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Senate Republicans Unveil Plan for Smart Energy Policies in New York

Under Republican Conference’s ‘Rescue NY’ 2023 Legislative Agenda, Senators Unveil Affordable Solutions to Pursue a Cleaner Energy Future

(At podium: Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt; Also pictured: Members of the Senate Republican Conference; (Left to Right)Wayne Stritsman – Founder of a family business, Best Fire Hearth & Patio in 1977; and Richard Ellenbogen, President Allied Converters)

ALBANY, NY - New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, members of the Senate Republican Conference, and statewide energy stakeholders today unveiled 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.

“Albany’s radical energy proposals are unrealistic, unaffordable and unforgiving for the everyday hardworking New Yorker. At a time when our 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 on reliable, affordable energy. 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.

Outlined in the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal, Albany’s radical climate agenda 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.

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.

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.

“The radical energy policies proposed by left leaning legislators in Albany are not realistic or affordable for New York residents. Our businesses will be burdened with extra expenses and homeowners will be forced to spend money that they do not have. These proposals do not make sense for New Yorkers, especially Staten Islanders. These policies will make homes less safe, more expensive to keep and will not provide any real benefits to the environment,” said Deputy Leader Senator Lanza, SD 24th.

“Advancing environmental protection and providing our manufacturers, small businesses and families with reliable, affordable power is only a mutually exclusive proposition to the far left. We can continue to curb emissions without tanking our economy. We just need common sense to prevail over the Democrats’ current course of action. Strategic investments and incentives work. Mandates won’t,” said Senator Jake Ashby, SD 43rd.

“The more New Yorkers hear about Albany Democrats’ radical climate agenda and reckless bans on reliable forms of energy, the more outraged they are becoming. The petition against the gas stove ban on my website has attracted more than 5,000 signatures, which far surpasses the total on other petitions I’ve circulated. However, true to form, Albany Democrats are ignoring public opposition as well as the serious questions that concerned businesses and residents are asking about the reliability, costs and economic impact of their plan. Rather than impose potentially disastrous bans on reliable, affordable energy sources, the Senate Republican plan is a responsible, common-sense approach to advancing a cleaner future,” said Senator George Borrello, SD 57th.

“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, SD 9th.

“Protecting our environment is important, but the plan put forward by the Climate Action Council is unrealistic and unaffordable. These proposals will impact every resident and business in New York State. Just updating our electrical grid to meet the demand is expected to cost billions of dollars. This one-size-fits all approach is not achievable and not sustainable. As we work toward a cleaner energy future, we must ensure full transparency, a detailed cost analysis and goals that are reasonable and responsible for all New Yorkers” said Senator Patrick Gallivan, SD 60th.

“The unsustainable and unaffordable energy policies proposed and supported by the governor and legislative majorities will force even more people to flee the state. While I appreciate and understand the need to embrace clean energy, we need a diversified energy portfolio and policies that do not further burden residents, families, businesses and communities. The solutions that we have proposed will improve reliability, transparency and affordability while also leading New York to a cleaner and greener future,” said Senator Joseph Griffo, SD 53rd.

“Our policies will provide a reliable, affordable and stable source of energy for families and businesses. Common sense must prevail as we work together for a more sustainable New York,” said Senator Pam Helming, SD 54th.

“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, SD 7th.

“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 Mario R. Mattera, SD 2nd.

“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, SD 3rd.

“New York already leads the nation in outmigration and unaffordable energy policies will only send more people fleeing for the border. The costs associated with the “all-electric” proposals floated by Democrats in Albany are astronomical and rural areas that I represent would feel a great deal of pain. Additionally, questions about reliability continue to go unanswered. We need a diverse, affordable energy plan that will protect the environment while also ensuring that residents and business owners are not left in the dark drowning in debt,” said Senator Peter Oberacker, SD 51st.

“New Yorkers already bearing a heavy burden for state government mandates imposed under extreme executive control throughout the COVID-19 pandemic better be ready for much more of the same, and then some, if Governor Hochul’s energy mandates keep marching forward. It’s a runaway train. New York State should continue to be a leader in the pursuit of cleaner and renewable power. At the same time, it remains important to keep sounding the alarm that the state’s current energy strategy as it stands is not realistic or achievable, and unreasonably risks grid reliability, affordability, and sustainability,” said Senator Tom O’Mara, SD 58th.

“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, SD 1st.

“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, SD 5th.

“Governor Hochul and the Senate Majority’s radical energy agenda couldn’t be clearer. On page 190 of their CLCPA blueprint it states definitively that Albany will ‘prohibit replacements ... of fossil fuel appliances for cooking and clothes drying’ by 2035. I oppose banning gas stoves and related devices to achieve our state’s well-intentioned but rushed climate goals. Instead of a one-size-fits-all scheme out of Albany, hardworking Hudson Valley residents deserve an all-of-the-above energy plan that provides reliable, affordable power to meet current and future demand,” said Senator Rob Rolison, SD 39th.

“The energy plans advanced by the Governor and Senate Democrats are unrealistic, unreliable and unaffordable. My Senate Republican colleagues and I are proud to support a plan that would diversify our energy sources, encourage competition and make energy costs more affordable for all New Yorkers. I urge the Legislature and Governor Hochul to act on these measures, and provide our residents with the reliable, low-cost energy they need,” said Senator Dan Stec, SD 45th.

“New Yorkers are facing an affordability crisis across all areas, including when it comes to energy prices for powering people’s homes and businesses and fueling their vehicles. When it comes to making New York more affordable for consumers, we need to cut energy taxes, ease burdensome state mandates and take a holistic ‘all of the above’ strategy for smart energy policies,” said Senator Jim Tedisco, SD 44th.

“Socialist takeovers of renewable energy and obscene timelines for zero emissions that Democrats have proposed does not lead to an affordable New York. We need to be focused on common sense policies like making biomass a renewable energy source, keeping existing renewable and nuclear power plants active and not overloading our grid. Working towards cleaner energy sources is a worthwhile endeavor, but Democrats refuse to keep the economic burdens of New Yorkers in mind when making energy policy decisions. We need to do better and can do better by following policies outlined by Senate Republicans,” said Senator Mark Walczyk, SD 49th.

“The governor and the legislature majority continue to focus on national talking points and not the high cost of living and crime rates causing New Yorkers to flee. Their plan will have little to no effect on the global climate but will continue to make this state more expensive for New York taxpayers. It will also make it less competitive for those looking to start or expand a business,” said Senator Bill Weber, SD 38th.

“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, SD 8th.

“High taxes and expensive mandates are two burdens that New Yorkers know all too well. If we want to make our state a cleaner and more affordable place to live, we must use common sense. Supporting diverse energy sources will ensure safety, reliability, and affordability. We can contribute to the quality of life in our state while advancing cleaner energy, but we can’t do it in a way that will drive New Yorkers out of the state,” concluded Leader Ortt.



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