Proposed state legislation would have devastating implications for Buffalo Niagara manufacturers

State legislators in Albany are actively discussing a piece of legislation that would mandate all energy in New York State be generated by renewable sources by the year 2050. This legislation, known as the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) (S2992/A3876 ) would have devastating implications for manufacturers in Buffalo Niagara.

At a recent meeting of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Manufacturing Council, members took a look into the impact of this proposed legislation and the potential repercussions that a 100% renewable energy mandate would have on their business.

Currently, renewable energy sources provide only roughly 23% of the state’s energy mix, requiring natural gas to work in conjunction with renewable sources to meet the state’s needs in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Donna DeCarolis, President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. shared with the council the harsh reality that National Fuel’s largest industrial customers could not feasibly convert for all their energy needs, especially for high temperature industrial processing.

The Partnership opposes the CCPA because it will drastically drive up the cost of energy, weakening the Buffalo Niagara economy by unfairly burdening manufacturers and other vital industries. National Fuel stated the potential impact for a high utilizing manufacturer would be an increase in energy costs by nearly four times what it is today.

 

Manufacturing is strong in Buffalo Niagara

According to the Buffalo Niagara Labor Market Assessment, advanced manufacturing is a major economic driver in Buffalo Niagara employing more than 72,000 people across 1,748 firms. Defying national industry patterns, advanced manufacturing is healthy and growing in Buffalo Niagara. New York State recently identified advanced manufacturing as a “target growth industry” for the Buffalo Niagara region and invested state resources to help ensure its future. After acknowledging the significant contribution of the industry, the state cannot responsibly enact policies that will drive these employers out of business or out of New York.

 

From bad to worse

The state’s misguided energy policy currently leaves customers in New York—both commercial and residential—to pay billions of dollars annually in taxes, fees and surcharges on their energy bills to support state spending. And instead of working to lower prices and invest in much needed energy infrastructure, this legislation looks to add both massive costs and disruptions to the system.

The CCPA would make it harder and more expensive to own and operate a business in New York State. Businesses in New York will have to reduce productivity to comply with emission mandates or pay more for their energy. The CCPA bans the use of all fossil fuel, including reliable and clean natural gas- a move that will likely shatter our state’s economy and result in the loss of countless jobs.

 

Where we go from here

The Partnership supports a separate piece of legislation (S2352/A2720) directing the State Energy Planning Board to conduct a study to determine the technical and economic feasibility of a 100% renewable energy system.

As part of the Partnership’s advocacy efforts on behalf of our members, we have launched an outreach campaign that allows our members and regional manufacturers to reach out to their elected officials. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can send a prepared message to your elected officials asking them to oppose the CCPA. Click the “Take Action” button below to send a message now.

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Maddilyn Genovese Headshot

About Maddilyn Genovese

Manager, Government Affairs & Economic Development