Statement by Senator George Borrello on Addition of ‘Agricultural Buildings' to List of Structures Exempt From Gas Bans in Executive Budget

ALBANY – Following his advocacy to include barns and agricultural facilities in the list of buildings that will be exempt from the natural gas bans proposed in the Executive Budget, Senator George Borrello announced that the change has been made in the Governor’s 30-day amendments.

“Farmers and those in New York’s agricultural community received some good news today upon learning that ‘agricultural buildings’ were added to the list of facilities exempt from the natural gas bans outlined in the Executive Budget.

“Anyone who has spent time on a farm knows that barns and agricultural facilities must have access to affordable, reliable energy sources like natural gas in order to operate. The original Executive Budget proposal raised tremendous concerns in the agricultural community about how they would run their operations if they were included in the bans. In most cases, rural and remote areas lack the infrastructure needed to electrify farm buildings and equipment.

“With so many farmers already struggling in the face of costly new labor regulations, minimum wage increases and crippling workforce shortages, it was clear that such a mandate would be the final straw for many farmers. I raised this issue with the Commissioner during budget hearings and, with the support of many of my colleagues, contacted the Governor regarding these concerns. It is clear that our voices were heard and that our farmers can breathe a little easier today.”

The letter sent to Governor Hochul by Senator Borrello and several of his colleagues is attached.