Ortt and Senate GOP urge rejection of plan that would hike energy costs

Posted 2 March 2022 at 6:54 pm

Photo from Rob Ortt’s Office: State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt joins other State Senate Republicans, labor leaders, and stakeholders in raising concern about the Climate Action Council’s Scoping Plan.

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

ALBANY – The New York State Senate Republican Conference today called on all New Yorkers to get involved and submit official public comment on the Climate Action Council’s (CAC) draft Scoping Plan and radical efforts to eliminate reliable, affordable sources of energy.

Natural gas hookups and services, as well as those from propane and heating oil, are vital for New Yorkers – especially in rural communities and during harsh winters – and cutting off these dependable sources of energy would be costly to residents and businesses and ineffective on a global scale.

“This Energy Affordability Crisis, fueled by the failed policies of One-Party Rule, is unaffordable, unforgiving, and unsustainable,” said Rob Ortt, the Senate Republican leader. “The former administration and now Governor Hochul’s administration are trying to rid the state of critical energy infrastructure sources such as natural gas hookups, which will only worsen the problem. This will be ultimately unaffordable for every day, common-sense New Yorkers, leaving them in the dark and in the cold. That’s why it is essential that we make our voices heard and call out these unrealistic ‘climate’ plans, which will only further burden our communities,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

The CAC has released a blueprint to alter the state’s energy plans, which includes:

  • No new gas service to existing buildings, beginning in 2024;
  • No natural gas within newly constructed buildings, beginning in 2024;
  • No new natural gas appliances for home heating, cooking, water heating, clothes drying beginning in 2030;
  • No gasoline-automobile sales by 2035;
  • Installing onsite solar or joining a community renewables program by 2040; and
  • Installing geothermal heating by 2040.

New Yorkers have through April 30, 2022 to submit formal public comments on the proposed energy plan. Senate Republicans today encouraged hard-working residents and business owners to make their voices heard on these disastrous policies. New Yorkers can use this link to submit public comments.

In the meantime, New Yorkers continues to face extreme short- and long-term economic challenges, including:

  • Inflation – a 7.5 percent spike in consumer prices over last year, the highest since 1982 – including skyrocketing costs for transportation, food, and other essential goods and services;
  • Pain at the Pumps – average gas prices in the state have gone up by more than a dollar-per-gallon, or an estimated 39 percent increase from a year ago;
  • Rising Home Heating Costs – monthly average home heating oil prices have also risen by more than a dollar per gallon from a year ago, or an estimated 39 percent increase from a year ago;
  • Soaring Electric Bills – electric bills and rates have also gone through-the-roof across the state, with the price of electricity rising about 26% on Long Island from a year ago, an expected 46% increase this winter in the Hudson Valley, and some New York State Electric & Gas ratepayers have reported bills spiking 121% higher than the month before, for example. These skyrocketing increases in costs come from the rising cost of fuels internationally and follow the recent shutdown of the Indian Point Power Plant, which provided up to 25% of New York City’s electricity;
  • Declining Consumer Sentiment – since 2018, New Yorkers have become less optimistic about overall and future economic conditions, with recent concerns spiking over food and gas prices;
  • Overall Tax Burden – New York has the highest tax burden in the nation at 14.1 percent – without factoring in a plethora of other burdensome fees; and
  • Economic Freedom – New York has ranked last in the nation in terms of “economic and overall freedom” for years.

“New York State’s pursuit of a zero-carbon future is a worthy goal, but the overall strategy and legislative mandates taken so far need a reality check,” said John J. Murphy, International Representative of the United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada. “Over the past several years, the path taken has been fraught with severe risks to working New Yorkers and consumers, particularly the poor and elderly, who will continue to see escalating utility bills and less reliability. Legislation that’s been approved, and other bills pending, are creating a dangerous energy supply gap, causing prices to soar, and costing the state thousands of middle-class jobs.”