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New York’s CLCPA revisions: Cost and timeline changes welcomed by critics

State Senator Tom O’Mara, a long-time critic of the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” (CLCPA), welcomes recent proposals from Governor Kathy Hochul and leading legislative Democrats to revise key provisions of the act, addressing concerns about cost and implementation timelines. O’Mara, the Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, has repeatedly warned about the economic impact of the CLCPA on New Yorkers and the state’s economy.

Recent news reports and an op-ed from the Hochul administration’s top energy and environment officials highlight that New York is one of only two jurisdictions worldwide using an irrational accounting metric for examining carbon emissions and determining timelines for actions. All other states and countries with climate strategies utilize a standard, internationally accepted, science-based accounting metric.

O’Mara commented, “The CLCPA’s accounting metric makes New York State an outlier around the world. It will have massive consequences, on so many levels, for our consumers, ratepayers, and local economies.” He expressed relief that Governor Hochul and some Albany Democrats now recognize the need for change.

Earlier this year, the state’s Climate Action Council (CAC) approved a draft plan for implementing the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy mandates. The CAC’s plan currently calls for a ban on natural gas in new buildings from 2025, no new gas service to existing buildings from 2030, and no gasoline-automobile sales by 2035. However, recent opinion articles from the co-chairs of New York’s CAC suggest a change in the administration’s thinking on the CLCPA.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The chairs of the Senate and Assembly Energy Committees introduced legislation (S.6030/A.6039) last week that, if enacted, would change the current accounting metric to the more widely accepted standard. O’Mara argued that Governor Hochul’s previous unwillingness to provide a cost-benefit analysis of the plan’s impact on energy affordability, reliability, or sustainability left consumers in the dark. He now hopes that common sense will regain a foothold in the state government.

While O’Mara believes New York should continue to be a leader in reducing emissions, he cautions that the state’s current strategy is unrealistic and unachievable, risking energy grid reliability and affordability. With Governor Hochul and some legislative Democrats now recognizing the reality of the CLCPA’s impact, O’Mara urges citizens, communities, businesses, families, and workers to understand New York’s energy future and demand a rethinking and slowing down of the process.