Climate Action Council Meeting on in NY’s Clean Energy Future – Redline Fee

On Monday, November 21, 2022, the Climate Action Council (CAC) convened a hybrid meeting in Albany and virtually to receive updates on redline edits to the Draft Scoping Plan for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). This included presentations by CAC staff who provided commentary on the Gas System Transition, Buildings, Electricity, and other overarching feedback to the Draft Scoping Plan which is expected to be finalized in mid-December.

Attendees included, but not limited to: NYSERDA President Doreen Harris; NYS Empire State Development Corporation President Hope Knight; NYS DEC’s Counsel Peter Costello; NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY) President Gavin Donohue; Jonathan Binder; Catherine Morris; Megan Lynch; Morgan Stahl; Sameer Ranade; Vincent Ravaschiere; Brian Steinmuller, Anne Reynolds; Paul Shepson; Peter Iwanowicz; and more.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation set the tone by reminding panel members that the Draft Scoping Plan is not law. The agency emphasized that it is a guide that will inform legal considerations at a later date.

When discussing how “Buildings” would be heated and cooled in the future, the CAC Staff stated, under “Strategy B6,” the Draft Scoping Plan will include the implementation of the “NYS Utility Thermal Energy & Jobs Act” – which was recently signed into law by NYS Governor Kathy Hochul – to achieve a just transition and jobs pathway to a green economy. This policy approach brings New York closer to winning President Joseph Biden’s $7 billion Hydrogen Hub Challenge and positions energy infrastructure upgrades to access capital from the Inflation Reduction Act.

IPPNY added that Buffalo witnessed 70 inches of snow without the “unimaginable consequences” of power outages as reliability from existing natural gas and electric infrastructure provided “uninterrupted reliability.”

Panel members discussed the need to revisit how economic development could play a role in incentivizing more investment in emission free electricity. New York State Energy Research Development Agency noted that the $100 billion Micron deal for Syracuse is a good boost to validating the benefits of expanding jobs training programs and pursuing an all of the above energy strategy for a clean energy future. As the CAC Staff previously mentioned, this includes advanced nuclear technologies, renewable natural gas, as well as green and pink hydrogen fuel sources.

There was a prolonged exchange on how to best define certain terms mentioned in the Draft Scoping Plan. Panel members ultimately agreed to “compromise” on adding a glossary of terms; however, they encouraged to have the record clear on following existing terms and definitions in New York Energy Laws.

After a short break, the meeting resumed to discuss cap and trade models to finance the cost of converting to a “renewable only” energy system. A question related to “leakage” arose to identify how best to manage the incentives and harmonize definitions of the Draft Scoping Plan with New York’s Energy Laws to ensure there is an equitable standard for those seeking to invest in the clean energy future.

Industry feedback was received that encouraged that emissions reductions be prioritized in disadvantaged communities and the plan should include Renewable Natural Gas in the “Vision for 2030” inclusive of hydrogen technologies. NYS AFL-CIO President Cilento praised the effort to move away from supporting higher polluting countries and shift the energy policy toward buying goods, services, and products from New York. He said, “Thank you for suggesting that we buy New York, buy American.”

With respect to Health Feedback, the point was made that no matter the fuel source, indoor air quality is negatively impacted by cooking food at high temperatures. The ultimate takeaway was that the health impacts associated with the storage and disposal of battery and solar panel energy sources should be included in the plan.

The meeting agenda is available here and the video and meeting materials will be posted to the CAC website in the coming days.

The Clean Energy Jobs Coalition live tweeted during the meeting, capturing key comments and observations by panelists and participants.

You can view our full thread on Twitter here (scroll to November 21, 2022) and get additional insight from Politico’s energy reporter Marie French here (scroll to November 21, 2022).

For more information, you can view past meetings and materials of the CAC as follows:

Upcoming Meetings

  • Monday, December 5, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Monday, December 19, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Previous Meetings

Monday, November 7, 2022

A recording of the meeting will be posted on the Climate Act website within three days of the meeting, or as soon as practicable.

Tuesday, October 25

Thursday, October 13

Thursday, September 29

September 13, 2022

August 23, 2022

July 11, 2022

May 26, 2022

April 18, 2022

March 3, 2022