Source: Screenshot from NYS Climate Action Council Meeting held on August 23, 2022 | Link: https://twitter.com/CEJCoalitionNY/status/1562154995302162432
During the general feedback report session, Ms. Osgood highlighted the numerous concerns raised about the cost of the "renewable transition" as well as the disproportionate impact of increasing costs on disadvantaged communities and increasing taxes unnecessarily. She noted that public comments received by the CAC panel featured tremendous support for nuclear power to play a larger role in New York’s clean energy future. It was reported that there were at least three email campaigns outlining the importance of the continued operation of existing nuclear facilities and the extension of certain NYS tax credit programs beyond 2030 to incentive baseload decarbonized power sources.
Other concerns raised related to the potential for “companies could raise prices when homes would have no alternative energy source.” It was observed that the new rules may create an energy monopoly as consumers will lose access to affordable heating fuels such as natural gas, propane, and wood. Worse, it was reported there was “concern that the Plan will increase taxes and place financial burden on New Yorkers, citing the already high living cost in the State which has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and inflation and warned that cost of living will drive people and businesses out of New York.” It was estimated that upgrading homes with alternative technologies could range from $25,000 to $50,000 per unit without an affordable mechanism to help pay for the changes. Additionally, the reliability of the current grid was called into serious question, asking whether intermittent power sources were safe enough and reliable enough to replace baseload power sources.
The CAC panel received an overwhelming concern about more frequent power outages and pointed to Texas and California’s power outages. Further, commenters indicated that, in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, energy security should be prioritized, and New York should focus on generating more in-state power than relying on outside, foreign energy supplies. While the plan has potential for job creation, commenters cautioned the panel examine “how the existing workforce and local businesses would be impacted by the energy transition and stressed the importance of preparing for the shift” to hedge against the potential for “widespread jobs losses.”
According to the CAC website, a record of the meeting will be posted on the Climate Act website within three days of the meeting, or as soon as practicable. For more information, visit the following: https://climate.ny.gov/CAC-Meetings-and-Materials