Senate Republicans Unveil Plan For Smart Energy Policies In New York

Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) today joined New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, members of the Senate Republican Conference and statewide energy stakeholders to showcase a package of smart energy policies to pursue a cleaner energy future. The plan puts affordability and reliability first for New York ratepayers, in sharp contrast to some of the radical proposals coming out of Albany.

This is in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s radical policy to remove fuel choice from New York families in a move that will increase costs for businesses and homeowners and harm our workers.

Under the energy mandates in Governor’s Executive Budget proposal, Albany would completely prohibit the installation of natural gas, propane and fuel oil hookups in new and existing buildings no later than 2035. These devastating bans on reliable, affordable energy sources includes deadlines of:

  • December 31, 2025 for new one family residential buildings of any height or multi-family residential buildings of three stories or fewer;
  • December 31, 2028 for new multi-family residential buildings more than three stories or new commercial buildings;
  • January 1, 2030 for existing one family residential buildings of any height or multi-family buildings of three stories or fewer; and
  • January 1, 2035 for existing multi-family residential buildings more than three stories or commercial buildings.

Governor Hochul’s fuel choice ban will harm our residents, our workers and our future. As a conference, we are trying to raise awareness of the damage that will be done so that all New Yorkers are able to have a way in their lives. Our state is losing residents at an alarming rate and adding another burden on them is unreasonable and I urge Governor Hochul to work with our labor organizations, energy experts and all elected officials to find a realistic plan and avoid a harmful ban. We are all committed to protecting our environment and moving towards renewable energy but it must be done with common sense not radical changes,” said Senator Mattera.

Click here to see Senator Mattera's remarks during the press event and click here to join Senator Mattera's efforts to stop this unrealistic ban.

In addition, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) would have authority establish an economy-wide “Cap and Invest” program for greenhouse gas emissions, which will mean new taxes and extra burdens on ratepayers and businesses.

To make matters worse, the Executive Budget’s “Public Renewables ‘Lite’” would give  authority to the New York Power Authority to plan, design, develop, finance, construct, own, operate, maintain, improve, alone or jointly with other entities, renewable energy generating projects. This would effectively allow for all-government takeovers of private sector business projects, and chart a dangerous path where state government becomes the only supplier of electricity in New York.

“Albany’s proposed radical energy policies are unrealistic, unaffordable and unforgiving for the everyday hardworking New Yorker. At a time when the economy is unstable and many of our businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet, we should be focusing on providing much-needed relief, not extreme climate policies at the taxpayers’ expense. Seeking a cleaner energy future does not have to involve outright prohibitions at break-neck speeds. It should involve common sense, transparency, and affordability for all New Yorkers, said Leader Ortt.

“I’m an engineer, not a politician – so I have a different perspective on New York’s energy plan than most of the people in Albany. It’s more about the science and less about the money. But having been an engineer at Bell Laboratories in their power systems lab, and having run my own manufacturing business for over four decades, I have a fundamental understanding that without the money, you can’t do the science. I decarbonized my business and my home two decades ago. I have been living the electric lifestyle for two decades, which is where New York State is trying to go. While the state’s intentions are good, and I would love to see the energy plan succeed, unfortunately I can safely say that New York State’s plan is a disaster waiting to happen, because the math and the physics just don’t work,” said Richard Ellenbogen, President Allied Converters

“While New Yorkers are willing to do their fair share regarding climate change, the current proposal to eliminate fossil fuels connections to new homes by 2025, and with reliance solely on renewables alone for home heating by 2035 lacks the reliability and safety New Yorkers deserve. Winters in New York are cold and unpredictable and power outages happen way too often and last way too long. Fuel choice offers us the opportunity for a backup heat source to protect our families when the unexpected happens. Homeowners want and appreciate back up heat. No one should be left out in the cold,” said Wayne Stritsman – founder of a family business, Best Fire Hearth & Patio in 1977.

The New York Senate Republican Conference has proposed several affordable solutions in pursuing a cleaner energy future, such as:

  • Independent cost studies and full transparency;
  • Supporting diverse energy sources;
  • Keep needed power supply online to ensure reliability of our grid; and
  • Repealing and opposing and anti-market mandates on consumers.

“As a member of the Environmental Conservation Committee, I understand that we need clean energy alternatives in New York; however, we must institute those alternatives in a way that makes sense for the taxpayers of this state. New Yorkers are sick and tired of unfunded mandates coming down from Albany that masquerade as effective policymaking. As they stand, these energy-related proposals are radical and make no considerations for the financial burdens that New Yorkers are already facing – and this is a fact that unfortunately rings true for many of the proposals in this budget. Albany has no business mandating that New Yorkers make costly upgrades to their private property without having a proper plan in place to mitigate the costs they would incur in doing so. If we are to move towards a cleaner, greener world, we must do it in a way that is realistic, transparent, and affordable for all,” said Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick (9th Senate District). 

“Democrats continue their attack on middle class New Yorkers. While we all understand the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, their irresponsible energy policies are being proposed without any concern for safety or cost. While we have made great strides in protecting the environment, with these policies, when the next storm hits and the grid fails again, our families will be left without heat or access to power for life sustaining equipment. People will die. All for the sake of Democrat wokeness. New Yorkers deserve better,” said Senator Jack Martins (7th Senate District).

There is no doubt that the use of more clean renewable energy is something we should strive for moving forward, however, we must also be wise about the way we approach it. The Governor and Democratic Majority seem to be setting deadlines for headlines, but these deadlines are not realistic. While the plans may look wonderful on paper, the cost of putting these plans into action will be devastating to the taxpayers and to our overall economy. The NYS Senate Republican Conference's "Rescue New York" plan, is a sensible and realistic approach that takes into account what needs to be done in order to safely and efficiently transition into using more clean, renewable energy sources,” said Senator Dean Murray (3rd Senate District).

As the state takes steps toward a cleaner future, it is incumbent upon the Legislature to do so in a responsible manner, one which will ensure that ALL New Yorkers have access to reliable and more affordable power. The State must be prepared to carry the cost of this transition,  as New York’s already overburdened taxpayers and small businesses have nothing left to give,” said Senator Anthony Palumbo (1st Senate District).

The energy policies being pushed by the Governor and majorities in the Legislature will only succeed in threatening the supply of reliable energy, driving up costs, and driving even more people out of New York State. At a time when families and businesses are already struggling with increased costs and record inflation, we should not add to their burden with even higher energy bills. The Senate Republican conference recognizes the need to move toward a cleaner energy future, but it must be done with common sense to ensure affordable, reliable energy sources for all New Yorkers,” said Senator Steven Rhoads (5th Senate District).

“We all want a cleaner future, but setting arbitrary deadlines to phase out reliable sources of energy hurts our economy and is unrealistic. Now is not the time to place these undue burdens on some of New York’s most vulnerable,” said Senator Alexis Weik (8th Senate District).