NY Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt Urges Common Sense Climate Policies

ALBANY, NY – New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Gavin Donohue, President and CEO, Independent Power Producers of New York today reiterated calls for common-sense climate policies, following the release of the Climate Action Council’s (CAC) Final “Scoping Plan.” This radical energy agenda could have devastating consequences for energy consumers, the electric grid, and the entire state economy.

“For the families I serve in Niagara, Orleans and Monroe Counties, access to reliable and affordable energy is an essential part of daily life. Many of my constituents work in energy intensive industries like agriculture and manufacturing, and they live in a region where cold winters are the norm. The scoping plan released by the Climate Action Council will negatively impact my constituents, and millions of other New Yorkers, by making life more expensive and putting their livelihoods in jeopardy,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

“At a time of skyrocketing heating costs for NY families, a handful of unelected bureaucrats and political appointees released the final version of the Climate Action Council’s scoping plan. This plan will touch every aspect of the State’s economy, making life more expensive for NY families and businesses. Under this plan, homeowners will be forced to spend tens of thousands of more dollars to install new heating systems within their homes. The State’s electrical grid will have to be quickly upgraded, at a cost in the billions of dollars. And who will pay for all of this?  New York families, ratepayers and taxpayers. There are only two possible reasons the scoping plan does not include a cost analysis: the council does not know the cost of their own proposals or they do know the cost but don't want New Yorkers to know. Either way, it is unacceptable. There are ways to transition to a cleaner future, and this is not it,” said Gavin Donohue, President and CEO, Independent Power Producers of New York.

A draft version of the CAC’s Scoping Plan contained 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.

The CAC’s blueprint included:

  • No new gas service to existing buildings, beginning in 2030;
  • No natural gas within newly constructed buildings, beginning in 2025;
  • No new natural gas appliances for home heating, cooking, water heating, clothes drying beginning in 2035;
  • No gasoline-automobile sales by 2035; and
  • Installing onsite solar or joining a community renewables program by 2040.

New Yorkers initially had until June 10, 2022 to submit formal public comments on the proposed energy plan. Thousands of comments by hardworking residents and business owners were submitted in opposition to these disastrous policies and as result the submission deadline was extended to July 1, 2022.

In March, the Senate Republican Conference addressed the Energy Affordability Crisis and the urgent need for New Yorkers’ voices to be heard on Albany’s radical plans to increase energy costs in Albany. More than 18,000 public comments had been submitted.

In April 2022, Senator Rob Ortt gathered with energy stakeholders to warn of the disastrous scoping plan and call for common-sense energy policies.

In the Senate Republican Conference’s Inflation Report, a multitude of policies were put forth to cut energy costs:

  • Requiring independent cost studies, a grid reliability study and full transparency of all proposals from the Climate Action Council;
  • Creating a refundable heating tax credit;
  • Providing over $300 million in energy tax relief;
  • Fully suspending the State’s gas taxes;
  • Preventing shut-downs of any energy-producing facilities in the state; and
  • Supporting diverse energy sources.

“New York can secure a clean energy future without accelerating the exodus of people from the communities I serve. Instead of enacting a radical and unachievable plan, we should be seeking cost-effective, common-sense solutions to improve our environment and our economy. The Climate Action Council’s Scoping Plan is the complete wrong approach. Let’s do right by the families of New York and support energy policies that work,” concluded Leader Ortt.