Parker Proposes Legislation to Provide Relief to Ratepayers and Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

BROOKLYN, NY (4/17/17) – As the Ranking Democratic Member on the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, State Senator Kevin Parker has introduced legislation this session focused on saving ratepayers on their energy bills, while reversing the effects of climate change through an increase in the use of renewable energy resources. “New York State has to do more to ensure that we are not only investing in technologies that protect our planet and cut costs, but that we are also educating New Yorkers about the promise of our investments and the options available to them today that provide financial relief,” said Senator Parker.

In response to Senator Parker’s announcement, Mary Bartlett, Program Manager at New York Solar Energy Industries Association said, "NYSEIA advocates for strong solar policy in New York State. Our members know that combating climate change will require a varied range of solutions. This package of legislation takes a wide view on the type of action we need to make a cleaner, greener New York. We appreciate Senator Parker's efforts to make renewable energy a cornerstone of New York's future.”

The package of potential laws that Senator Parker is advocating for in Albany this legislative session includes, but is not limited to, the following six (6) bills:

Senate Bill S.2239 - Enacts the “Electronic Super Highway Act of 2017.” This bill would require the New York State Thruway Authority to provide alternative fuel refueling stations and electronic charging stations for public use along the New York State Thruway.

Senate Bill S.2357 - Authorizes the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop a temporary middle-income home energy assistance program.

SenateBill S.2429 - Relates to creating a “climate action council” to set greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

SenateBill S.2846 - Establishes a tax on carbon-based fuels. To assist in achieving New York’s goal to substantially reduce CO2 emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by the year 2050, the bill aims to protect the poorest classes while using a portion of the revenue to adapt to climate change, increase investment in infrastructure, and enhance the use of renewable energy.

SenateBill S.3254 - Provides that the use tax on heating fuels be suspended during winter months for certain low-income senior citizens.

SenateBill S.3893 – Institutes a Virtual Net Metering (VNM) tariff that will further incentivize consumer investment in renewable energy sources like solar energy. Currently, New York State is one of the last of the states with significant urban areas to update its net metering policies.

"Through legislative packages like Senator Parker's, New York continues to lead in promoting renewable energy and lowering the state's greenhouse gas impact, while working for affordability for its low-and fixed-income households," said Richard Berkley, Executive Director of the Public Utility Law Project of New York, a thirty-five year old public interest law firm promoting affordability and universal service, and advocating, educating and litigating on behalf of low-income and fixed-income utility consumers. In regards to some of the specifics of Senator Parkers proposals, Berkley continued, "The Senator's carbon fee, climate council and electric highway bills, in concert with other visionary measures by the Governor, Legislature and climate-change advocates, will help us achieve those vital goals while creating more well-paying jobs in the present, and protecting our future for our children."

Senator Parker concluded, “We need to pass legislation that makes the use of renewable energy sources a natural part of our everyday life. I am just as committed this session as I have been in the past to enact meaningful laws that reduce our carbon footprint, save consumers money on their monthly energy bills, and set our State on a renewable energy path second to none. My experience has taught me that these issues are not mutually exclusive, so I eagerly await the opportunity to pass this package of legislation on behalf of the working families across New York State.”

 

About State Senator Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn district comprised of sections of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope.  A lifelong Brooklyn resident, he is the Ranking Democratic Member on the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, as well as the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

Senator Parker is the Whip of the Senate Democratic Conference; Member of the Senate Democratic Conference Policy Group; Member of the Senate Select Committee on Technology & Innovation; and Member of the Senate Democratic Minority and Women-Owned Business Task Force (MWBE).

For the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, Senator Parker serves on the Senate Standing Committees on Finance; Rules; Higher education; Labor; Insurance, and Banks.

To learn more about Senator Parker and his initiatives on behalf of working families across New York State, please visit www.nysenate.gov/senators/kevin-s-parker