In a few weeks, this state will open a new public comment period that will ultimately have a profound impact on New Yorkers of all communities and walks of life.

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This week, “It’s time for NYers to learn about the Hochul energy plan”

In January, thousands of this state’s citizens — especially farmers and the entire farming community — turned out for one of the most consequential public comment periods ever in New York State. .

Specifically, the state’s Farm Wage Board held a series of virtual hearings to hear testimony on whether to lower the overtime threshold for farm workers from 60 hours to 40 hours. It’s a move that could change farming as we’ve known it for generations, and farmers have come out in force to raise their voices against lowering the threshold. I was proud to join them.

The final decision still rests with Governor Kathy Hochul, but she knows where so many of us are.

In a few weeks, this state will open a new round of public hearings as part of a public comment period that will ultimately affect New Yorkers of all communities and walks of life in profound ways.

It’s time to pay attention.

New York State’s Climate Action Council (CAC) just released a schedule of 10 public hearings on a plan that I’ve warned will shock New Yorkers when they start to learn more about it.

Therefore, my colleagues and I from the State Senate Republican Conference have called on all New Yorkers to get involved and submit formal public comments on the ACC’s draft blueprint for remaking the future. energy of New York.

The ACC is planning eight in-person hearings and two virtual hearings to receive public comment on its plan. The first hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 in New York. The virtual final hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, for in-person hearings. Written comments may be submitted. For more information, see the CAC website: climate.ny.gov.

I’ve encouraged New York’s efforts to increase clean, renewable energy, but I’ve also been outspoken over the past few years that New York’s efforts to meet aggressive renewable energy targets through of the Climate Leadership and Climate Protection Act (CLCPA), signed into law in 2019, will have considerable cost and consequences for local communities, economies and residents.

It’s been estimated that implementing the plan will cost taxpayers more than $300 billion – and that’s the price advocates have to pay.

Ultimately, the cost would likely skyrocket well beyond that number.

New York State is traveling at breakneck speed to radically remake New York’s energy future. This will cost national and local taxpayers enormously, not to mention residential and commercial taxpayers.

It has far-reaching consequences for the state, economies and local communities. For starters, it’s aiming for 70% renewable electricity statewide by 2030, in just eight short years. The state’s current mix of electricity sources is only 8% wind and solar on good days.

New Yorkers are going to be shocked when they get hit in the wallet and see the extreme changes in their daily lives.

We need a deeper discussion of what these actions potentially mean in the important context of feasibility, affordability and reliability. At the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to New Yorkers and incalculable costs to the economy, we are racing full speed ahead to further crush the affordability of life for families, raise the cost of doing business and destroy economic opportunity. .

Moreover, until now, the state has planned everything, for the most part, behind the scenes. There has been no honest and detailed cost-benefit analysis.

The upcoming hearings present the first direct opportunities for the general public to connect and be heard. When more and more citizens, communities, businesses, families and workers begin to understand where New York’s energy future is headed in the very near future, I firmly believe it will cause a backlash that could help to lead a necessary overhaul, a dose of reality, and the slowing down of this uncontrollable process.

The CLCPA created the CAC to develop a draft implementation plan for the law. The Senate GOP pointed to the plan’s extreme efforts to eliminate reliable and affordable energy sources. Natural gas hookups and services, as well as propane and fuel oil, are vital to New Yorkers — especially in rural communities and during harsh winters — and shutting off these reliable power sources would be costly for residents. and businesses and inefficient on a global scale.

It is extremely important to be aware of what is happening here. Among many other provisions, the CAC Master Plan provides for:

–No new gas service to existing buildings, beginning in 2024;

–No natural gas in newly built buildings, from 2024;

–No new natural gas appliances for home heating, cooking, water heating, clothes drying from 2030;

–No sales of gasoline-powered automobiles by 2035;

–No sales of gas-powered landscaping equipment i.e. lawn mowers, chainsaws, wood chippers by 2027;

–Installation of on-site solar energy or joining a community renewable energy program by 2040; and

–Installation of geothermal heating by 2040.

In addition, the general thrust of the plan foresees job losses and negative impacts on school and local government property tax bases. Proposals have been put forward to create a “Just Fund” that would provide compensation to displaced workers for up to three years of wages, and payments to school districts and local governments for lost tax revenue resulting from the closure of industries. . Proposals were introduced that would increase gasoline costs by an additional 55 cents per gallon and increase home heating fuel by 26%.

Millions of homeowners could be faced, in the very near future, with having to convert their natural gas, propane or heating oil furnaces to electricity at estimated costs of up to $40,000 per household.

In just five years, in 2027, you will no longer be able to build a new home or building in New York State with a natural gas, propane or oil furnace or boiler.

Again, New York State is already an absolute leader in this area, as we should be, accounting for only 0.4% of global carbon emissions. The CLCPA only applies to New York, not neighboring states or, more importantly, China, India or Russia, which account for 40% of global emissions.

In other words, even if New York State achieves zero emissions, it will have no impact on the global climate as a whole or the impacts of climate change on us here in New York, such than extreme storms and floods – but it will come at a great cost to all of us.

New Yorkers now have until June 10, 2022 to submit formal public comments on the proposed energy plan. Comments can be made at any scheduled hearing as well as in writing. Learn more: https://climate.ny.gov/CAC-Meetings-and-Materials.

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