make Their Voices Heard on Albany's Plan to Hike Energy Costs

Jeff Bishop, Communications Director

March 2, 2022

ALBANY – 03/02/22 – Senator Peter Oberacker (R/C-Schenevus) today joined with members of the Senate Republican Conference to call on all New Yorkers to submit public comment on the Climate Action Council’s (CAC) draft Scoping Plan The CAC proposal would eliminate reliable, affordable energy sources and further add to New York State’s record energy costs.  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.

“Legislation and policies that would drastically raise taxes on gas and home heating fuel are non-starters in my book,” said Senator Peter Oberacker.  “New York already has the highest energy costs in the nation and measures adding to consumer pain make no sense.  I stand with residents and small business owners who are hurting because of the long-standing Albany practice of simply raising taxes to pay for ill-conceived schemes.  It is time we band together to get our message out – enough is enough.”

The CAC has released a blueprint to alter the state’s energy plans, which includes:

  • 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;
  • 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 have through June 10, 2022 to submit formal public comments on the proposed energy plan. Senate Republicans today encouraged hard-working residents and business owners to make their voices heard on these disastrous policies. New Yorkers can use this link to submit public comments:

“Clean air and water are essential and I support commonsense, fact-based measures that will protect our precious resources.  However, this plan will be nothing more than an albatross around the necks of New York taxpayers, costing jobs and adding up to hundreds of billions of dollars,” added Senator Oberacker.    

"The New York state budget proposal, a must-pass piece of legislation that keeps the Empire State's government operating through the next fiscal year, is no place for a non-germane amendment that bans fossil fuels, and is yet again an attempt to force these policies under the radar and with little regard to what the ultimate aim of these policies will cost consumers. This is a proposal that needs to be debated on its own and in a transparent manner that ensures all New Yorkers have an opportunity to truly understand the implications of limiting their access to natural gas utilities," said Mark Valentini, Plumbing-Heating Cooling Contractors—National Association.

“New York State’s pursuit of a zero-carbon future is a worthy goal, but the overall strategy and legislative mandates taken so far need a reality check. Over the past several years, the path taken has been fraught with severe risks to working New Yorkers and consumers, particularly the poor and elderly, who will continue to see escalating utility bills and less reliability. Legislation that’s been approved, and other bills pending, are creating a dangerous energy supply gap, causing prices to soar, and costing the state thousands of middle-class jobs,” said John J. Murphy, International Representative of the United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada.  

“New Yorkers for Affordable Energy is a not-for-profit organization that supports greater access to clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy for residential and business consumers. It is abundantly clear to our members that many New Yorkers aren’t aware of the State’s energy proposals aimed at eliminating access to natural gas. If New York outlaws gas equipment, many New Yorkers will soon get an unbearable financial shock. Replacing a gas furnace or water heater will no longer be affordable, leaving residents with a $30,000 price tag to revamp their entire home energy system. This comes in the wake of already-skyrocketing energy costs, which are directly related to the state’s efforts to limit use of natural gas. There must be a pragmatic, economic justice component to the State’s plan to address climate change for the overall wellbeing of New York residents,” said Michelle Hook, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Affordable Energy.

“Now it is critical that New Yorkers across the state comment on the Draft Scoping Plan so that climate policy recommendations can be made that are fair and balanced. The recent world events demonstrate that New York’s energy resources must be abundant, clean, and affordable into the future.  New Yorkers have the chance for their voices to be heard about how these policy recommendations will impact our daily lives,” said Gavin Donohue, President & CEO, IPPNY.

“The fact is, New York’s climate goals can be reached with a balanced approach that uses a mix of energy sources without banning reliable and affordable natural gas and abandoning the natural gas system altogether, as advocated by many of the Plan’s proponents. By using an ‘all of the above’ approach – that is, renewables, efficient use of the natural gas delivery system for low and no-carbon fuels, and other technologies – we can meet the state’s emissions targets without causing the disruptions in reliability and resiliency that current studies show would occur if we cutover to electric power alone,” said Donna L. DeCarolis, President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation.

“These poorly developed policies are meant to grab headlines but fail to make our air and water any cleaner.  Driving more people and businesses out of New York is not a feasible strategy to protect our environment,” concluded Senator Oberacker.