Advocacy Alert: Climate Crunch Time
March 1, 2023
With just five weeks to go until the state budget is finalized, time is running out to sound the alarm about the Governor’s energy and climate proposals.
In her Executive Budget, Governor Hochul proposed a ban on natural gas. Under the proposal, natural gas hookups would be banned in new construction beginning in 2025. In 2030, new gas-powered building systems and appliances would be banned in existing buildings. This proposal will make building and powering new buildings significantly more expensive, and also add a major load demand onto a power grid that already faces thin reliability margins.
Hochul also proposed a “cap-and-invest” system. Through cap-and-invest, the state will set annual limits on statewide carbon emissions, which will decline each year. Through auctions, “large-scale emitters” will be required to purchase “emissions allowances.” This proposal would add tremendous costs onto employers, and pose a particular burden to smaller businesses as they try to outbid larger competitors.
The BNP has been vocal about this issue for years. To respond to this plan, the BNP has:
- Testified to the Climate Action Council to raise concerns about the state’s plans
- Penned an op-ed in The Buffalo News to raise concerns with the plan
- Generated online action campaign to helps thousands communicate with state leaders
- Urged state leaders to oppose the gas ban proposal, and reject any budget that includes a gas ban or cap-and-invest
- Developed a simple one-pager to help members understand the Climate Scoping Plan
- Featured the issues prominently at our Advocacy Agenda Rollout and Legislative Lunch
- Submitted budget testimony to the NYS Legislature opposing budget proposals
- Personally raised concerns to Gov. Hochul during her visit last fall
However, despite 71% of upstate residents opposing the gas ban proposal, the state is still poised to enact it
Use and share the BNP’s tool to tell Albany: keep energy affordable and reliable, and do not pass a budget that includes a gas ban or cap-and-invest system.
The New York State Legislature gaveled out for the final time of the 2023 legislative session. Although a special session is possible before the end of the year, no major legislative push is expected.
Although much of the most impactful legislation being debated was tabled until next year, many important bills were passed in the waning days of session.
All eyes are on Albany as the Legislature enters the final two weeks of the 2023 legislative session. Amid the hundreds of bills that will pass in the coming days, the BNP is keeping an eye on the following issues:
State lawmakers recently approved the 2023 state budget. In total, the budget will spend $229 billion – a record amount and a 33% increase in spending since 2019.
New York’s 2023 state budget includes a ban on fossil fuel equipment and building systems in new construction. The ban creates major concerns about energy affordability and reliability.