State needs to reassess climate and energy plans for a sensible future
The goals and objectives of the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (The Act) passed in 2020, and subsequent supporting legislation needs to be reassessed, along with the parallel legislation at the Federal level.
The Act, contrary to its benevolent sounding title, offers anything but community protection. The Act is an assault on our communities and our freedoms. The Act is having a dramatic effect on our lives, our economy and our security. The public needs the assurance that the cure is not worse than the disease and that the Climate Change Movement has not disintegrated into an elite socialist one that ignores science, damages our economy and restricts our personal freedoms.
An example of the economic damage of The Act is the goal to make all new passenger cars and trucks sold in New York State zero emission by 2035, zero emission essentially meaning electrically driven vehicles that are no cleaner than the process by which the energy they consume is generated.
Ultimately The Act will outlaw or tax out of existence all fossil-fueled vehicles. Studies have shown that side by side in the showroom electric vehicles are more expensive to build, “dirtier” to construct and their clean benefits may show up only after many thousand miles of driving. Issues such as range problems, lack of fueling stations, fire safety, battery recycling and disposal, excessive consumption of critical materials such as copper, and huge losses of tax revenue are not being honestly addressed.
Without heavy government subsidies, both state and federal, there is no market for electric vehicles. In order for them to be competitive with fossil-fueled vehicles a breakthrough in battery technology is necessary. That breakthrough has yet to materialize!
Realizing the legislation to ban the purchase of fossil-fueled vehicles was a “non-starter” for the public, The Act calls for the development of a marketing strategy to promote them, i.e., A government super propaganda blitz, that has already begun. Further the automobile industry and the fossil fuel industry are being relentlessly attacked placing tens of thousands of good paying jobs at risk.
Other issues abound with The Act as the public will be forced to electrify homes and forced to give up clean burning natural gas and propane appliances. No clean energy projects should be undertaken without an in depth cost-benefit analysis. Sadly, this is not being done as the Climate Change Movement continues to drive up costs across the board.
The Act denies Home Rule to our communities as the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) created by The Act, was given the authority to overrule local law if found to be “unnecessarily burdensome.” Further the ORES is staffed by unelected officials that are not accountable to the public.
“Clean Energy” projects must be under local control, not dictated from Albany or Washington as it is the local community that bears the scars of those projects. ORES regulations are currently being challenged in court and hopefully will be significantly revised in the near future.
Solar and wind energy are being relied on to arrive at a carbon free future. They are being heavily subsided to achieve that end. Without subsidies both federal and state the solar/wind industry would disappear. Solar and wind energy are highly unreliable as they are dependent on the unpredictability of the weather. Reliable and diversified sources of energy are a must for economic and national security reasons. Nuclear energy and clean-burning natural gas must be in the mix. Research into clean-burning coal and carbon capture must be continued. Where is diversity when it is desperately needed?
In summary, a reassessment of our state energy policies as well as those on a national level must take place as neglecting to do is having a detrimental effect on our lives and our economy not to mention our national security.
New York can lead the way. Voters should insist.
James C. Hoffman
Town of Somerset